Beachcombing is all in the timing. Two to three hours after high tide, a fresh layer of sea finds are exposed on the sand. Go for a stroll on any beach near the Overleaf Lodge & Spa and you’re likely to find agates, jasper, driftwood, petrified wood, marine fossils, shells, and maybe even a glass float riding the current from Japan. The most successful hunters visit beaches on the outrunning tides from December through March.
Agate hunters will want to head to Cape Perpetua, Neptune State Scenic Viewpoint or Strawberry Hill. The quartz stones that come in an array of striking colors and shapes are most often found at these beaches, where creeks and rivers run into the ocean.
Each January, Yachats also hosts the annual Yachats Agate Festival, where you can learn more about beachcombing, talk to agate hunting experts and discover some of the best spots on the coast to find agates.
You won’t often find intact shells on the Oregon Coast, but sand dollars can be found at low tide. Most locals know the best spots to find them before the seagulls do, so don’t be afraid to ask around. Japanese glass floats are rare finds, but the colorful glass spheres are occasionally found after large storms. The small beaches surrounding Yachats are known for great driftwood scores.
Good to know: It’s illegal to take anything from state park beaches. Consider taking pictures of your found treasures, then tossing them back for the next beachcomber to find. It’s easy to get lost scouring the sand, but always keep an eye on the ocean as well. Sneaker waves (powerful waves that appear without warning) are a safety concern on the Oregon Coast. Take care around large logs, as it only takes about one inch of water to roll a drift log on the sand. These large objects can easily pin an arm, leg or child.