Are you excited to find the best shelling beaches in Florida? No matter if shelling is part of your lifestyle or just a hobby. Our guide introduces you to the best shelling beaches in the sunshine state.
We’ve identified over 30 of the best shelling beaches in Florida to find a variety of colorful and interesting sea shells for serious shellers. It’s worth noting that each beach attracts different shells and the selection on any given beach changes from day to day. This is why we recommend checking the tide charts for each beach for getting out!
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Here’s our list of the best shelling beaches in Florida to find your personal treasures.
Best Shelling Beaches Gulf Coast Florida
If you are looking for the best shelling near Sarasota Florida you should definitely try Anna Maria Island
Best Shelling in Florida near Sarasota – Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is a favorite shelling spot. People from all over the world come to Anna Maria Island for the shells.
“Manatee Public Beach
Location: 4000 State Road 64 and Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Located at the end of State Route 64 this is one of the favorite beaches for locals and tourists alike. You’re bound to find plenty of pretty shells in the sand here to take home with you.
Palmetto Avenue Beach
Location: 100 Palmetto Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
You can turn off Gulf Drive onto Palm Ave or Magnolia Ave to find this stellar and pristine park area. You may be able to find parking by Gulf Blvd.
More secluded and unspoiled than some other beaches in the area, you’re more likely to find some special shells that are more intact than some of the other nearby beaches. Explore the foliage for some long-hidden shells. Sometimes you can find shells that no one else has spotted yet, and many of them are still full and unbroken.
Location: 316 N Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216
If you’re looking for some bigger shells to bring home from your vacation, this is the spot to go. Located on North Bay Boulevard, this beach is known for having smaller waves than a lot of the other areas. This makes for bigger and more intact shells than other spots.
This is one of the northern most beaches in Anna Maria Island, and many people miss it on their trips to explore the area. It does not even have a formal address.
There’s mostly local foot traffic here, meaning a lot of people aren’t looking for shells, so your competition will keep to a minimum. Another secluded spot, many of the shells here remain untouched. If you know where to look and stay patient, you’ll even be able to find some large, beautiful, pink colored conch shells.
Coquina Public Beach
Location: Gulf Dr S, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Go to the opposite end of the island on the south end and explore Coquina Beach for your shelling experience. Lots of locals frequent this spot too, so you’ll be able to talk to some experienced “shellers” to help you out.” Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island is also great for shark teeth hunting.”
If you are looking for best shelling near Sarasota Florida you should also consider these beaches.
Nokomis – One of the Best Shelling beaches in Florida
“The beaches in Nokomis along Casey Key are among the best local beaches for shelling. Right next to the jetty at North Jetty Beach, which is at the south end of Casey Key, a huge pile of shells and shell fragments often forms along the rocks and shoreline. Grab your pail or bag and enjoy the hunt!
Lido is one of Sarasota County’s most popular beaches and is walking distance to Sarasota’s renown St. Armands Circle shopping district. Start the day by shelling at Lido in the morning. Arrive early enough to beat the crowds.”
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Best Shelling near Sarasota Florida – Venice, Manasota Key
Manasota Key is not only popular for shelling but also known for its fossilized shark teeth. If you have not tried this, it’s a must while in the Sarasota area. Head to any of the Venice and Manasota Beach access points and the treasures await you.
Best Shelling Southwest Florida
Sanibel – Number One of the Best Shelling Beaches in Florida
Sanibel Island is located near Fort Myers and one of the best places in Florida for collecting seashells. Some call it “Shelling Capital of the World”.
On this barrier island, shells cover the beaches. The island is great for a quiet, leisurely trip full of healthy walks on the beach. Check our “Ultimate Guide To The Beaches of Sanibel” to decide where to go. As parking can get expensive, you want to consider getting a “Sanibel Island Beach Parking Permits.”
Here are some shells you might find while shelling:
- Lightning Whelk
If you enjoy a healthy lifestyle, consider renting a bike and avoid parking stress. These are Sanibel`s best bike rides.
Cayo Costa State Park
Cayo Costa is located along the Gulf of Mexico and only accessible by boat. It is one of the largest barrier islands in Florida with 9 miles of unspoiled beach as the island has no developments. Some people say it has one of the best shelling beaches in the world. If you want to join a cruise with others, check Captiva Cruises` half day tours. Definitely one of the best shelling beaches in Florida.
Captiva Island Florida
Captiva Island is one of the very best places in the state of Florida for collecting shells. It is a regular and recurring destination of serious shell collectors from all over the country. Captiva beaches are regularly renourished. So some years they appear wide and others they are very narrow. Parking can be a very serious issue so please check our guide here. A good and easy way to find shells and parking is to visit the Sunday service at the Chapel by the Sea and take a few shells home after church.
Are you looking for the best shelling beaches in Naples? Keep on reading.
