Beachcombing Basics

Go where the pros go for coastal treasure, from sea glass to driftwood to shimmery fishing floats.

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Petrified Lightning
Photo: Ted Tucker

Petrified Lightning

Best place to find it: Nags Head, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Why here: Wide expanses of beach, such as those along North Carolina’s barrier islands, are prone to intense lightning strikes, which melt the quartz in the sand into thin tubular or amoeba-like shapes also called fulgurites.

Don’t miss: Jockey’s Ridge State Park, the tallest natural sand dune on the East Coast, is a good spot for finding fulgurites. Don’t remove any specimens you find on state property, though: The park is a protected natural area. You can also visit the park museum to see fulgurites on display. For more information call 252/441-7132, or visit


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