Today I was asked which are the best shelling beaches in Florida and found this list!
Top Ten Florida Beaches for Seashells
Posted by Jody on February 28, 2012
Laura Hoot from HomeAway
Look no further than Florida for some of the best seashell collecting in the country. Throughout the Sunshine State there are beaches with lovely shells and sea glass that are worth planning a trip around. Some travelers will prefer beaches with oceanfront vacation rentals, while others might prefer lesser-known beaches or protected state parks for a serene experience. Whatever type of beach you crave, you’ll find a match in Florida.
1. Sanibel Island
Located near Fort Myers, Sanibel Island is one of the best places in Florida for collecting seashells. On this barrier island, shells cover the beaches. The island is also appealing for its wildlife, great restaurants, and low-key development. Here you can expect a quiet, leisurely trip full of good walks on the beach.
2. Caladesi Island State Park
If you’re looking for protected state beaches, plan a trip to the Caladesi Island State Park in the Tampa Bay Area. You can’t reach this beach by car — only by boat — leaving the quiet beach yours to explore. There are great shells here and it is a popular spot for swimming and picnics too.
3. Captiva Island
Often considered one of the very best places in the whole state for collecting shells, many people return to Captiva year after year looking for the next great find.
4. Cedar Key
Another option on the Gulf Coast is Cedar Key. This beach is especially great at low tide when you can explore all the tidal pools for shells. The fact that you need a boat to reach this small island also means fewer crowds on the beautiful beach.
5. Panama City Beach
There is also some great shelling at the panhandle at places such as the aptly named Shell Island off of Panama City Beach. Access the island with one of the many shuttles or tour boats for about $20 a person.
6. Venice Beach
If you’re on the hunt for shark’s teeth, check out Venice Beach south of Sarasota. If you have any kids that are big shark fans, this is the place to be.
7. Little Talbot Island State Park
One great option on the Atlantic Coast is Little Talbot Island State Park, located north of Jacksonville. This beach is known for being the home to dozens of shell varieties. While many visitors congregate around the boardwalks looking for shells, you will have a more serene experience if you venture north to the long stretches of empty beaches.
8. Honeymoon Island
Another beach near Tampa for shelling is Honeymoon Island. Here you and your kids can hunt for sand dollars and other interesting shells. The clear waters on the Gulf Coast make it possible to look for shells not just on the beach, but within the first few feet of where the water meets the beach as well.
9. Jupiter Island
Located north of West Palm Beach on the Atlantic side, Jupiter Island also has a large variety of shells. Coral Cove State Park is on Jupiter Island and over 200 varieties of shells have reportedly been found here. By paying the entry fee you are also ensuring the beach will be preserved for future generations.
10. Fernandina Beach
Fernandina Beach is located on Amelia Island. This is another beach popular for shark’s teeth. Many visitors are surprised at the sheer number of shells here. Expect to sort through piles of shells to find unbroken, colorful, or other special shells that appeal to you.
From the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast, from busy beaches to hidden coves, Florida is full of great options for shelling. Get your bucket and head to the beach!