Home Dream Travel Dream of Shells? Best Shelling Beaches In Florida are on Sanibel Island

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Dream of Shells? Best Shelling Beaches In Florida are on Sanibel Island

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When I see shells drizzled on the path towards the beach, my heart skips a beat. It is one of my favourite things to do during a beach vacation, and I can’t seem to stop. It starts off with a healthy walk along the ocean shore, but before I know it I start squatting, and my hands start filling up with little shells.

Best shelling beachings sanibel islands

I know I’m not alone. Shelling is a favorite travel past time, and some travellers will go far and wide in the quest for the perfect shelling destination.

Beach across from Sunset Grill Sanibel Island Florida

Sanibel Islands The Top of all Lists for Best Shelling

Recently I took a trip to the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Islands. I have never been before and the first thing I learned about it – is it is a sheller’s paradise. Beaches lined with over 400 species of shells.

Best Shelling Beaches in Florida Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Islands

I started my quest on Fort Myers Beach right in front of my hotel. We landed late in the afternoon, the tide was high, but that was not going to stop me from going on a beach walk. Within minutes my collection had begun.

Best Shelling Beaches in Florida Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Islands

By far the best shells I collected on my trip were on Sanibel Island. The condition of the shells was also better as there were many conch shells intact and larger clamshells for the picking in a variety of colours.

Best Shelling Beaches in Florida Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Islands

It was also a great spot for shelling during a sunset.

It is a shell collector's dream a beach filled with exotic shells. Often on the top of best shelling beaches in travel magazines, the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Islands feature over 400 species of shells on their shores. | #shells #shelling #florida #sanibel #beach |

Tips on Shelling in Fort Myers and Sanibel Island

  • Best time of day to go shelling depends on the tide. We know that Low tide is the best as many shells are brought into the beach during high tide.
  • Tides can be stronger during a full or new moon making this is an excellent time for you to shell.
  • If it storms on your beach vacation – the bright side is that after the storm ends during low tide, there might be some great shells on your beach.
  • Look for sandbars, curved inlets on the beach you are visiting. These often accumulate more shells.

Shell collection from walk on Sanibel Island

  • On Sanibel Island – you will find the most significant accumulation of shells (due to how the island is situated in the gulf. For smaller mini shells hit Lighthouse beach on Sanibel Island, for larger conch type shells make your way out to Captiva Island.
  • Rinse off your shells before packing them in your suitcase to avoid having a fishy smelling bag.
  • Bring a watertight bag with you to store your shells for transport.
  • Pack bubble wrap for more delicate specimens.

Beach across from Sunset Grill Sanibel Island Florida

Florida Law on Shelling and Commitment to Seashell Preservation

Sanibel and Captiva Islands are refuge islands that preserve wildlife and collection of shells is included in these laws. This is not to discourage shellers from shelling on the beaches in the Ft. Myers and Sanibel Islands region but to protect the “chain of life” for wildlife in the area.

All shelling is prohibited in J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, located on Sanibel Island. All live shelling is forbidden in the State of Florida. Live shells are any specimen containing an inhabitant, whether or not it appears to be alive.

Note: sand dollars, starfish and sea urchins are alive when in the water and pulling them out of the water to add to your collection is not shell collecting but killing a living thing. You can tell if a sand dollar or starfish is alive as it will have small hair-like tentacles that move when you pick it up.

Florida also asks that avid sheller’s limit their shell collection. While there are many shells on these beaches, shelling them by the bucket load is frowned upon. Pick your favourite specimens and move on.

Planning a trip to Sanibel Islands? Check out these posts:

I recommend these Fort Myers Beach hotels
Sandpiper Gulf Resort Fort Myers BeachPink Shell Beach Resort Fort Myers Beach Florida
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It is a shell collector's dream a beach filled with exotic shells. Often on the top of best shelling beaches in travel magazines, the Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Islands feature over 400 species of shells on their shores. | #shells #shelling #florida #sanibel #beach |

Travel assistance provided by The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Visitor & Convention Bureau, however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Sharon Mendelaouihttps://www.dailydream360.com
Sharon Mendelaoui is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer, passionate photographer and creative designer. She is the founder and publisher of dreamtravel360.com, a Canadian travel and lifestyle website featuring our favourite travel destinations, fashion and beauty tips and a selection of lifestyle articles, reviews and posts on everything you may need to live a balanced Daily Dream 360° life.

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