Bay Head Beach is one of those relaxing Jersey Shore beaches located in Bay Head, New Jersey. It's a quaint country village by the sea. The sand is soft and pristine. On the day that I was beach combing, the water was incredibly clear - just perfect for sea glass hunting. Read on to find out all you need to know before you go.
All About the Beach
The town of Bay Head is 70 miles South of New York City and 65 miles East of Philadelphia. Bay Head beach is between the more action packed Seaside Heights and family-friendly Point Pleasant Beach. The area has several cute shops, bed & breakfasts and gorgeous Victorian homes all along on tree-lined streets in this charming seaside town. Just one mile to the north, Point Pleasant Beach offers amusements, restaurants, an aquarium, and shops.
As with most New Jersey beaches there is a fee to enter the beach. Beach badges are required June 14 through Labor Day and can be purchased from B.H.I.A. (Bay Head Improvement Association) on Mount Street. The cost is $8 per person. You can also purchase a badge from the badge checkers at the entrances of the beach from Osborne Avenue to Strickland Street. We entered the beach at Howe Street.
Beach Tip: If you go later in the day you miss or avoid the badge patrol.
In an effort to keep the beach clean, food, beverages, and coolers are prohibited on this beach. Water is allowed in a reusable container. Because of the restrictions this isn't the beach for everyone which makes it a little less crowded during the summer months.
Since I just moved to New Jersey last August, I have only been to the beaches here in the off season when parking is easy and free (YAY). The beach was not technically open yet for the season, so there also was no fee to get on the beach (double YAY).
Where Do You Find Sea Glass
While looking for sea glass, I usually walk in a zig-zag pattern from the water to the high tide line, checking the wrack lines in between the high and low tide lines. The water was so clear on this day that we could actually see sea glass tumbling in the gentle waves! There were so many huge clam shells (like the size of my hand) I must have collected about thirty of them. I'm planning on making a wreath for my front door with the shells. Have you made any thing from seashells?
Bay Head Beach is a lovely, quiet, clean beach. I always find at least a few nice pieces of sea glass and other beach combing treasures here. Some of the pieces above are quartz (aka Cape May Diamonds). For the best chance of filling up your own clam shell of 'Mermaid Loot' be sure to get on the beach as early as possible or it will be picked over. I like to get there as soon as it's light enough to see! A few hours before or after low tide is just perfect.
What You Need to Know
I've been collecting sea glass since 2005 and I love the thrill of finding sea glass on the beach. I found about fifteen pieces of nicely frosted sea glass in twenty minutes of searching. I'd say Bay Head Beach was definitely worth it.
Sea Glass History
Did you know the American glass industry began in southern New Jersey? This was due to the availability of natural resources such as wood, sand, soda ash and silica. The nation’s earliest successful glass factory was founded here in 1739 by a German immigrant and Quaker named Caspar Wistar in nearby Salem County. Many of the nation’s foremost glass factories operate in South Jersey. Lucky for us, many of these factories were built along the rivers. These rivers flow to the oceans... ya see where I'm going here?
What makes an area good for hunting sea glass? This is where your detective work comes in! Research the surrounding area, find out if there were old dumpsites and homes from the pre-1930's. Years ago, people often buried their treasures in their backyard = buried treasure that could become washed away into a creek or a river and out to sea during floods, high wave activity, full moon, new moon, or high surf due to off shore storms blowing in. The possibilities are endless!
Another reason New Jersey is a great place for sea glass is that there have been hundreds of shipwrecks along the New Jersey Coast as well as severe storms which helps to make this a really good area for finding sea glass, vintage bottles and other treasures. It's also an excellent place to look for fossilized shark's teeth.