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How & Where to Find Florida Gulf Coast Shells

Photo of Florida Gulf Coast shells piled on a beach

The Florida Gulf Coast is renowned for its white sand beaches, peaceful turquoise waters, and quiet natural beauty. There are endless ways to have fun on the beach, but one of our favorite pastimes is searching for Florida Gulf Coast shells. Beachcombing offers a fun-filled adventure for the entire family, and we invite you to participate in this coastal scavenger hunt with Plumlee Gulf Beach Realty. Stay in our beachfront vacation rentals and start shelling just steps from your front door! Read on to learn how to get started and where you can find the best concentration of shells on the Gulf Coast.

How to Start Shelling in Florida

Shelling is for everyone! All you need is a bucket to collect your shells, a tide chart, and a sense of adventure. However, there are a few rules to keep in mind:

Recreational saltwater fishing licenses are only required if you plan to harvest sea shells with living organisms. 

It is illegal to collect Bahama Starfish and live Queen Conch. 

Plan your shelling adventure around low tide or after a storm

Keep an eye out for the most popular Florida Gulf Coast shells, including banded tulips, clam shells, and baby’s ears.

Read our blog, The Most Popular Seashells on the Gulf Coast of Florida, for more information on shell identification, regulations, and local tips.

Where to Find Florida Gulf Coast Shells

Indian Rocks Beach & Indian Shores

Make the most of your shelling trip by choosing our Plumlee beachfront accommodations. Staying beachfront means less hassle, no parking issues, and convenient access to shelling anytime throughout your stay!

Caladesi Island

Caladesi Island is one of the last untouched islands along the Florida Gulf Coast. Access the island through the Caladesi Island Ferry, boating, or paddling. Once you have arrived, you will be rewarded with a fantastic shelling beach home to conchs, whelks, and olives. 

Shell Key Preserve

The Shell Key Preserve at the mouth of Tampa Bay is an uninhabited barrier island ideal for shelling. Take the Shell Key Ferry from Hubbard’s Marina for the most accessible access to the island. 

Honeymoon Island State Park

Honeymoon Island State Park offers four miles of beautiful beaches, with the best shelling found on the north end. Honeymoon Island’s southwest-facing beaches provide the perfect conditions for capturing shells in the sand pit.

Egmont Key

Egmont Key is known for its unique natural and cultural history. Shelling along the beaches is a favorite year-round activity. Look for sand dollars, fighting conch, whelks, murex, shark eye, alphabet cone, banded tulips, and horse conch. Tag along with Island Boat Adventures for a guided shelling trip at Egmont Key!

Florida Gulf Coast Vacation Rentals with Plumlee

Now that you know how and where to find Florida Gulf Coast shells, you can start planning your getaway with Plumlee Gulf Beach Realty! Choose our Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores vacation rentals on the beach for the most accessible access to shelling. Gather the family and join us for a memorable beach getaway in Florida!