Does Davenport Beach Have the Best Sea Glass in the World?

A view of Davenport Beach, California with waves crashing on the beach.

Davenport is located about 10 miles north of Santa Cruz in northern California.

It's a cozy beach town with loads of charm. If you love victorian and craftman homes you're in luck as many homes in town are over one hundred years old.

The town has several stunning beaches that are frequently photographed, especially at sunset. This area really is a photographers dream, however the main Davenport Beach is my favorite.

Why is there sea glass at Davenport?

Davenport is well known for its beautiful art sea glass.

There was a heavy rainstorm in the 1970s that caused the San Vicente Creek to overflow, washing away bins of waste glass from behind Lundberg Studio.

Founded in 1970 by James Lundberg, the studio is world famous for producing top quality glassware. It's well worth visiting the studio to discover what your piece looked like before it was surf tumbled.

Large mason jar full of large smooth round pieces of art sea glass from Davenport Beach. Glass remnants from Lundberg Studio worn smooth from years of tumbling in the surf.

How to get to Davenport

Davenport Beach is located on Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) directly across the street from Roadhouse Inn Restaurant and Bar.

Roadhouse Inn is a great place to stop for lunch after hours of sea glass hunting. They have good food, excellent pastries and coffee. You can also peruse a small selection of local hand made goods.

Perhaps most importantly though, you will find a lovely bathroom!

Ocean street sign on PCH. Only marker for parking lot that leeds to Davenport beach.
View of Roadhouse Inn. Just across the street from the Davenport beach parking lot.

Park up in the dirt lot at Ocean Street on the opposite side to Roadhouse Inn. Get there early though as it tends to fill up later in the day, even in rainy weather.

Getting down to the beach

Once you have parked up, head to the south-west corner of the parking lot and you'll see these natural rock steps. Make sure you bring shoes or boots with plenty of grip and take your time making your way down.

Looking up at the natural formed rock steps from Davenport beach parking lot to the beach path.

You will then cross the abandoned rail road tracks.

View of railroad tracks above Davenport Beach, California.

And follow the path towards the beach.

View of the path from the parking lot down to Davenport Beach.

You will soon see Davenport beach in all its glory and that's when the excitement will really kick in!

View of Davenport Beach cove in California.

This is the last set of natural stone steps to clamber down.

View of natural rock steps from Davenport beach up to the path to beach parking lot.

Here I am hunting for sea glass on Davenport beach.

View of people sea glass hunting and beachcombing on Davenport beach.

Digging for sea glass

Many sea glass hunters take a shovel along so that they can dig down into the sand at low tide. It's hard work, but you will be amazed at some of the incredible sea glass which gets dug up. This is definitely the safest way to collect top quality sea glass at Davenport.

As you can see in the video below, high tide is extremely dangerous.

Many of the high tide sea glass hunters wear wet suits and are prepared to get knocked off their feet by the strong currents. With powerful waves pushing you towards rocks, you don't need me to tell you to be extremely careful. However, incredible sea glass quite literally washes up at your feet!

Other things to see in Davenport

There are two art galleries which is astonishing for such a small town! There is also a historical jail house, built in 1914, which was in use up until 1936.

My favorite find, however, was the abandoned pier which was built by the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company.

View from above the old Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company pier ruins with strong waves crashing on the shore.

Thanks to that flash flood, Davenport has some of the best sea glass in the world. No wonder it's so popular with sea glass collectors from all corners of the planet!



I have been gathering sea glass for many years. I can never resist a stroll along the beach and the opportunity to add some more beach treasure to my collection!

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