Florida, stretching 447 miles from north to south and its natural highest point only 345 feet above sea level, it’s reasonable to assume Florida maintains many beach and coastal areas. Indeed it does, and the beaches are incredible for our treasure hunting adventures. Mention Disney, and you’ll never have a problem convincing the kids to go too, that’s for sure.
We began our journey in the northwest of the state, having traversed Alabama just before. We went to many different places in Florida, but it was the beaches that really stood out. Treasure hunting can be pretty exciting, and beaches are busy places, so they tend to lose a lot of valuables there. It’s perfect for any treasure hunter, as long as you don’t mind the heat.
Our first stop, Big Lagoon State Park!
1. Big Lagoon State Park – Beaches, Kayaking, And Adventure!
I dare say that any beach has it all, but Big Lagoon is pretty hard to argue with. We decided that because the park is a natural stopover for over 23 species of wood-warbler and countless other species, that it would be worth becoming a stop on our journey through the state, our first stop, that is.
Big Lagoon State Park is located in Pensacola, Florida, and has various things to do, from birdwatching to kayaking and more. Here’s a list of the most popular activities and amenities the park has to offer:
Here’s how you can find the incredible sand beaches of Big Lagoon State Park: https://goo.gl/maps/VS5YcU894KJkDvsj6
I’m always getting asked what equipment I use. I’ve been recommending the same solid metal detecting equipment for years.
- My first metal detector was the Garrett Ace 250 (link to Amazon for current prices and reviews). This machine is still working great after 6 years. I keep it around for “group” treasure hunts.
- I’m currently sweeping with a Garrett AT Pro Metal Detector (Link to Amazon for Prices). Since I bought my AT PRO Garrett has come out with a package that includes wireless headphones. Getting tangled up in a wire when your on your knees digging is a pain. Check out the Garrett AT MAX package with Z-Lynk Headphones and Pin Pointer (Link for great prices over at Amazon)
- When it comes to digging two tools are a must have. 1. A hand trowel -I recommend the Lesche Digging and Cutting Tool (link to check it out) and 2. A sand scoop – the one I’m using is the CKG Sand Scoop with Handle (Link to Amazon for current price and reviews) A good sand scoop is a game changer for beaches.
- Finally get a good pinpointer. I have an older Garrett Pro, but the newer version – Garrett Pro-Pointer AT with Z-Lynk is completely waterproof to 20 feet and hooks up to your wireless headphones.
2. Henderson Beach State Park – People, Sun, And Treasures!
Henderson Beach State Park is located in Destin, Florida, and was rated on US News as the #1 beach destination. Henderson has such massive popularity; the sand was sure to be filled with lost trinkets, jewelry, and coins! I just had to bring my family there and see for myself.
There’s a lot to do in the park, despite what one might think. Some of the great things you can do at this park are:
Here’s how to find the beaches of Henderson Beach State Park – https://goo.gl/maps/5PouFMHQTq7McPyH6
Metal Detecting Tip: Learn about equipment, metal detector technology has exploded in the last 10 years. BUT technique and learning to read the tones are essential to being successful. You’ve got to check out this article (link) that gives 41 Metal Detecting Tips
3. Grayton Beach State Park – White Sandy Beaches And Hot Sun!
Coastal forests and scrub hiking trails, and pristine beaches drew us to Grayton Beach, located at Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Like many other state parks, and luckily for us, as the day was winding down when we arrived, the park has camping sites you can rent for a place to spend your night. It works great if you’re doing a tour like I was. Just ensure you call ahead to book your site; these sites are often filled.
Here are a few of the park’s other amenities and activities for you and your family to enjoy:
You can find Grayton Beach State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/FubABRgqmWE8bQKs8
4. Long Key State Park – Snorkeling And Treasure!
We decided our journey needed to put a few miles on, so we drove down to the Long Key State Park. Located way down the sliver that makes Florida’s southern tip, you need to take the Overseas Highway, which was quite an experience unto itself.
Here are some of the park’s activities:
You can find the Long Key State Park here – https://goo.gl/maps/dWwPEdBV7iztH6229
Check out this article that’s all about Metal Detecting Underwater <-Link
5. Sebastian Inlet State Park – A Surfer’s Paradise!
Known amongst surfers worldwide for riding “First Peak” and “Monster Hole,” this surfer’s paradise has a lot more going for it than just some world-renowned surfing locales. You can take your family here as I did, go fishing, swim in the ocean or just walk the beach (with a metal detector in hand, of course).
There are lots to see at Sebastian Inlet, including collecting shells, checking out sea turtle nests, or doing some kayaking. The point is that your family will all have something fun to do here while at night you can camp in a tent or drive in your RV as I did.
Metal Detecting Tip: Carry at least two sets of batteries for your detector. There’s nothing worse than finding some significant detecting areas and running out of power. That’s why I like to keep one set of good batteries in my detector and two spare sets. If you get on a roll, you won’t need to stop and drive off to find a store for batteries. For more great tips on detecting and more, read this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/
6. CURRY HAMMOCK STATE PARK – Raw Nature Half Way To Key West!
Deep into the keys is Curry Hammock State Park. Another must-see location that you can spend the night (camping). As any typical beach or waterfront park has for activities, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, and all the other usual activities you’d expect to find are permitted.
