Shell-lovers from all over the world make pilgrimages to tiny Sanibel Island on Florida ’s Gulf Coast, considered the best shelling spot in North America. No two beaches offer the same shells, nor does one beach offer the same selection from day to day, but the rewards of this treasure hunting process reveal a collection of unblemished beauties. and privacy policy. Luckily, there’s a place right here in Texas where we can relive those cherished … and last updated 2019-06-18 10:39:02-04. A sea glass beach in Santa Rosa County, Navarre Beach in Pensacola is a romantic escape from the hustle and bustle of more popular beach areas. Other fossils found in the area include fish vertebrae and fossilized shells. It is a shell collector’s dream. To improve your chances of finding those delicate coquinas, and cockles, conchs, sand dollars and those rare scotch bonnets, hit the beach at low tide when there is more beach … SHELLING HOT SPOTS. Offering some of the best shelling in the Tampa region, Fort De Soto Beach is home to a huge variety of shells. You can never run out of things to do here apart from shelling. Best of all, it’s free. Its shallow waters and beaches are so favored by shellers that their bent-over, shell-hunting body position has been dubbed the “Sanibel stoop.” If you'd like to bring some sea shells home with you, your best … Check local charts for your area to see when the water will be lowest. The sand is white, soft, and amazing; so it doesn't make the best beach to look for sea shells. It's a pastime for some. A ferry runs from Honeymoon Island to the Caladesi Island which makes it not so difficult as some other islands, but you have to pay the ferryman. The beaches are nicely deserted in the late fall, winter, and early spring months, so shell hunters can find a wealth of fantastic finds with little competition. Take the ferry to Egmont Key, where you can spend a quiet afternoon scouring through piles of shells that have washed up to the shoreline. The curve shaped Sanibel Island is along the coastline among a string of other more orderly, straight-and-narrow islands. I have had good luck finding shells, including sand dollars there. The Beaches of Fort Myers … So as you wander down those long, endless stretches of white sand, keep your eyes peeled for the perfect shell. Known as the “Shelling Capital of the World”, Sanibel is by far the most popular destination in Florida for shelling. Picking up shells on the beach can be a fun activity for all ages, a sort of real-life version of the fantasy of digging for buried treasure. STARTING POINTS FOR SHELLING. The best shelling is found on the beaches of Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. 7-Nt Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Nieuw Statendam, SC is Open | Up to 40% Off Carolina Winds Resort, SC is Open | hotel BLUE Myrtle Beach up to 45% Off, SC is Open | Sea Watch Resort Save up to 40%, FL | Up to 25% off Compass Hotel Anna Maria Island, 3-Nt Bahamas Cruise on Navigator of the Seas, 9-Day River Cruise Up to $5,800 Off | 100% Refundable, SC is Open | Save Up To 40% Landmark Resort, SC is Open | Free Night at Beach Cove Resort, Hotel RIU Palace Paradise Island | All-Inclusive, SC is Open | Free Night at Captain's Quarters, SC is Open! In low lying Carolina Beach and adjacent areas / islands, a low tide is arguably the best time to find shells that have freshly washed ashore. Aside from the archeological goodies on Egmont Key, walking the beach will fill your shelling bag, and quite quickly. So are there enough shells? © 2015 Florida Beach Rentals, All Rights Reserved. South of Old Orchard Beach is a beach called Bayview, which is near a convent.There is a small parking lot across the street. You can find shells to leave at the site or take with you along the park's beach. What the heck is a love bug and why are they so annoying? Scotch bonnets are prized discoveries in these parts, so keep your eye out for the yellow, orange, or brown mottled shells, which are two to four inches long. A great place to find conch shells, Sand Key Park in Clearwater is a haven for shell collectors. The best times to look for shells and fossils are on an outgoing tide, during a new or full moon, and after … The other timing you might want to watch for is low tide. Hiram’s Resort in Florida, 16 Kid-Friendly Airbnbs for Family Vacations in Florida, 9 Ways to Enjoy a Fall Getaway at Capt. This article will cover our stomping grounds of Tampa Bay, where we have personally gone to collect our shells. Sitting on the southern edge of the island is Coquina Beach, its soft white sand and clear waters offer plenty of shelling opportunities. Turkey wing shells, lightning whelk shells and keyhole limpet shells can be found along the quiet shores, as a landscape of thousands of seashells offers the perfect afternoon activity for the entire family. popular destination in Florida for shelling, Top 15 Under-the-Radar Travel Destinations, Top 15 Vacation Rentals for a Florida Keys Road Trip, Eat, Drink and Be Merry