Who doesn’t secretly wish they were a treasure hunter? And what is metal detecting, if not treasure hunting?
Searching for buried goodies is a fun way to release your inner treasure hunter, even if only for a day. It’s also a fun vacation memory. If you’re visiting 30A, you may want to give metal detecting a try. The beaches can be glorious treasure troves—great places to find unique, hidden prizes. You could discover coins, buttons, toys, jewelry, or anything else. The possibilities are nearly endless. In 2018, a Santa Rosa Beach local even found, and returned, a Louisiana woman’s lost wedding ring. Of course, even if you don’t find anything, much of the fun is in the hunt and anticipation of what could be buried beneath your feet in the sand.
Before you start your own metal detecting adventures on the Emerald Coast, make sure you’re aware of the rules when in the area. Fortunately, there are few regulations regarding Metal Detecting on 30A. Metal detecting is permitted on the 30A beaches without a permit. However, as always, be sure to keep off the sand dunes. Private property, of course, is off-limits. While national parks are restricted against the use of metal detectors, state parks allow detecting between “the waterline and toe of the dune, as determined by the park manager, except at archaeological sites within the zone.” Check with a park ranger to be sure you’re detecting in appropriate areas, and you should be good to go!
Now that you know where to explore, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your metal detecting experience:
- Buy or rent a good metal detector. Headphones can help filter out extraneous and distracting noise.
- Search places where people congregate, as these areas are more likely to have some goodies.
- Look for the high-tide line. Here, the soft sand can often lead to productive finds.
- Head out after a storm comes through, as the strong wave action can pick up objects and deposit them right on the beach.
- Get an early start by being one of the first hunters on the beach. Conversely, late evening is also a great time to search, as the beach is relatively empty.
After you’ve found some treasure, you might be asking, “Can I keep it?” In general, you can usually keep anything you dig up. Generally, discoveries made on Florida beaches fall under the “finders-keepers” rule, as long as it was found on land. Though, if you find items such as keys or what seems like valuable jewelry, we encourage you to turn them in. Items that are 50 years or older are considered historical and are, by law, owned by the state of Florida. If you find anything that may fit this description, leave it be and report your discovery to the Division of Historical Resources or the Bureau of Archaeological Research.
Throughout the states, metal detecting organizations and clubs have codes of ethics that their members are required to uphold. Whether or not you’re a member of one of these organizations, you are encouraged to adhere to a similar code of ethics. These often include respecting property and natural resources, refilling holes, disposing of discovered garbage, reporting items of significance, etc. As with most outdoor recreation activities, it all comes down to being respectful of your surroundings and being a positive representative of the metal detecting community.
Metal detecting is just one of the many fun activities to try while vacationing on the coast. Whether you’re on a romantic getaway with your one and only, or you’re on a family getaway, hunting for treasure can create wonderful, lifelong memories. And who knows what cool things you might find to bring home with you!
If you’ve already booked your stay at one of our properties, reach out to our knowledgeable staff with any questions you might have about metal detecting in the area, or any other coastal experiences you’d like to try. If you haven’t yet booked your stay, browse our wide selection of rental homes and start planning your vacation. We can’t wait to help you maximize your 30A experience!