Lonely Planet Writer

Oregon residents take to the coast for unique 'Finders Keepers' treasure hunt

The people of Lincoln City, Oregon are readying themselves for a unique treasure hunt season that sees participants taking to the beach to search for beautifully handcrafted glass orbs that wash in with the tide.

The event sees hand crafted glass floats being hidden in the ocean and around the beach every day.
The event sees handcrafted glass floats being hidden in the ocean and around the beach every day. Image by Cody Cha

The unique treasure hunt is called Finders Keepers, and takes place annually on a seven-mile stretch of beach from Roads End to Siletz Bay. Each year from mid-October through to Memorial Day, nearly 3000 colourful blown glass floats made by local artisans are dropped in the ocean for the event. This year the hunt will run from 22 October onwards, celebrating its 18th year.

The popular event takes place along a seven-mile stretch of beach and brings many visitors to the area.
The popular event takes place along a seven-mile stretch of beach and brings many visitors to the area. Image by Bob Gibson

The floats can be found above the high tide line and below the beach embankment, with new ones being hidden every day during bright hours. Hunters who find a float get to keep it and special glass art drops are scheduled to take place throughout the next few months. The special drops will include a combination of antique Japanese glass floats, sand dollars, crabs, starfish and holiday themed floats. On opening weekend, a jumbo float will be hidden somewhere in the vicinity with a prize package attached.

The treasure hunt will take place from October 22 until May 29.
The treasure hunt will take place from 22 October until  29 May.

One of the many artists taking part in the programme is William Murphy from Oregon Coast Glassworks, who ensures a high standard in the treasures that are found. “We use five to six colour mixes, which results in a premium quality glass float. Each one is given a personal touch and we put a lot of love and care into making them,” he said. Some of his floats that can be seen on the beach include green watermelon ones and red fireballs.

 

More information on the schedule can be found at the Oregon Coast website.