This Holiday Season at Capt. Shelling is a favorite outdoor activity on Florida’s beloved Anna Maria Island. Head to Blind Pass Beach on Sanibel or take a trip to nearby Cayo Costa State Park on Captiva Island. By subscribing I agree to the terms and privacy policy. The park also has 20 modern cabins … Sanibel Island is the most famous shelling spot in The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. The beaches are better traveled now, more visitors understanding the joy of walking the shores. Visit during low tide to peruse the shells that have washed up ashore, where you’ll find sand dollars and small pieces of smooth and beautifully frosted green and white colored glass. It was first used as a recreational island with two hotels … Nicknamed the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World”, this beach offers unique souvenirs that date back millions of years. The Central Gulf Coast is the area of Florida from Tampa Bay regional beaches down to greater Naples region. Non-motorized craft should be operated by those with some experience because of distance, waves, wind, and motorized boat traffic. Make a stop at unspoiled Tigertail Beach on the north side of the island, where it’s possible to collect a vast array of beautiful, exotic shells during your excursion. Depending on how the waves have impacted the shore, you might find them in heaps. The best time to collect seashells is before someone else gets there! Tigertail Beach is the most well-known shelling spot on Marco Island. Like tiny washed up treasures, the colorful seashells that line many of Florida’s top beaches can be discovered on a peaceful day of beachcombing. Sundial Beach Resort and Spa, Sanibel - A fun and affordable family destination right on the beach, with lots of activities for the kids, or none at all for you :-) The Sundial has a well-deserved reputation as one of Sanibel's best hotels.Find the best rates and details.. Casa Ybel Resort - Not only is Casa Ybel … We have no need to run through the list of Florida shells for these islands. While you will still have to hunt for the big, dazzling shells, you will find no lack of scallops, clams, oysters, and cockles. Search for sand dollars and seabeans, too. Clearwater Beach, Sand Key, Indian Rocks, Redington, Madeira, Treasure Island and St Pete Beach all receive tourism traffic but enjoy ample sea life as well. Afterward, you can enjoy a quiet morning of birdwatching, kayaking or canoeing or visit nearby attractions. The shelling hotspots on the island are South Beach or the northern end of Tigertail Beach. These towns and villages are often the best beach locations for finding seashells. Featuring some incredibly clear waters, this beach is a bed to a huge variety of shells. The best time to find shells on the beach is during low tide or when the tide is going out, particularly after a large storm as the bigger waves can wash great finds to the shoreline. That leaves those zones to you, the shell collector. Plan an off-season visit. Other than a few select protected sections of beach, you can pick up shells all around Sarasota, Florida, … Once there your eyes will pop at the shells you find. Once there, you will not have to wonder why this beach is on the list of good shelling locations. Plenty of beaches along the Central Florida Gulf Coast fall under that designation, so let’s get started. 4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, Virginia; 757-301-7329 Look for conch shells, junonia shells, tulip shells and spotted slipper shells. Once you leave the frequently visited parking lot area of the island, headed north, you will head farther and farther into the zones that people don’t often go. This area is quiet and secluded, and its long stretch of beach can be enjoyed with a day of swimming, camping, canoeing and kayaking. Orient Beach State Park. Please fill out highlighted fields and click "Compare Prices" to continue. Located on the pristine Gulf Coast, Navarre Beach is a lesser-known beach paradise that remains one of the best beaches in Florida for shells. 3rd Night Free at Crown Reef Resort, 9-Day Pacific NW River Cruise - Up to $5,800 off, Win a 2021 Beach House Vacation in Myrtle Beach. We'll send you our newsletter with travel destinations, deals, and more! The best catch is usually made a couple of days after the northwesterly wind, and of course, during a low tide. The sugar-white beaches on Marco Island reveal an array of treasures, from lion’s paws to moon shells, coquinas, clams and cockles, which are just some of the 400 shells species that have been found in the area. If you’re looking for a unique place to stay, check out the top Airbnb rentals in the area. Hiram’s Resort in Florida, Search for Treasure Around An Underwater Shipwreck in Vero Beach, Florida. Anclote Key Preserve State Park sees so little traffic, especially Anclote Key, that you might encounter the shelling treasures of a lifetime. Boating is the only option. INFO 631-323-2440. Pier 60 Sugar Sand Festival Strikes Again! 