Best beaches for shelling on Sanibel
Recognized as the best shelling spot in North America by Travel & Leisure Magazine, the beaches of Sanibel attract shell-lovers from all over the world. They are protected by a broad underwater shelf perfect for gently receiving deliveries from shell-laden currents. Southwest Florida Insider shares the best beaches in Sanibel that beachcombers must explore for some gorgeous treasures.
A premier beach located at the western end of Sanibel, Bowman’s Beach is one of the premier beaches to find good shells on Sanibel. Bowman’s beach is a delightful spot for shell-lovers with ample parking, changing rooms, and restrooms on the beach. It is advised to bring a beach cart for heavy loads as the walk to the beach through the mangroves can be a long one.
Blind Pass Beach
This tiny inlet separates Sanibel from Captiva island. The two islands are divided by a channel created by a hurricane in 1926. The Bay Side of Blind Pass is a little calmer, providing a perfect backdrop for hours of shell hunting. There are many shells from Angel wings, various Conch, Paper Figs, various Murex, and many more. Parking is pretty limited at this beach. There are some restaurants and a general store nearby.
The Sanibel Lighthouse beach extends around the entire tip of the island. It boasts the t-dock-fishing pier and a boardwalk nature trail winding through native wetlands. The beaches on the south shore have the best shelling and good views of Ft. Myers Beach and the beaches of Naples. The parking lot offers plenty of paid parking, and the lighthouse provides a beautiful background for tasteful pictures.
The right time to find shells?
The colder months, December through April, bring in the best shells. There are ample and quality shelling opportunities at any time of day, but they are abundant at sunrise and after a good storm. Shelling from the shore is best at low tide, but snorkelers can dive underwater during incoming tide to find some hidden gems. Beachcombers can refer to a Sanibel Island tide chart available at most local grocery stores and fishing stores on the island.
Sanibel offers many family-friendly lodging options, from quaint cottages to premier resorts. Here are some highly recommended options:
- Sundial Beach Resort And Spa, with the reputation of being one of the best hotels in Sanibel, is a fun and affordable family destination on the beach.
- Casa Ybel Resort is one of the premier wedding venues on the island and a great place to stay for families. With its prime beachfront location, the property is private and secluded with its sprawling area of 23 acres.
- The Inns Of Sanibel offer several reasonable accommodations on the island. It offers a laid-back family atmosphere, a perfect beach location, and excellent service.
- Song of the Sea, Sunset Beach Inn, and Seaside Inn are other reliable properties to explore for a stay.
- A Mask enables the snorkeler to see the bottom of the sandy beach to find the shells that have not washed up yet.
- Snorkel for those who want to snorkel into the sea to look for hidden shells.
- Mesh Shelling Bags are like laundry bags for shells, with tiny holes to let water flow without losing the shots.
- Travelers can carry their lunch or eat at Jerry’s Market or Bailey’s Store.
- Sunscreen is essential to protect from the solid south Florida sun.
- Beach Umbrella is a must for those who wish to relax at the beach for hours. Sportbrella is an excellent option for the whole family.
If you are wondering what to do in Southwest Florida, beachcombing and shelling are unforgettable experiences that must be explored.
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