I get asked a whole bunch of questions about what to bring to the beach, or what time of year is the best for shelling. Hopefully some of the below information will help answer your questions!
What time of year is the best for finding shells?
Winters are typically the best time of year to find shells here in Southwest Florida. Winter storms and winter winds help push sand and shells onto the beach, while the summer winds and tides bring the sand and shells back out to the gulf. You can see the explanation I provided in a previous video here: Winter vs. Summer shelling
What do you do with your shells?
I don't keep all the shells I bring home or I would definitely need to start renting a storage facility! The ones I keep I put in glass jars and containers. I did make a video about my collection because I kept getting so many questions:
I did manage to finally get around to one project I had really been wanting to make; a shell mirror: My Shell Mirror
Do you sell any of your shells?
I do sell some of my sea shells! When you purchase shells from me, you know they were ethically harvested and no harm came to the critter that made the shell. I do have a $20 minimum, and most shells range from $.50-$4 depending on the shell, the size and the quality. The average shell goes for about $1. If you aren't sure what you're looking for I'm happy to put an assortment together. Otherwise I ask that you send me a list and I'll get you a quote. Shipping is additional and I accept Venmo, PayPal and personal check. I will send you tracking when your goodies are shipped.
What is the best beach to go shelling?
Each beach is a little different, and there is never a guarantee that you'll find any shells when you go. However, I like to increase my changes at finding treasures by going early in the morning, by going at low-tide, or going after we've had a storm. I also cover lots of beach, because even 100-yards can make a big difference.
Do you ever find shark's teeth?
I don't typically find shark's teeth while I'm beachcombing, however a little north of where I live in Venice, FL the beaches are known for shark teeth and we did indeed take a trip up there to try our luck. Here's a link to the video.
What are the best beaches on the East Coast to go shelling?
I've only visited 3 locations on the East Coast and I really enjoyed my trip at each. In order of preference: Hope Sound Beach in Jupiter, Coral Cover Park in Tequesta and John Mac Arthur State Park in North Palm Beach.
Have you ever found a Junonia?
I have not found a whole, intact junonia. I have found pieces, but not a whole one. Yet.
What is your favorite beach to go shelling at?
My favorite beach is a beach that has lots of things to discover! I am very fond of Fort Myers Beach, Bowman's Beach on Sanibel, Tigertail on Marco Island and Turner Beach on Captiva.
What is the deal with parking on Sanibel?
There are only a few public lots on Sanibel, with Bowman's Beach being the largest. Parking is $5 an hour at all the lots. There are electronic meters so you park, pay and then leave the receipt on your dashboard. Here is a PDF of Sanibel Island with the parking lot names and locations.
What is the deal with parking on Captiva?
There are only 2, yes 2 public parking lots on Captiva. Turner Beach is a pretty small lot and parking there is $5 an hour. The only other option you have is Allison Hangerup Beach parking and that lot is $40 for the day!
What is the deal with parking on Marco Island?
Well, you're going to have 2 options. You can park at Tigertail Beach, which is $8 for the day, or a lot on the south end which is also $8 for the day. There is TONS of parking at Tigertail so if you're getting to the beach a little later in the day, I would definitely say go to Tigertail. Here's a link to the parking info: https://www.cityofmarcoisland.com/community/page/beach-access
Do you give shelling tours?
I was doing tours when I first launched my channel but work has me quite busy so I don't have the extra time in my week to squeeze in any tours. I really do hope that changes in the future!
What tours in the 10k Islands do you recommend?
I have done the kayak tour with SWFL Shell Guide a few times and I would absolutely recommend her tour: https://www.swflshellguide.com
I've also toured out of Goodland with Reel Kind and they will a also take you to the 10k islands: https://www.reelkind.com
I do plan on taking more tours in the future so I will add any other recommended companies as I check them out.
What tours in the Fort Myers, Sanibel, Captiva area do you recommend?
I took a tour over to North Captiva with Adventures in Paradise and they were a lovely crew to go out with. https://www.adventureinparadiseinc.com
They are very conveniently located in Fort Myers before the Sanibel Causeway.
If you are on Sanibel or Captiva and want to tour to Cayo Costa, I've used Captiva Cruises: https://captivacruises.com
The bonus with touring with this company is you can leave your car parked in their lot and walk over to the gulf to spend more time on the beach.