Shelling is one of the oldest and most relaxing beach activities, enjoyed all around the world. People of all ages and backgrounds can spend hours walking up and down the coast, listening to the waves crashing down, feeling the warmth of the sun on their skin, and keeping their eyes low to the ground, looking for the next perfect shell to add to their collection.
We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
Honeymoon Island, located just a short ways away from Tampa, provides an escape from bustling city life for both tourists and locals alike. Over four miles of beach at one of the most loved state parks of Florida offer plenty of room for fun in the sand. Bicycling, hiking, shelling, fishing, and swimming are popular recreation activities at Honeymoon Island. The state park also features a nature center, where visitors can learn about the natural resources and history of Honeymoon Island, and a trail approximately three miles in length through some of the few virgin slash pine forests that still exist.
1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698
Just north of Sanibel Island sits the long, slender island of Captiva. Captiva and Sanibel were once the same island but got split up in the 1920s after a bad hurricane hit the area. Now, Captiva Island is one of the top shelling destinations in Florida, with countless shells being washed up on the sands all around this island throughout the year. The best time to look for shells at Captiva Island is after a storm.
Just a little drive away from the beautiful coastal city of Naples, Marco Island offers some super shelling opportunities in the Sunshine State. One of the best beaches for shell collecting on this little island is Tigertail, which is situated on the northern part of Marco Island and also features several amenities and even a play area for children.
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If you're looking to do some shelling in Florida, Cayo Costa is a must-visit location, but you'll need to be prepared as it's not actually possible to get to this beach by foot or car. Cayo Costa, located near Captiva and Sanibel, is only accessible by car but is one of the most pristine spots in all of Florida and is consistently filled with gorgeous, untouched shells just waiting to be plucked from the sand. Due to the difficult accessibility of this location, it never gets too crowded, so you can have the place to yourself if you choose the right times.
Not far from the city of Sarasota, Venice Beach is a very unique shelling spot. Why? Well, this beach is actually one of the best places in all of Florida to search for fossilized shark teeth. Plenty of pretty, colorful shells can also be found at this location, which offers gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico. Try looking near the pier for the best shelling results.
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If you're looking to do some shelling on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, Jupiter Island is a great place to be. Not far from West Palm Beach, Jupiter comes with an entry fee that goes towards the conservation of this beautiful beach. More than 200 different kinds of shells have been found on this beach.
Naples beach is best known as a gathering spot for locals and residents to surf, sunbathe, and watch the sunset, but it's not a bad spot for shelling either. The fishing pier is a good spot to look for shells, and you can find some real gems at low tide.
This is unquestionably the number one shelling spot in all of Florida. Ask any Floridian resident for the best beach to do some shelling, and they'll immediately tell you to take a trip to Sanibel. Located on the Gulf Coast near Fort Myers, Sanibel is a little island that can be reached by a causeway and is well-known for its wildlife and lighthouse, along with its soft, welcoming beaches. Hundreds of different types of shells have been found at Sanibel over the years, with the gentle waters just off the coast providing the perfect conditions to keep the shells as shiny and damage-free as possible.
9.Barefoot Beach State Preserve
Barefoot Beach Preserve is one of the top rated beaches in the United States and encompasses more than 340 acres of land. One of southwest coastal Florida's last undeveloped barrier islands, the preserve is home to many different animals, such as various species of sea turtles and the gopher tortoise. While the white sand at Barefoot Beach Preserve is soft, it's advised for visitors to wear shoes due to the plentiful shells that can be sharp. In addition to the natural beach, the park also consists of estuary waters for kayaking and canoe tours and a boardwalk nature trail.
505 Barefoot Beach Blvd, Bonita Springs
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© Ruth P. Peterkin/stock.adobe.com
While Amelia Island is only around thirty miles from Jacksonville, it feels worlds apart. Horseback riding is possible at the Amelia Island State Park beach at the south end, while beachcombers can find shells and shark’s teeth at Fort Clinch. Families often head to Main Beach for its beach dining, oceanfront miniature golf, pristine beaches, and more. Main Beach also provides handicap access, as well as beach wheelchairs. The picture-perfect quartz-sand beaches of Amelia Island are the result of meticulously enforced regulations that keep them picturesque for visitors. It's also possible to see an osprey, dolphins, and possibly even a whale.
Nassau County, FL
11.Lovers Key State Park
The land of Lovers Key State Park was donated so that its mangrove forests and beaches could be preserved for everyone to enjoy. Once secluded barrier islands that could only be reached by boat, this park has now become a popular spot for beachside weddings. Visitors can jump in a kayak and explore lagoons and canals and maybe spot shorebirds and manatee, lounge on the sandy beach, look for seashells, and possibly even spot the fin of a dolphin breaking the calm turquoise waters. The two-mile Lovers Key beach was named one of the “Top 10 Florida Beaches” by Travel Channel.
