Sure, chests full of gold and jewels may be unlikely, but there are a bunch of beaches around America that are known for their unique — and valuable— bounty.
Originally identified by BestLifeOnline.com, the destinations range from a windswept coastline where ancient shipwrecks often wash ashore to an island known for its semi-precious stones.
Check out the list below and by all means, leave any spots for hidden treasures that you know of in the comments below!
Treasure Coast, Florida
About 100 miles north of West Palm Beach you can find Florida's Treasure Coast. It’s a fertile section of the Atlantic, stretching from Cape Canaveral to Stuart — and a perfect place to dig for literal lost treasure. That’s because in the 18th century, a fleet of Spanish ships sunk offshore and their gold, silver, and jewels are still buried beneath the sand to this day. In fact, more than 20 silver coins worth up to $6,000 were discovered on Wabasso Beach earlier this year. Additionally, salvagers have reported swords and lavish clothing worn by noblemen among their loot.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan
This one is from our home state of Michigan — it’s the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Just a short drive from Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has 35 miles of windswept waterfront buffered by 450-foot cliffs.
It's common for beachcombers to stumble upon natural treasures known as Petoskey stones.
It’s important to remember that the reserve in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula doesn't allow visitors to pocket any flora or fauna, so you'll have to drive 30 minutes south to Point Betsie Lighthouse if you're hoping to take one of the stones home as a souvenir.
Block Island, Rhode Island
Tucked between Newport and Montauk, Block Island isn't the most popular inlet on the East Coast — especially when compared to its neighbor, Nantucket. Charming lighthouses and unspoiled beaches can be found aplenty along with one stand-out feature: whimsical orbs. That’s because each year hundreds of hand-blown glass fishing floats are hidden around the atoll.
Local artist Eben Horton started the annual scavenger hunt in 2012. Since then, a society of sleuths has eagerly traversed the 7,000-acre enclave to unearth them. This year, the event began on July 11. It is ongoing. More information can be found here.
MacKerricher State Park, California
Sea glass is a beachcomber's dream. At Fort Bragg's MacKerricher State Park, visitors can find an entire stretch of sand covered in sea glass. The reason? In the early 20th century, locals threw their old bottles in a dump along the coastline. Decades later, the pounding Pacific surf has polished and smoothed them into shimmering gems that blanket the shore today.
Calvert Cliffs State Park, Maryland
This quiet beach on Chesapeake Bay is a bit difficult to locate at first, but it's worth the trip. To find it, hike two miles along the red trail in Calvert Cliffs State Park, and you'll come across a tranquil cove bordered by 10- to 20-million-year-old bluffs. Paleontologists often scour this seaside time capsule for Miocene-era shark teeth and rare prehistoric relics, including rhino, tapir, and mastodon bones. More than 600 species of fossils have been discovered in this area as well as ancient shells and arrowheads.
Port Townsend, Washington
On the rugged edge of the Olympic Peninsula, where the Puget Sound meets the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Port Townsend is a quirky hamlet with a surprising secret. North Beach and Glass Beach, both along McCurdy Point north of downtown, are home to an array of gorgeous sea glass along with semi-precious stones. Geologists often flock here to gather jasper, basalt, and quartz as well as agates, an amber-colored gemstone that’s only available in the Pacific Northwest.
TEPCO Beach, California
In 1930, an Italian immigrant named John Pagliero opened the Technical Porcelain and Chinaware Co. (TEPCO) to create dinnerware for restaurants in California’s Bay Area. Though it shut down in 1968, remnants still remain strewn along the beach where the factory disposed of broken crockery. Today, collectors can find shards of the vintage pottery and handmade ceramics, including rarities with the original TEPCO logo stamped on the back.
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