three best spots for beachcombing in Cleveland

beachcombing in Cleveland, OH

I’m sharing top secret information with you here today. Are you ready? I’m giving up my three favorite spots for beachcombing in Cleveland! This information isn’t actually a secret. These beaches are all popular spots but perhaps never shared in this manner? What I mean is that when people think of Cleveland, I’m sure their first thought isn’t ‘I’m definitely gonna have to look for beach treasures while I’m there!’

Part of me feels like I shouldn’t disclose this information since beach people are normally fiercly protective of their spots. As someone who travels fairly often though, I do wish this information was easier to find. When I’m researching areas that I’ll be visiting, I’m not looking for the best beaches to swim or sunbathe. I wanna know where your trash is! Where can I find random treasures that wash up on the shore?! This is the information I’m sharing with you today. If you’re looking for some tips on where to swim in Lake Erie, this isn’t the post for you. If you want to find beach glass, old pottery, and other strange bits and bobs – I’ve got ya covered!

Wendy Park

2800 Whiskey Island Drive, Cleveland, OH 44102

Wendy Park is my main haunt. It’s the first beach I fell in love with when I moved to the area. It’s off the same exit as Cleveland’s most popular beach yet, somehow, manages to be worlds different. Waves wash in all sorts of random things from pottery to drift wood to miscellaneous trash. Sometimes there’s even an abundance of beach glass as well but not all of it is as worn down as I’d like.

I’m a big fan of Wendy Park because it’s fairly quiet (and of course, because I find lots of fun stuff in the sand!) Every once in a while I’ll show up and there will be a bunch of people but the majority of the time it’s usually just me and a random dog walker. At the park beside the beach you’ll find a neat view of the city, and a pier that leads out to the old coast guard station that is currently being renovated.

Best for : trash, driftwood, pottery pieces + birdwatching

Bradstreet’s Landing

22400 Lake Rd, Rocky River, OH 44116

I discovered Bradstreet’s Landing shortly before moving to the area and actually regularly took the hour drive just to come here. I had never seen as much beach glass as I was finding here. I was used to finding four to five pieces of glass per trip but at Bradstreet’s I could fill a sandwich baggie in an hour or so.

Depending on what time of the day you go, Bradstreet’s Landing can get kind of crowded. It’s an older, friendly crowd though. A great spot if you’re a social beachcomber who likes to chitchat. Even when there are others there, it’s still super easy to find lots of great pieces of glass!

Best for : beach glass

Perkins Beach

Upper Edgewater Park – 41.48752919,-81.75115557

I found Perkins Beach by accident. We were geocaching around the area and one led us to this quiet little beach. It was getting dark but I liked the view of the city I could see so I made it a point to go back the next day to check out the beach. What a great discovery that was!

I almost already regret sharing this spot because the beach glass here is so good! There isn’t a lot of really large pieces but the small pieces that cover the shoreline are perfectly frosted. I have never seen such beautiful glass in person as I find at this beach. There’s also an abundance tiny blue pieces!

Best for : beach glass, driftwood + a great view of the city

beachcombing in Cleveland, OHbeach glass from Perkins Beach

an hours worth of glass from Perkins Beach

A couple honorable mentions…
(Not included in the top three mostly because of distance to Cleveland.)
Mentor Headlands. People rave about the beach glass here. I’ve never had great luck but I think Mentor Headlands has some seriously impressive rocks!
Sherod Park Beach. To be honest, I only recently discovered this beach. Consequently, I can’t really give a fair review of the beachcombing scene there. I actually didn’t see much beach glass at all. The reason it makes the list though? I found my first marble there. I will say that there were lots of great rocks as well!

Two last things before ending this post!

  1. If you see a green haired girl hunched over searching for treasures at the beach, please say ‘hi!’ I’d love to meet other folks who enjoy poking around in the sand!
  2. Pass on the knowledge! Know of a neat ‘trash beach’ near you? Let me know! Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, finding these places online isn’t easy, it’s almost like you just have to be in the know which isn’t really possible if you’re just traveling through somewhere. I’m always looking for new places to add my to-visit list. If you’d rather keep it a secret, feel free to email me.

Good luck!

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  • I mainly hit the dog beach (i like to take my dog there) and eventually found so much glass i stopped collecting. Unless i spot a large piece in an unusual color.

  • Thank you for the tips on beach combing. We were in Cleveland for a few days to see the Kusama exhibit (so very cool), and beach combing was so much fun. We are used to the east coast beaches, so finding this much beautiful beach glass was a treat – quite on par with shark teeth and other fossils. I’m used to bring an extra bag for trash, but I wasn’t prepared for the amount that is seen on Lake Erie. I agree what a shame – what if everyone just brought an extra bag to pick up stuff
    and then disposed of it correctly.

  • If you come all the way over to Sherod, go a bit further to Lion’s Park in Sandusky. Very rocky and I find good stuff there especially over by the trees. Be careful though as I have run into tweakers there. PS my SIL found a marble on “my” beach. I fainted with jealousy – couldn’t believe it. We don’t normally get that stuff.

  • I really love Rocky River beach, always find tons of glass there… also vermilion beach is always filled with treasures and definitely worth the trip! I miss Cleveland so much and whenever I visit I hit up the beaches just to find beach glass. I live near the Gulf of Mexico now and ironically never find “sea glass”. Thx!

  • Love your post! Was at Kelley’s Island beach today. I’m an addicted sheller and beach glass finder. Never had been where the beach was rocky. Started pushing layers away with my foot. Decided a piece of driftwood would be helpful. WOW! My husband and I got a big haul, including a few pieces of pottery and blue glass! Loved your post! I think we would be good friends!😊Holly H. High

  • Hi Kaylah! I too am a lover of beach/lake glass. My husband and I just had our vacation on Kelley’s Island and found beach glass there. I enjoyed your article and who knows you may see me combing your areas! 😉

  • Thanks for your great info, We are getting ready to do some traveling in that area. I love that you see art in “trash” from the beach. We are looking forward to doing some beachcombing.