Lovers Key – Best Shelling Beaches Florida
Lovers Key is located in the Fort Myers Beach area, between Big Carlos Pass and New Pass and 10.5 miles (16.9 km) west of Interstate 75 on exit 116. To be even more precise the state park lies within the city limits of Bonita Springs and is just north of Bonita Beach and is accessible by car. Check fees per vehicle here. There are over two miles of sugar-sand beaches at Lovers Key State Park. The beach is famous for the beautiful ROSE PETAL TELLINS and ANGEL WING shells.
Barefoot Beach in Naples is on many shell collectors’ radar. The reason is that you can find many treasures like corals, alphabet cones, arks, bonnets, bubbles, conches and paws, from the tiny Kitten’s Paw to the giant Lion’s Paw. Naples also offers shelling trips if you prefer a more organized way of treasure hunting.
Best Shelling Marco Island – TigerTail Beach
TigerTail Beach is one of the best beaches on Marco Island for shelling. Tigertail Beach was named one of the top private beaches in the world to visit. Shell collectors especially love the northern end as it is far less crowded. Check here for Marco Island shell identification.
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Best Seashell Beaches at the Gulf Coast of Florida – Tampa Bay Area
Egmont Key State Park
Egmont Key state park is accessible only by boat. It is located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, southwest of Fort DeSoto Beach. If you decide to go shelling here, keep in mind that there is no drinking water on the island and there are no stores. Thus remember to bring water, food and sunscreen when you visit.
Caladesi Island State Park
If you’re looking for another secluded beach, consider a trip to the Caladesi Island State Park in the Tampa Bay Area. Caladesi Island is located across St. Joseph Sound to the west of Dunedin, Florida, and north of Clearwater Beach. You can only reach this beach by boat or ferry.
Shell collectors can find many different types of shells including conchs, whelks and olives. Please note that live shelling is prohibited.
Honeymoon Island is a short drive from Tampa. There are approximately four miles of beaches where you can find plenty of different shells not only on the beach. Check here for vehicle fees and how to buy a day pass. Honeymoon Island is one of the Best Shelling Beaches Florida.
Best Seashell Beaches in Northwest Florida
If you travel to the far northwestern tip of the state, Navarre Beach offers you solitude and simplicity to go shelling. Because Navarre Beach is famous for its crystal clear swimming emerald waters, people love snorkeling for shells.
Shell island beach is only a few minutes south of bustling Panama City Beach Florida. You can take the Shell Island Shuttle over from St. Andrews State Park to spend a day on pure white sand to search for amazing shells.Shell island might not be as great as Sanibel but it is still one of the best shelling beaches Florida.
Best Seashell Beaches in Florida Keys
Some people say shelling and the Keys do not mix. But there are some spots on Siesta Key where you should be lucky at some point as long as you stay near the water.
Turtle Beach (8862 Midnight Pass Road) is a very nice option. It is not too crowded and offers parking, bathrooms, showers, and other facilities. It’s ideal for shelling with the coarser sand and many people have some nice finds.
Point of Rocks
Point of Rocks (6900 Point of Rocks Road) is an isolated beach that is a great option to go shelling. The many small and large rocks in this natural formation house some rather beautiful seashells.
Shell Beach is located on the far western end of N Shell Road on the northern end of the island. The beach has its name for a reason. This beach is a little for collecting big shells.
This beach is very busy but some people recommend this beach to find beautiful sea glass.
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Best Beaches for Shells on East Coast Florida
Are you looking for the best shelling at the Atlantic coast of Florida? Here are your Options!
Amelia Island State Park – Best Shelling near Jacksonville
Amelia Island State Park is an easy drive from Jacksonville or Fernandina Beach. Collectors can find a multitude of species, including clam, scallop, oyster and periwinkle. Check here for fees.
Little Talbot Island State Park – Best Shelling near Jacksonville
Little Talbot Island is one of a handful of undeveloped barrier islands remaining in Northeast Florida. It has more than 5 miles of pristine beaches and is known for being the home to dozens of shell varieties. Collectors can find a multitude of species, including clam, scallop, oyster and periwinkle, as well as fossilized shark teeth.
Flager Beach – Best Shelling near Daytona Beach
Flagler Beach is located between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine. It’s quiet relaxing shore is suitable for shelling. But you need to know that the sands there are pink from the crushed shells which means that you will only find smaller shells.
Jupiter island – Best Shelling near Palm Beach
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. The beach is known for a shell called SPECTRAL BITTERSWEETS that is also very common in Southwest Florida.
Best Shelling near Daytona Beach
Hunting for seashells is a time-honored tradition of vacationers in the Daytona Beach area. You can find clam shells, oyster shells, kitten’s paws, conchs, scallops, cockleshells, sand dollars, whelks, olive shells and so many more!
Best Shelling near Fort Lauderdale and Miami
The offshore reefs seem to keep the larger shells off the beach for the most part, but you still get a good variety of smaller specimens and fragments of larger ones at most beaches.
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A Word from healthylifestyleflorida.com
No matter if shelling is part of your healthy lifestyle or just a fun activity. From the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Coast, from busy beaches to hidden coves and secluded gems, Florida is home of great options for shelling and beachcombing. Check here for a Map of Florida beaches.
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