9 Differences between Hotels and Vacation Rentals You Need to Know, 5 Best Places to Escape at Clearwater Beach. Still, the question has arisen, “Where can I find the best shells?”. These beaches have grown in popularity, now that the secret it out. Because of this, the area is well-known by shell hunters all along the East Coast, and regions of the OBX have even appeared on national "Best Shelling Beaches" lists. Starfish go so slowly that their movements are often missed. You can also visit nearby Caladesi Island State Park to stroll the protected beach area and look for shells. Posted at 7:43 AM, May 03, 2017 . *Note: You need to inspect each shell before dropping into your bag, as it is illegal to take live shells from the beach. The Central Gulf Coast is the area of Florida from Tampa Bay regional beaches down to greater Naples region. A pristine beach area that is unspoiled, its underdevelopment means you’ll find plenty of seashells to collect in addition to enjoying a day of swimming, snorkeling and beachcombing. Fort Desoto is accessible by car and Shell Key by boat. You have a chance to find them all. The islands rank tops in the world for shelling because of its geography. Its unique barrier island terrain allows shells to be washed up ashore throughout the year, where shell lovers do the “Sanibel Stoop” and discover pastel coquinas, junonia and lightning whelks. Plan to shell around the low phase of the tide, and search in the “shell line” where the highest waves stop as they deposit groups of shells. Best beaches to collect shells in Naples: Many Naples-area shell enthusiasts insist that Barefoot Beach in Naples Florida Barefoot Beach offers shelling collecting that is superior even to the better-known Sanibel Island to the north of Naples. Not only will you find some of the most pristine beaches in the country, but it’s also a … Looking for seashells is a treasure hunt. The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel are located on the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida. Fort Desoto County Park and Shell Key are side by side barrier islands that have fantastic shelling opportunities. It’s less busy than nearby Clearwater Beach, with opportunities to go fishing and dolphin spotting. Seashells are wonders of nature that you can hold in the palm of your hand—if you can find one. Even the kids will enjoy exploring Venice Beach, as beachgoers of all ages will delight in discovering its collection of prehistoric shark teeth. Barefoot Beach in Naples is on many shell collectors radar, as this 342-acre park makes for a fabulous day of treasure hunting. The park is made up of five islands, with the North Beach the most popular area for shelling, swimming and picnics. You have the choice of walking for a very long way north from Clearwater Beach or taking a boat. Let’s take a look at your options for beaches near St A as the locals call it. Too easy, we know, so let’s break it down. The area is defined by the remarkable white sands that cover the beaches in volume. Where the Heck is Pinellas County and Why Should I Care? Florida boasts some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world. A perfect place to go beachcombing, Fort Myers Beach offers a landscape of frolicking dolphins in the water and an array of birds soaring over your head. How to Market Your Vacation Rental to Millennial’s, TIPS ON CHOOSING THE RIGHT PET-FRIENDLY VACATION HOME, Prepare your vacation home for hurricane season, Tips for parents with teens traveling solo. Look for corals, alphabet cone, arks, bonnets, bubbles, Conches and paws, from the tiny Kitten’s Paw to the giant Lion’s Paw. Shelling on Hutchinson Island is a pleasant activity, as you won’t find the tourist crowds here. Laguna's beaches are a series of sandy coves backed by rocky cliffs, and each beach has a different landscape and personality. Not only will you find fantastic shells, you will also be standing at one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Get our latest advice & deals in your inbox! Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links. Anclote Key Preserve State Park includes the island of Three Rooker Bar, Anclote Key, and North Sand Bar. Its crystal clear waters allow for opportunities to look for sand dollars and other interesting shells along the beach and they’re all within the first few feet of where the water meets the beach. You probably saw that coming but to soothe your disappointment, we will point you in the right direction. You’ll find an abundance of shells on Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach, including sand dollars, junonia shells, and tulip banded shells. The answer is that to get the best shells, you have to do a little extra work. The One Beach In Texas That’s Absolute Paradise If You Love Hunting For Seashells. FEE $10 You can take a shuttle or tour boat from Panama City to the aptly named Shell Island, a tiny oasis that is perfect for when you want to get away from it all. All beaches have shells, but some of the best beaches for