A Treasure Hunt on the Oregon Coast Starts Next Month

Search for blown glass floats in this 20-year Oregon Coast tradition.

Ever wanted to be a pirate/Goonie, but without the death traps and/or toothlessness?

Well, there's going to be a treasure hunt. On the beach. In Lincoln City.

Starting on October 15, Lincoln City "Float Fairies" will place 3,000 handcrafted blown glass floats from local artists on the beach, from Roads End on the north to Siletz Bay on the south. If you find one, it's yours.

This year will mark the 20th anniversary of Finders Keepers, put on by the local government of Lincoln City, presumably to lure in tourists during the cold and rainy months. Consider it PirateLite™—no pillaging, plundering, scurvy or lawlessness, but plenty of booty.

The floats will be hidden throughout the winter, with this year's hunt ending next May, on Memorial Day.

Related: The Ultimate Bucket List of Essential Oregon Coast Experiences

Glass floats were originally used by Japanese ships and fisherman, who would use the them to float their nets. Beachcombers would then find them washed up on shores. Now, ships use buoyant plastic, but many floats are still adrift in the Pacific.

Here are some tips from Lincoln City for the hunt:

  • Floats can be found above the high tide line and below the beach embankment
  • Floats are placed on the beach during daylight hours only.
  • Floats are hidden throughout the day, not just at one time.
  • Floats are out there every day rain or shine. On rare occasions weather and ocean conditions can create unsafe situations, official notice of any cancellations will be made on our social media channels and website.
  • Start your hunt at public beach access points.
  • During special drops we place other kinds of glass art, look for sand dollars, sea stars, shells, crabs and coins too
  • If you find an official numbered float, the registration number is located on or near the “button” on the underside.

When you find an official numbered float, call the city at 800-452-2151 to register your treasure. You'll receive a Certificate of Authenticity and information about the artist who crafted your float.

Related: Where To Eat on the Oregon Coast

These are all the artists participating:

Alder House Glassblowing: Treasure Collupy, Lincoln City, OR

The Edge Art Gallery: Ryan Bledsoe and Amanda Williams, Newport, OR

Fernhill Glass: Claude Kurtz, Astoria, OR

Flanigans Glass Gallery: Brett Flanigan, Lincoln City, OR

Gathering Glass Studio: Keith Gabor, Ashland, OR

Glass Oasis: Paris Birdwell, Otis, OR

Glass Quest: Mark and Marcus Ellinger, Stanwood, WA

Jennifer Sears Glass Art Studio: Kelly Howard, Jon Meyers, Daniel Millen, and James Benson, Lincoln City, OR

Oregon Coast Glassworks: William Murphy, Newport, OR

Related: The Best 10 Clam Chowders on the Oregon Coast, From Astoria to Yachats

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