Where is Benicia "Glass Beach"? Is it a hoax? Well, no, but...
BENICIA, CALIFORNIA - GLASS BEACH?
This photo is from Wikipedia. Most of the glass looks very raw.
In a recent email, the hoax question was raised by a viewer. Here is our communication with her:
Nov 12 17:06:27 2014
"The glass beach in Benicia is an internet hoax unless you count a broken beer bottle. I was there today...the locals laughed when we asked. The pics appear to be from Ft Bragg."
"Thank you for the input. Which beach did you go to? This page shows maps to 3 different beaches, none of which appear (to us) to be good spots for beach glass.
"The photo shown above is definitely NOT Fort Bragg. The photo in question of Benicia shows lots of raw glass shards, barely tumbled, like we would expect from the beaches shown on the maps. We do not recommend anyone to go there - the photo clearly shows broken glass rather than beach glass.
"We would love to have more details and photos if possible to clear this up. Like:
Which of the 3 beaches did you go to?Did you go at dead low tide?Do you have photos?"Thank you again for adding your info and I will post your comment to our page.
Happy hunting (elsewhere)"
David and Lin Schneider
Now look at secondhand information that we (Lin and David at Odyssey Sea Glass) have gathered and the comments from viewers that follow.
Buy from Amazon.com:
Three different locations were described for Glass Beach in Benicia:
All the locations were in Benicia, California, near where the Sacramento River flows through the Carquinez Strait before pouring into San Rafael Bay and finally San Francisco Bay..
It is a tidal zone where fresh and salt water mix. There is very little exposure to wave action, so the beach glass is not very good as seen in the photo above
Here are the three locations - #3 is the best bet!
Location #1 Benicia - Wikipedia:
Wikipedia states, "Glass Beach is an unusual beach in Benicia, California, that is abundant in sea glass created from years of dumping garbage into an area of the coastline.
"It is located at the 12th Street Park."
(See Google map to 12th St Park Benicia)
But is that really the Benicia Glass Beach really is? Read on.
Here are the questions and replies as we received them. They are from oldest to newest.
We have added maps in some places with links to Google to try to confuse the issue LOL.
Benicia's "glass beach" Question~ by Murrah - January 8, 2010
There is supposedly a good beach for finding sea glass, but I caNOT find any info on it other than it's in Benicia, near San Francisco and San Jose.
No map shows this beach, I can't even find beaches of the town listed in many places... Does anyone have any info about the area?
My husband and I are going to San Jose for a convention (I'm working a craft-table), and Benicia is near enough to maybe go for a walk on that beach and do a little hunting for more materials. :)
The only "directions" I could find are "at the end of Elaine ST." No Elaine St. appears to exist, though there is an Elane Way...
Benecia, Carquinez Strait~ by Moana - Jan 25, 2010
Go to website By the Bay Treasurers, they have trips on the Carquinez Strait.
Cities that are along the strait are: Benicia-Benicia State Recreation Area and Crockett, Port Costa, Martinez.
Carquinez Strait is body of water that goes under the Carquinez Bridge, body of water part of tidal estuary of the Sacramento River.
Benecia ~ by Marilyn - Mar 18, 2010
The beach in Benicia might be at the end of East "L" St, not Elaine. (*Note: It appears that L St. does not go through to the beach anywhere.)
Despite being on the Carquinez Straight, there are only a couple of walkable beaches.
Hidden Glass Beach - Benicia CA~ by S. - May 30, 2010
Spent nearly all day looking for the glass beach in Benicia. Found just about every public access spot. No luck.
I'm surprised that the map is not listed anywhere on the internet. No one has added to Wikipedia or any other source. Wow.
Some one let us in and give up the info.
Awesome info!~ by Murrah - May 31, 2010
I had to chuckle at the folks having the same problems I was in finding this mysterious Glass beach in Benicia. Heh.
Well, I hope that in combination with the info you kind folks have posted and some satellite maps I dug up of the area, I may be able to find the place.
That trip is going to have to wait until I head out that way, again, though.
I did try for Shell Beach, near Pismo, but of course, there was an unusually high low-tide that day- it was stormy and wet- no glass, but I did find a gorgeous abalone shell and a naturally holed stone.
Cool treasures anyway! Maybe another time I can get onto the strand- it's "interesting" getting onto the pebbly beach under the cliff there).
Location #2 Benicia
Tons of Sea Glass in Benicia, Solano County, CA~ by amcanlive.com - Mar 18, 2010
Go to Benicia in Solano County. Drive all the way down to the end of First street to the water.
(Go to Google map for Location #2)
There is a See's Candy store in the middle of a grassy field on the left. Behind this is the tiny beach covered in glass -- some of it smoothed into sea glass and some of it from litterbugs.
I love to bring my dogs out to the beach but I can't bring them here because of all the glass.
Be sure to wear sturdy shoes!
Location #3 Benicia
Sea glass beach in Benicia, California~ by Anon. - Apr 18, 2011
So I'm a Benicia native, glass beach is actually pretty hidden and only accessible during low tides so be careful.
But like a few others said, its at the end of a weird tiny street called Elane, it is at the corner of Elane and Cove.
(See the Google map for Benicia's Elane Way Glass Beach)
When you get there there will be a giant house on the left, and if you go straight past the giant house there will be an old broken staircase.
Mind you i haven't been there in a year or two so it may be demolished by now, but you go down the stairs and go to the right of the cove and there you have it, a teeny strip of land covered in glass deemed "glass beach."
Don't get me wrong, there's a ton of glass, it's just not really big enough or accessible enough to call it a beach.
Glass Beach in Benecia~ by Anonymous - Sep 01, 2011
I googled the directions one of the locals said and the street is ELANE Way (not Elaine) which intersects with COVE Way off of W !st St.
It looks like you get there from I-780.
Don't know if Glass Beach is there, but it looks like where the local said it was- and it's only accessible at low tide so check the tides before you go.
Benicia glass beach~ by Clayton - Nov 26, 2011
Found with the good directions.
Lots of glass, both new and old.
Most of the glass seems to be old, bot not worn as much as it would be if it was on the ocean.
Old wine bottle bottoms, china, crockery, lots of the normal stuff.
Must have been a dump.
Visited Benicia glass beach today~ by Anonymous - Apr 01, 2012
We visited the glass beach in Benicia today. It is indeed at the corner of Elane and Cove Way.
There is a small blue "public access" sign at the start of the little dirt path that leads to to beach.
As a previous poster commented, you must go at low tide. There will be no visible beach at high tide.
There is on-street parking in this quiet neighborhood but you are walking between the property of others, so be cautious.
As for the glass....there is so much and in all honesty, a bit overwhelming. The glass is a variety of ages but most of it seems new and not really "matured". (still sharp with no frosting to the glass). Not what I was expecting.
I am sure some of it is old and there are pieces that are much thicker then manufactured today. Probably old jugs if I had to guess.
We only found the usual, clear, green and amber.
I guess overall I was a bit disappointed. This was my first time searching for sea glass along anything but the ocean. Maybe that is the difference.
It is pretty to see, but if you enjoy the thrill of walking along a sandy beach and finding a hidden gem that you really spent time searching for, then this is not the place for you.
I will go back to my ocean beach hunting.
I guess my husband put it best. "There is so much that it isn't really fun".