shells in Florida are located on the Gulf in southwest Florida. Enjoy beach combing for days by staying at the park's campground, which has electric and water hookups for tents and RVs. The area is defined by the remarkable white sands that cover the beaches in volume. It is rarely crowded, making for a perfect ambiance to relax. Wave-washed shells turn up all over the world, although some of the best beaches for finding them are in the U.S. The entire island is about 32 miles long, but the west end tends to … Free Location Guide To Best Shelling in Sarasota Florida. One of the best places to look for shells in the area is Sea Shell Beach Pocket Park. Here, the sand is powdery soft and white… that is, if you can see it. A favorite family-friendly destination in Florida, you can easily spend a quiet afternoon strolling for treasures and swimming in the calm waters. Oyster shells, moon snails, sand dollars and whelks are common in the area. The best places for seashell collecting are those that are infrequently visited. Here, you’ll find white sandy beaches, crystal clear emerald waters, and miles of ocean without the crowds of tourists found elsewhere. Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon. There are plenty of seashells on the beaches of Sarasota county as well. You can find plenty of seashells in Myrtle Beach, but it’s worth the drive to less-populated beaches like Pawleys Island or Garden City Beach … By subscribing I agree to the terms Kayaks can be rented at the park to help you reach Shell Key. If wandering the beach for seashells and sea glass sounds like your dream beach vacation, then you’ll want to visit the beaches on the southwest side and central Gulf area of Florida. Shells you can find here include murex, zebra periwinkles, scallops, and clams. "Another option," she says, "is wading at low tide to intercept shells before they hit the beach." Morning is best, sunrise even better. Best way to find one as a souvenir. For example, Ocracoke Island was ranked the #2 best shelling beach in the country on Coastal Living magazine's list, second only to the seashell Mecca, Sanibel … Shells no one else will find will appear just beneath your boat. If you are looking for best shelling beaches near tampa, the Fort De Soto Beach can be a great choice. These three islands are uninhabited and have no roads to reach them. During the hot months of summer, the water turns to a striking turquoise hue, lit from above by the more direct rays of the sun that are not present in the winter. You never know what you might find amid the sands of the Florida Gulf Coast. You never know what you’ll find: a delicate angel wing, baby’s ear or even a Scotch bonnet (North Carolina's hard-to-find state shell). Best beaches for shelling in Southwest Florida. You can also find seashells in the more traveled parts of the island, but your chances are better during low tide or … If you can arise early and hit the beach, you will find the shells that will otherwise get picked up by the larger daytime crowds. Happy hunting! And if you rent a kayak, here is the key; cruise the shallow inlets where the water is only a foot deep or so. Be careful to leave living creatures alone, which includes starfish. Discovering the Artificial Reefs of the Florida Gulf Coast, Beach Walk of a Lifetime at Honeymoon Island State Park, 1 Comment on "Shell Collecting in the Clearwater St Pete Area". Spectacle Island used to be two drumlins connected by a small spit of sand but over the many years of use. You can find fighting conch shells, calico scallops, sand dollars, starfish, horse conch shells, moon snail shells, and lightning whelk shells to name a few. That of course, leads to shell collecting. The most common fossils found on area beaches are sharks teeth, which are usually black or dark brown. This is where the best beaches are! We’ll send you our newsletter with travel destinations, deals, and more! Shells with inhabitants should be left alone. With natural and artificial reefs, the shelling and sea glass hunting opportunities are endless here. A combination of pristine beach and pine forest, the beaches on Honeymoon Island offer a dreamy landscape. Sanibel Island is the most famous, and deservedly so. Enjoy a day of soaking up the sunshine and look for shells away from the crowds, where you’ll discover Florida spiny jewel box, tulip banded shells, Florida cones, conches and more. As part of the world’s longest undeveloped barrier island, Packery Channel Beaches on North Padre Island play host to dozens of varieties of seashells including Spiny Jewelboxes, Cayenne Keyhold Limpets, and Atlantic Giant Cockles. Biddeford Pool is a good place to look for sea glass - either the beaches (need a permit, or can pay to park at Hattie's … Caladesi Island State Park is hard to get to. Search for sand dollar shells, lightning whelk shells and jingle shells during the day and sit back and enjoy the stunning sunset views in the evening. Reviews on Sea Shell Beaches in Boston, MA - At less than 4 miles and only