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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Top 15 Beaches in Florida to Find Shells

Let me start by saying that I am a little bit obsessed with sea shells! I think I would rather find shells than money. Well, maybe if money was on the beach…

I have thought about making this post for a while, but I knew it was going to take a lot of thought and time to get it together, so I put it off. Well, I finally have it together! I figured you all were worth the effort. ๐Ÿ˜Š

The places are not in any particular order and are from all over Florida. I have found shells on many more beaches, but these are the ones that they are consistently found on. Also remember, weather, time of year, and time of day all play a role in how many shells are present.


Be on the beach as early in the morning as possible. Watch the sun come up! 

There are more shells on the beach in the winter months.

Storms make for great shelling after they settle down.

Leave any shells that are occupied by critters.

1. Fort De Soto Park

The hot spot for shelling in this park is behind the fort. The shells are good size with lots of variety. Odd thing is, I have never seen any shells to speak of, in any other area beside the fort beach.


Fort De Soto Park
3500 Pinellas Bayway S.
Tierra Verde, FL 33715

2. Sand Key Park

Sand key Park is located just across the Gulf Blvd bridge from Clearwater Beach.  It is the only beach in the Clearwater area to find shells.  I love the light colors, size, and patterns of the shells found there!


Sand Key Park
1060 Gulf Blvd
 Clearwater, FL

3. Boca Grande 

The southern end of this barrier Island is a jewel of a place for finding shells, starfish, and sand dollars. Find out more in a post I made here.


Port Boca Grande Lighthouse
880 Belcher Rd
 Boca Grande FL 33921

4. Tigertail Beach 

Located on Marco Island in Naples, this is a great beach for finding a variety of shells and sand dollars. Find out all the details on how to get out to this beach in a post here.


Tigertail Beach
430 Hernando Dr
 Marco Island, FL 34145

5. Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is known as one of the best shelling places in the world. The island's sloping incline and East West positing make perfect conditions for sea treasures to wash upon the beaches without damage. Here is a post on which beaches are the best.


Sanibel Island
Periwinkle Way
Sanibel, FL 33957

6. St. Andrews State Park

Find shells, starfish, and sand dollars on this gulf coast beach. There are also some smaller shells in the lagoon area. 


St. Andrews State Park
4607 State Park Ln
 Panama City Beach, FL 32408

7. St. George Island

Once you get to the island, turn left and head to the state park. Drive as far as you can go and park. Then, walk left along the beach. There are shells all around the park, but the best selections are in this area.


St George Island State Park
1900 E Gulf Beach Dr
 St George Island, FL 32328

8. T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park

Located in Port St Joe, this is a quite area for shelling. The biggest shells are on the gulf side, but they can also be found in the bay area. I hear that shelling by snorkel on the bay side is great, but I saw a sign that said something about alligators, so…..๐Ÿ˜จ  someone can just me know...


T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
8899 Cape San Blas Rd
 Port St Joe, FL 32456

9. Mexico Beach

The beach behind the Driftwood Inn area is the best. Good sized shells, small pieces of coral, and sand dollars are among some of the treasures you can expect to find.


Driftwood Inn
2105 US-98
 Mexico Beach, FL 32456

10. Cayo Costa Island

Cayo Costa is always great for shelling. The bad part is that it is only accessible by boat. You can read about Cayo Costa and how to get there here.

Physical Address:

4 Nautical Miles West of Pine Island (26.685789, -82.245381)
Cayo Costa, FL 33922

11. Honeymoon Island

Follow the road to the North Park Beach area. Park as far to the right as you can and enter the beach there. Walk right (north) down the beach. This is where you will find the most shells. Piles of them at times. I have found tons of turbinate shells in this area. Actually, this is the only beach I have ever found the on. Read more about Honeymoon Island here.


Honeymoon Island
1 Causeway Blvd
Dunedin, FL 3469

12. St Augustine

I hate to give away my secret place in St Augustine! I love this place not only for the shells, but it is quiet, not crowded, and a cheap place to stay in the area. Vilano Beach in front of the Ocean Sands Beach Inn. You need to cross a road to reach the beach, but it is not busy. I have found conch shells 12 inches long laying on this beech! See why I didn’t want to give this place away!? ๐Ÿ˜‰

* Update: February 2019
This beach is still a good place to find shells, but the hotel has changed. I have stayed at this place many times before and loved it. We did not find the cleanliness of the room to be great and it was in need of maintenance. It is still a good price and it looks like they are trying to update it, so maybe it will be better soon.


Ocean Sands Beach Inn
3465 Coastal Hwy
 St. Augustine, FL 32084

13. John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

John D McArthur is a Beautiful beach with tons of shells. The unique thing about this place is that the beach is a long way from the parking area. There is a very long bridge crossing the Lake Worth Cove and then another long walkway to the sand. There is a tram that will carry you across the bridge, which makes it a little better.


John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
10900 Jack Nicklaus Dr
 North Palm Beach, FL 33408

14. Little Talbot Island State Park

Nice wood walkway from the parking, area over the dunes, to the beach. Great place to find a variety of shells. Quiet and not a lot of people.


Little Talbot Island State Park
12157 Heckscher Dr
 Jacksonville, FL 32226

15. Stump Pass Beach State Park

Great place to find shells, but can get crowded. Go to the gulf side early morning and you will find the best ones. We have found tons of conch shells here.


Stump Pass Beach State Park
900 Gulf Blvd
 Englewood, FL 34223

Check out my videos of these beaches on YouTube.

Have fun enjoying these beautiful beaches and happy shelling! 


  1. Thank you for all of the great shelling spots. Hoping to move back to Florida soon.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post! I love Florida and would love to move there one day also!

    2. I’m with you on that! I miss my Florida! Stuck in the northeast.

  2. Thank you so much for this information. I really did not like having to order shells from some company when I can enjoy the beach and have my own pick.

    1. You are welcome! Florida has a ton of different shells to look for.Enjoy your beach time! :)

    2. Retiring in May 2019 to Cape Coral. Much shelling to catch up on.

    3. That sounds amazing! Looking for shells everyday will be so much fun!

  3. I love to look for sea glass, do you know of any beaches in Florida that you can find sea glass? I live in the Cape Coral, Pine Island area. Thank you.

    1. Probably Jupiter or Hutchinson Island will be the best places to find sea glass in Florida. You could try blind pass on Sanibel, Boca Grande Pass, or Venice Beach for places closer to you. Have fun and good luck on you hunting adventures!

  4. Thank you! Lido beach has some great shelling too, right by the lido beach resort

  5. To be honest your post is informative and very helpful. After I saw your Post, it helped me a lot. Thanks for share your kind information about Hernando Beach Marina

  6. I just moved to FL and have tried to learn quite a bit about shelling. After spending several hours on Bethune Beach this morning, I became very discouraged because I couldnt find any good shells. It is quite a drive from where I live in Deltona to the west coast of FL where all of the good shells seem to be and I was sad that I wouldnt be able to do much shelling. Then I came upon your post and you have shown St Augustine as a good shelling place. You have given me hope again! I plan to try it out in the very near future!

    1. Hang in there! You will walk upon a pile of shells one morning and it will keep you motivated until the next time. Check out my post “Where & How to Find Shells (Sanibel Island, Florida)”. It has tips that will be helpful for any beach in Florida.