When we went to Curry Hammock, the thing that stood out to me was that it was surprisingly secluded. For an area under development, I anticipated some pretty big crowds. In truth, it was quite a peaceful visit, and the beaches are perfect for detectorists.
7. GAMBLE ROGERS MEMORIAL STATE RECREATION AREA AT FLAGLER BEACH
Gamble Rogers Memorial is a small 145-acre park in Palm Beach, Florida. The park features some great birdwatching and has camping with RV access, which was a nice touch. We spent the night at Gamble Rogers and I spent several hours with the old and faithful detector roaming the beach in search of treasure. Ensure you ask for permission before whipping out your metal detector, some areas may not be entirely permitted.
Some of the other activities permitted at Gamble Rogers Memorial State Park include Bicycling, Boating, Fishing, Swimming, Hiking, Paddling, and Geocaching. Pets are allowed too, so if you’ve got a dog you’re still okay.
Metal Detecting Laws For Florida
According to MDHtalk.org, some locations in Florida require a permit for metal detecting. These counties include Orange County and Ocala, Florida. National Parks and recreation areas are strictly off-limits for treasure hunters. There is hope for the state, though, and that comes with the Florida State Parks. In particular, I like the beaches, but the point is that most parks allow metal detectors, as long as you check in with them for permission first.
Almost no places, in terms of state parks, require any kind of fees. However, some parks have specific requirements as to which areas are permissible or not for metal detectorists. The issue isn’t using the metal detectors; typically, it has more to do with disturbing an area via digging.
Quick Law Recap:
National Parks in Florida: Not permitted.
National Forests: Permit required from US Forest Service
BLM Lands: Permit required for relics, non-relic no permit required. Read about what the BLM says about metal detecting HERE.
Florida State Parks: Permitted in certain areas. Always ask permission first. Below are three articles talking about metal detecting in the State of Florida
- Guide to Metal Detecting in Florida
- Metal Detecting in Orange County, FL
- Application for Metal Detecting in Marion County
Metal Detecting Clubs In Florida
- South Florida Treasure Hunter’s Club – Hollywood, FL – Meetings are held monthly according to their website – https://soflatreasurehunters.tripod.com/
- Ocala Metal Detecting Club – Ocala, Florida – Typically holds monthly meetings – http://www.ocalametaldetectingclub.com/
- Coinshooters and Historical Club – Daytona Beach, FL – Founded in 1984, this club meets monthly according to their website. – http://www.digandfind.com/index.html
- Panhandle Research & Recovery Metal Detecting Club – Panama City, FL – Meets monthly on Saturdays and was established in 1996 according to their website. – https://panhandleresearchrecoverymetaldetecting.weebly.com/index.html
- Suncoast Research & Recovery Club – Pinellas Park, FL – Monthly meeting dates posted on their website appear to be up to date, ergo an active club. This club prides itself on recovering lost rings and such for people. There are several tales of recovery on their website. – http://www.srarc.com/
- Central Florida Metal Detecting Club – DeBary, FL – Founded in 1972, this club boasts over 200 members and has meetings on the 2nd Friday of the month. – http://www.thecfmdc.com/
- Treasure Coast Archeological Society – Sebastian, FL – The club appears to be active but has recently canceled its annual hunt due to the pandemic. You can read about it on their website. – http://www.tcas.us/
- Western State Archaeological Society – Tampa, FL – Holding monthly meetings, this club has been around since November of 1976. You can read about them on their website here. – https://www.wsas.club/
- Gold Coast Treasure Club – West Palm Beach, Florida – Founded in 1973, this club has regular meetings and recovery service. See their website for more information. – https://www.apex-ephemera.com/gctc/
Metal Detecting Tip: If it’s one thing Florida has a lot of, it’s beaches. Take advantage of this fact in the state. When in any other states, if you’re hard-pressed to find a good location, try the beach! The great thing about beaches is that coins and items are easily lost in the sand and easily dug up by you! Just make sure the particular park or property allows it first, of course. For more great tips, take a look at this article: https://metaldetectingtips.com/metal-detecting-tips/
Metal Detecting Treasures Found In Florida
A couple that was married for 17 years were reunited with their lost wedding band in Florida when a group of metal detectorists put themselves on the case. The touching story aired on ABC Action News back in December of 2020. Watch the full story here -https://youtu.be/1YC2hmtrux4
Metal Detecting Resources In Florida
- MDHtalk.org has a great reference for obtaining permits in Ocala or Orange County, Florida. Take a look at the resource here. – http://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=FL
- A great place to start if hunting other state parks are to begin on the official state parks website here. – https://www.floridastateparks.org/
Metal Detector Stores In Florida For Expert Advice
- Kellyco Metal Detectors – Casselberry, FL – http://www.kellycodetectors.com/
- Reilly’s Treasured Gold – Pompano Beach, FL – http://www.rtgstore.com/
- Myers Metal Detectors – Tampa, FL – http://www.myersdepot.com/
- Treasure Finders – Fort Walton Beach, FL – http://www.treasurefindersfl.com/home.html
Check Out These Spots for your Next Metal Detecting Trip
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.