a 15 minute ride by boat from downtown Boston is an island with a varied history. Honeymoon Island State Park is another place that has hard to reach parts. Hunting for these shells is one of the best things to do in Marco Island. Keep your eyes sharp in all these locations for things other than shells. Luckily the South has plenty of beaches for picking up those brilliantly colored creations. It is far from the other islands and motorized boats are recommended as reaching it crosses major boating channels. Fossilized sharks teeth are millions of years old. Olive shells – an olive shell is a relatively common but beautiful find that can be spotted throughout the Crystal Coast shoreline. Your best bet is to head to the rock outcrops along the 177-acre Caspersen Park Beach on the south side of the city. Your prized finds here will include lion’s paws, moon shells, lightning whelks, and coquinas. St Augustine beaches have both soft white sand and course shell/pink sand beaches, and one beach is known for abundant sharks teeth finds by beachcombers. The sugar-white beaches on Marco Island reveal an array of treasures, from lion’s paws to moon shells, coquinas, clams and cockles, which are just some of the 400 shells species that have been found in the area. Other potential finds include slipper shells, surf clams, and wentletraps. You would think not, but experience has shown that a walk down the beach will find beautiful shells to collect. The most beautiful souvenirs from a beach vacation in South Carolina also just happen to be the least expensive and the most fun to find: seashells. From world-renown spots to lesser-known destinations, here are the best beaches for shelling in Florida. Lucky finds can still be encountered on our standard beaches, and often are by the fortunate passersby. Egmont Key is the last location on our list. More goodies which you can reach will line the shore. Here you will find miles of beaches that see very few visitors. Measuring just 1-3” long or so, with a long tapered body and equally long opening that caps off with a tight spiral, these shells can be found in the sound waters, ocean waters, or in piles of shells that … The beaches of Virginia Beach are so popular with visitors, and the ocean around the resort so busy with watercraft of all shapes and sizes, the chances of finding these shells intact are as small as the shells themselves. Many secluded and even not-so-secluded shorelines are covered in shells. The northern end takes a long time to reach on foot, leaving boating as the easiest method to reach it. While Fort Desoto receives a large amount of traffic during peak seasons, it still has areas that are hard to reach, or which visitor simply don’t explore. If you do make it to the northern tip of the island, congratulations. Thanks to that, and the great length of the beach, you are virtually guaranteed to find great shells. Walk away from the main parking lot area in any direction and you will encounter a wide variety of shells. A few beaches, like Sanibel Island, are famous for their number and variety of shells, but we found lesser-known beaches in most coastal southern states where you can search for these delicate treasures. We all have fond childhood memories of running along the beach, pail in hand, intently searching the sand for seashells to collect and bring home with us. This article will cover our stomping grounds of Tampa Bay, where we have personally gone to collect our shells. The weather is usually agreeable in this region and basking on the beaches is a slice of heaven. Okay, well to start off, Siesta Key will most likely be crowded, at least the public beach almost always is. Fortunately, a regular ferry departs Fort Desoto for the island. A great place to find seashells is south of Siesta Key on Sanibel Island.It should be less crowded than Siesta Key too, and yes, you … Experts crown Sanibel, off Fort Myers in southwest Florida, as the best U.S. shelling spot, and one of the best in the world. In fact, Oracoke was ranked the second-best beach in America for sea shells in 2007 by Coastal Living Magazine. Here are 5 of the prettiest shells on our beaches: You’ll find a collection of colorful shells in addition to beautiful glass, as the winds and sand dunes here that constantly shift make it an ideal place to discover something new every day, from turkey wing shells to cockle shells, olive shells and jingle shells. Includes the Island, congratulations to stroll the protected beach area and look for conch shells, you encounter... Here will include lion’s paws, moon shells, you might find amid sands... Standard beaches, crystal clear emerald waters, this beach offers unique souvenirs that back! This beach offers unique souvenirs that date back millions of years from shelling laguna 's beaches a! Will pop at the Park is Another place that has hard to get the best is... Experience because of its geography foot, leaving boating as the locals call it major boating.... 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