8700 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
12.Little Talbot Island State Park
© Sean Board/stock.adobe.com
Little Talbot Island State Park provides a unique experience in Northeast Florida as one of the region's few remaining undeveloped barrier islands. There are three miles of trails for biking and over five miles of great beaches. There are also diverse ecosystems and untouched natural beauty to explore throughout the park. Typical of high energy coasts, Little Talbot Island State Park features rolling surf and white sand. Visitors can enjoy birdwatching, hiking, fishing, surfing, and beachcombing on Little Talbot Island, as well as camping in a forest hammock or taking a winding kayak trip along the Myrtle Creek bluffs.
12157 Heckscher Dr, Jacksonville, FL 32226
The crystal clear water, white sand beaches, and mild temperatures of Pensacola Beach attract environmentalists, fishing enthusiasts, beach lovers, and shell collectors alike. Stretching for miles along the Gulf and anchored at Florida's western tip, the barrier island offers both locals and tourists an array of coastal experiences. For beachcombers looking to add a variety of shells to their collection, the winter months are probably the best time to visit Pensacola Beach. With the beach less trafficked during this season, visitors will have longer stretches of beach possibly to themselves with plenty of space to search for seashells.
© Jan Nonog/stock.adobe.com
Shell Island features a sugar white sandy beach bordered by sparkling clear waters and is a unique chance to experience a Florida beach without distractions, as nature intended. Offering around seven miles between St. Andrew Bay and the Gulf of Mexico of “undeveloped, preserved nature that is still accessible to visitors. As the name suggests, Shell Island has countless indigenous shells, making it a great destination for any shell collectors. Other popular activities at the beach include snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and sunbathing. Several species of Florida wildlife also call Shell Island home, such as sea turtles, ghost crabs, and even deer.
15.Anna Maria Island
© Jim Schwabel/stock.adobe.com
The beaches of Anna Maria Island are well known for their shells, white sand, and beauty. While visitors can spend the day swimming or lounging on the sandy beach, shell collecting is why many people come to Anna Maria Island. People travel from all across the country, and the world, to find beautiful and colorful shells to take home as souvenirs. The key beaches on the island that are particularly great for shelling are Coquina Public Beach, Bean Point, Bayfront Park, Palmetto Avenue Beach, and Manatee Public Beach. Low tide is a great time to look for shells on these beaches.
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In the United States, some of the best shelling spots of all can be found in Florida. The Sunshine State is known all around the world for its warm weather and beautiful beaches, many of which are filled with all sorts of treasures just waiting to be discovered. The tide brings in dozens of different shells, many of which are perfectly pristine and can serve as super decorations for the home or simple souvenirs, as well as being used in dozens of different craft projects.
Shelling is a big part of Florida culture. There are even shell museums, shelling tours, and shell shops selling shells of all kinds. But there's nothing better for a shelling enthusiast than simply visiting a beach and finding their own specimens. There are countless beaches along the long coastline of the Sunshine State, and some are much better for shelling than others. Here are some details on the top places to go shelling in Florida.
15 Best Shelling Beaches in Florida
- Honeymoon Island, Photo: sayran/stock.adobe.com
- Captiva Island, Photo: Thomas/stock.adobe.com
- Marco Island, Photo: Kjersti/stock.adobe.com
- Cayo Costa, Photo: elvirkin/stock.adobe.com
- Venice Beach, Photo: fannyes/stock.adobe.com
- Jupiter Island, Photo: iofoto/stock.adobe.com
- Naples Beach, Photo: etemwanich/stock.adobe.com
- Sanibel Island, Photo: bettys4240/stock.adobe.com
- Barefoot Beach State Preserve, Photo: gigidread/stock.adobe.com
- Amelia Island, Photo: Ruth P. Peterkin/stock.adobe.com
- Lovers Key State Park, Photo: Eric/stock.adobe.com
- Little Talbot Island State Park, Photo: Sean Board/stock.adobe.com
- Pensacola Beach, Photo: Andy/stock.adobe.com
- Shell Island, Photo: Jan Nonog/stock.adobe.com
- Anna Maria Island, Photo: Jim Schwabel/stock.adobe.com
- More Info, Photo: SailingAway/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of captiva - Fotolia.com
More Ideas in Florida: JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort
At the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, guests have everything they need to have a relaxing, intimate and adventurous private beach getaway. From water sports and white sandy beaches to luxurious spa packages and poolside cocktails, guests who choose to lodge at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort can have the customized tropical beach vacation of their dreams.
