Beaches to Find Sea Glass in South Carolina-Myrtle Beach

7 Best Beaches to Find Sea Glass in South Carolina

South Carolina is an absolutely beautiful state with miles of scenic coastline and fabulous beaches. Also called the Palmetto State, South Carolina is known for its role in the Civil War and is home to an advanced manufacturing industry. It is also a great place to beach comb for sea glass!

Below you will find my list of the best South Carolina beaches to find sea glass, as well as some great information about sea glass formation and tips for finding and using your own sea glass.

South Carolina Sea Glass
South Carolina Sea Glass

1. Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island is one of the best beaches in South Carolina. Keep in mind, much of this island is private, so unless you own land or know someone who does, stay out of private areas. There is a public area called Beachwalker County Park. This area of sand features amenities like lifeguards and showers. The island also has bike trails, golf courses, and a resort.

Where to Look on Kiawah Island

Sea glass is mostly found near the water. Check during low tide so more of the beach is exposed. Sea glass is also found after storms, so check during storm season when conditions are safe.

2. Hilton Head

Hilton Head is a barrier island about 30 miles north of Savannah Georgia. This beach getaway location is full of luxurious amenities, recreational activities, and beautiful scenery. Hilton Head Island Beach is a public beach perfect for finding treasures in the sand!

Sea Glass is Plentiful at Hilton Head
Sea Glass is Plentiful at Hilton Head

Where to Look on Hilton Head

Check near the water to find sea glass on Hilton Head Island Beach. Look for areas where the water may have washed sea glass onto small rocks or pebbles. Check during low tide and after storms.

Insider Tip: Hilton Head Island is a wonderful place to do some cycling! The community is a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the American League of Bicyclists, and features over 60 miles of trails to connect you anywhere you want to go! Learn more here:

3. Folly Beach

Folly Beach is a popular destination for locals in the Charleston area. Center Street Beach and Folly Beach County Park. Folly Beach has 49 points of public access, making it very user friendly. It features a large boardwalk and beautiful sandy areas. Folly Beach has many amenities making it a perfect location for sightseeing and beach combing.

Where to Look on Folly Beach

As with all beaches, check near the water’s edge. Low tide will expose more sand, so this is the best time to check the area. Keep in mind Folly Beach is a popular location so the beach may be crowded at certain times. If you spot any areas where rocks are near the water’s edge, check these areas for sea glass.

4. Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms features 6 miles of shoreline along a small beach community. The area has 2 golf courses, family friendly activities, and multiple amenities. This area is popular for watersports like kayaking, surfing and fishing. Walkways make accessing the beach easy. Make sure to stay off any sand dunes. Dunes are protected ecosystems on most beaches.

Isle of Palms Beach Parking Area
Isle of Palms Beach Parking Area – image Google Maps – LINK

Where to Look on Isle of Palms

Check near the waterline, preferably during low tide. You can also check after storms as new glass may find its way onto the beach as the ocean is churned up by storm activity. Check any areas with pebbles or rocks as sea glass commonly gets caught in these locations.

5. Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach is a smaller area, with only 2 miles of sand. This beach is 10 miles southwest of Myrtle Beach, and is one of the most family friendly beaches in the state. It is the first autism friendly beach in the world, with services to help support families with autistic members at participating attractions and restaurants. The beach even has a campground, Ocean Lakes Family Campground, featuring tent and RV sites along with rentals.

Where to Look on Surfside Beach

Surfside Beach has 36 public access points and wheelchair access. Follow these to the water’s edge where you can comb for sea glass. The beach is mostly sand with little to no rocks, so the best bet is to check near the surf line for sea glass.

6. Pawley’s Island

Pawley’s Island is one of the oldest resort areas on the entire East Coast. The area is still not heavily commercialized, so you can find lots of pristine sandy areas to comb for sea glass. The beach features beautiful white sand and is very near a golf course, wildlife preserve, and botanical sculpture garden.

Where to Look on Pawley’s Island

As always, check near the water line. Low tide reveals more sand than high tide, so check during low tide if possible. After storms is a great time to search the beach for treasures that have newly washed ashore.

7. Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is the most well-known beach in South Carolina. This beach area features a whopping 60 miles of shoreline. The area has many fun activities you can participate in between beach combing sessions like Ripley’s Aquarium and Family Kingdom Amusement Park. Myrtle Beach is typically quite busy, so you may encounter more people here than on other beaches.

Metal Detecting on Myrtle Beach
Metal Detecting on Myrtle Beach

Where to Look on Myrtle Beach

Check near the waterline, as we do on all beaches. Myrtle Beach has a large boardwalk, so you may check near the boardwalk as sea glass could get caught up near the supports. After storms and low tide will be the best times to find sea glass.

