We spotted the Glass beach on google maps while driving. A short distance from Mendocino in a town called Fort Bragg, we were curious enough to stop and check it out. It was a lovely surprise.
After Fort Bragg was destroyed in an earthquake in 1906, local people trying to clean up the town started throwing debris and rubbish into the ocean. This continued long after the earthquake clean up finished until, in 1967, the dumping of rubbish was forbidden by the North Coast Water Quality Board. Over the years, all of the bottles, jars and other random bits of glass were slowly broken down and ground smooth by the waves and currents. Today, a pebble beach of glass, polished and aged with sand and saltwater is all that remains of the rubbish dump.
The beach was smaller than I expected but as soon as we walked down the small cliff we saw sea glass everywhere. It is believed to have the highest concentration of sea glass in the world and no sand.
We sat down on a washed-out log and watched the waves turning dry, dull looking pieces of glass into vibrant gems.