Question: We want to visit a beach where we can find some great shells in Florida. Can you recommend a beach?
The best beaches to find shells in Florida are on the west central Gulf coast and southwest Gulf coast. Other beaches may have shells, but not of the abundance and quality as those found on the sandy beaches of the Gulf coast peninsula.
Most of the beaches from Dunedin south to Marco Island have nice shells, but a few stand out as being consistently better.
Here are the top beaches for shelling:
Sanibel Island, especially Blind Pass
Remember that you should not take live shells (shells with a living organism still inside). That includes living sand dollars you find in the water.
The best time to find shells is at low tide after a period of strong winds. This may occur after a tropical storm or hurricane in the Gulf, or after a cold front passes through. If you really want to get the best shells, you need to arrive at the beach at daybreak or sooner. Not all beach access points are open at that time, so plan accordingly.
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