Sea Glass History

Sea glass is a naturally weathered piece of glass from a man-made object such as a bottle. When glass enters the ocean, the forces of the ocean begin to work on it to turn it into sea glass. As a piece of glass is broken down, it weathers from the salt water, sand, and tides. The edges begin to smooth and the glass itself becomes almost frosted in appearance.

Sea Glass History
Sea Glass History

Experts state it takes anywhere from 20 to 200 years to create sea glass. Sea glass is found in many colors, due to the variety of colors humans make glass. Most sea glass is brown or clear, while some rare colors include blue and green. Uncommon colors appear in sea glass occasionally, such as orange, lavender, red, yellow, and seafoam green.

The rare colored sea glass usually comes from an item that is no longer produced or has not been produced for decades. These can include old medication bottles, beverage containers, and ink bottles. Vases, tableware, and even old turn signals from early cars have been found as sea glass. (Source)

Pre-1960, many household products and food products were packed in tin or glass instead of plastics or cardboard. Green glass is typically from alcohol or soda bottles, white glass is usually from windows or soda bottles, and brown glass is usually from household cleaners and beer bottles. Dark blue glass is usually made from poisons or old medicine containers. Aqua-colored glass is usually made from Coke bottles. Red sea glass is one of the rarest, and this is typically from vases or kitchen wear. Orange, as mentioned above, can be from turn signals or warning lights on boats. (Source)

Insider Tip: There are officially 81 named and classified colors of sea glass. There is a sea glass rarity and color guide available that shows each of these colors and its rarity level. Learn more about this guide here:

What is the Difference Between Sea Glass and Beach Glass?

Sea glass and beach glass are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably. However, a seasoned glass collector can tell you the difference between the two. Beach glass originates in the same manner as sea glass, but it is from a freshwater source rather than the ocean.

Beach glass often lacks the frosted appearance of sea glass due to the lack of salt in the water it tumbles around in. Beach glass will still be smoothed by the sand, rocks, and water, but will be shinier than sea glass. (Source)

Is It Legal to Collect Sea Glass on Public Beaches in South Carolina?

There are no laws governing the removal of sea glass from public beaches in South Carolina. Be sure you stay off private beach areas, state parks, and national parks. However, it should be noted that in all United States State Parks, it is illegal to collect sea glass. You can be fined for taking sea glass off these beaches.

Why Are Some Beaches Better Than Others for Finding Sea Glass?

Beaches with more pebbles and rocks are usually the best areas to find sea glass. This is because the sea glass becomes lodged in with the rocks and pebbles and does not wash back out to sea. Some beaches were also used more for shipping, import and export, and travel, so they have a better chance of having glass that has been naturally tumbling in the ocean.

Very busy beaches will usually have less sea glass simply because more people will be looking for and collecting sea glass. Try to find areas where there are less people to find more sea glass.

Tips for Finding Sea Glass in South Carolina

One of the best tips for finding sea glass in any location, including South Carolina, is to look for places where commerce has occurred for a long time. Any type of shipping port, housing area, or the like will be a good place to search.

Check an hour after and before low tide. Winter months are the best times to check as the beach is less crowded, so you have a better chance of finding sea glass.

Look for beaches that have lots of sea shells. Sea shell beds are a great place to find sea glass. Also, walk with the sun behind you to help keep eye strain down and use the sun to highlight the glass.

Sea glass is more commonly found in rocky areas, so you may need to wade out a little bit to find some hidden glass caught in the pebbles.

As mentioned, several times above, check after storms. Storms churn up sand and water and often wash new items closer to or on to the beach.  

What Can I Do with My Sea Glass?

Sea glass is an incredibly beautiful thing, and there are many ways to display it or use it for crafts. A favorite of mine is to put the various colors of sea glass in a clear glass jar, then place a flameless candle or some small string lights into the jar. This illuminates the jar and glass, adding unique charm to any space.

Another creative idea is to use them at the bottom of a succulent planter, like a terrarium. Using a large glass container, place the sea glass along the bottom. Build up layers of soil, pebbles, and succulent plants to form a beautiful terrarium.

Many people use sea glass to create jewelry. Small holes can be drilled into the sea glass, allowing it to hang from necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. You can also create some beautiful wall art with sea glass. Using a stick, tie pieces of sea glass so they dangle down from the stick. These can be small or large to fit in any space.

Learn more about sea glass projects here:


Searching for sea glass is a wonderful way to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and enjoy some spectacular scenery. South Carolina is home to many scenic beach areas, perfect for finding sea glass and other beach treasures. Whether you live in South Carolina or are planning a trip to the state, comb the beaches for some sea glass! Sea glass is a terrific addition to any collection and can be used for so many different crafts.


David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.

Read about David -> HERE

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