Gulf Front View – The maximum capacity of the Gulf Front View room is two people. Guests can choose between a room with a king-size bed and a room with two queen-size beds. Each room is complete with a private balcony to take in the warm Gulf scenery, waters and breeze each morning. Guests can also take a hot, steamy shower after a long day at the beach in their high-end marble bathroom. Pearly white bedding and light curtains and wall paint add to the relaxation and tranquil setting of this room.
Pool & Gulf View and Partial Pool & Gulf View – For the Pool/Partial Pool & Gulf View rooms, guests can choose between having a room with one king-size bed or two queen-size beds. Just as the name implies, guests can observe the pristine, resort pool and Gulf from the comfort of their private 75sf balcony. This room is 402sf with windows that are soundproof and can be opened. These rooms are air-conditioned, non-smoking and are also available as connecting rooms. The Pool/Partial Pool & Gulf View rooms are not mobility accessible. The maximum capacity of these rooms is four people.
Tropical View – These guest rooms are available with one king-size bed or two queen-size beds. It is 402sf with a private 75sf balcony. The Tropical View Room is air-conditioned, with soundproof windows that open, a nighttime turndown service and newspaper delivery (upon guest’s request). This room is mobility accessible, with unique accommodations including a roll-in shower. It is also hearing accessible, complete with notification devices and visual alarms.
Non-Water View – These rooms are 402sf and are available to guests with one king-size bed or two queen-size beds. They are also air-conditioned, non-smoking and with windows that are soundproof and can be opened. Connecting rooms for Non-Water View are available for select rooms. The total outdoor balcony space is 75sf, with a specialty turndown service in the evening and a newspaper delivery upon guest’s request. The JW Marriott also offers mobility accessible and hearing accessibly Non-Water View rooms.
Corner Sunset Suite – The Corner Sunset Suite is a modern, bright suite with a more spacious layout for guests who prefer an ampler seating or living area. This suite is 410sf, air-conditioned and non-smoking. Windows can be opened to let in the sweet Atlantic breeze at dawn or dusk. There is a turndown hospitality service for guests as well as newspaper delivery service upon request. The Corner Sunset Suite is not offered as mobility or hearing accessible.
Terrace Suite – The Terrace Suite has one king-size bed with a private balcony, terrace, and patio. This spacious suite is 800sf, with a separate living room, dining room and bedroom for guests’ to feel right at home. Connecting rooms are available. The Suite is air-conditioned and non-smoking. This Suite offers its guests a turndown hospitality service and newspaper delivery upon request. The Terrace Suite is available as mobility and hearing accessible.
Lanai – The Lanai Suite is available with a king-size bed or two queen-size beds. It is 800sf with an outdoor lanai space. This Suite is air-conditioned, non-smoking and is available with connecting rooms. The living room, dining room and bedroom are all separated. Newspaper delivery is available to guests upon request. The JW Marriott offers mobility and hearing accessible Lanai Suites.
There are a number of amenities and accommodations available to guests who choose to lodge in any of the luxurious rooms and suites at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. It is important to note that not all amenities are offered in every single room or suite. Some of these amenities include:
-Marble bath features
-Writing desk with electrical outlet
-Iron and ironing board
-24-hour room service
-Phone with voicemail
-High-speed Internet (fee)
-Premium movie options
-CNN, HBO and ESPN
Dining options available at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort include a 24-hour room service option. There is also a convenience/sundry store onsite. Guests can take advantage of the buffet, continental and full American breakfast options, provided to guests for a fee.
Spa by JW
There are many spa treatments and service offered to guests at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. Professional, expert staff work hard to ensure each spa guest leaves the spa feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, and renewed. Some of the amenities, treatments and services available at the JW Spa include:
-Paraffin hand treatments
-Manicures and pedicures
Golf enthusiasts can take advantage of the two, private world-class golf courses available to golfers in this sunny, mesmerizing Florida location. The Rookery and Hammock Bay can keep guests golfing all day amongst its beautifully manicured 36 holes. These championship golf courses include a Club House and Club House Restaurant for guests to cool down and socialize in. There is also a driving range, putting green, rentals and lessons available to golfers. Kids golf for free at The Rookery and Hammock Bay making it an ideal location for families.
Aside from swimming in the mesmerizing Gulf waters, guests at the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort can also take a dip in Quinn’s Outdoor Pool and the Tiki Fantasy Pool. Towels are provided at both pools. In addition, both outdoor pools are heated. Guests who want a more soothing pool experience can relax in the whirlpool.
400 South Collier Boulevard, Marco Island, Florida 34145, Phone: 239-394-2511
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