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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Shelling Tips

My most frequently asked question:

Question: Where would you suggest we go shelling while we are there on our vacation?

Answer: The beaches change every day. I wish I had a crystal beach ball to know exactly where and what time the very best shells will appear in the future… but then again, different people like different shells. Just remember that it’s a treasure hunt! Enjoy the whole experience of the hunt so keep an open mind and a good attitude. For me, the best time to go shelling is… Any chance I get! If its high tide, low tide, morning , noon or night- any time to have an excuse to get to the beach is a good one. So here’s a few shelling tips for different times and beach conditions to use as clues for your treasure hunt for your favorite seashells…..

#1 Shelling Tip- Look at the tides for the days you will be here. I have 3 tide charts to choose from. An hour before and after low tide is a great way to start your shelling trip.

Click here- TIDE CHARTS

#2 Shelling Tip- Look at the moon phase. A full moon or new moon have the most extreme tides so this is a great time to shell.

Click here- MOON PHASE

#3 Shelling Tip– If it is possible, stay at a hotel or inn close to the beach. Your odds at getting more time shelling are much greater with easy access early in the morning and evenings with hassle free parking.

#4 Shelling Tip- Look at the weather and wind direction for the days you are interested in. NorthWest winds are great for shelling more towards Captiva. SouthWest winds are great for the lighthouse end of Sanibel. Shelling after a storm with west winds is normally fantastic!

Click here- WEATHER then click on that icon

#5 Shelling Tip- If you are interesting in a certain shell, go to the Category menu on the right hand side of most pages on this blog, click on your favorite shell, then look at the locations where they were found. For example, if you interested in finding wentletraps. Look at the bottom of the categories menu (it alphabetical order) then click on Wentletrap and it will give you every post which I’ve talked about wentletraps.

Look at the left column- CATEGORIES

#6 Shelling Tip- If you have a shell, beach, or name you want to search for in any post, go to the search menu on the right hand side of any of my blog posts, enter the name of what you are looking for, then click on the “search” button.

Look at the right column- SEARCH

#7 Shelling Tip- Keep up with my posts every day so that you get the best tips for that day. If there is a no miss shelling day, I will let you know. If I’m not posting about huge shells piles with gobs of shells rushing onto the beach, I don’t know about it. If you know about a huge pile of shells, please let me know! If you are not seeing big shells or shell pile, look for a shell line- even if it is small- then refocus your eyes for smaller shells. You will be so surprised! They are amazing too!

#8 Shelling Tip- If you’ve gotten this far, you really are interested in finding the very best shelling experience for you and maybe your family too. Here are my faves. My favorite beach in 2015, 2016 is Gulfside City Park on Sanibel – the beach is so wide there are many shell lines with treasures to discover. The LIGHTHOUSE BEACH on the east end of Sanibel seems to have the mini shells. I have found something interesting on this beach and around the pier or out on the tip about 90% of the time. There is normally plenty of parking and the parking lots (there are 2 lots) are close to the beach. My other favorite place is BLIND PASS. When it’s good? It’s the best, baby! The jetty on the Captiva side will catch so many shells at times that it feels like Santa brought your favorite gifts for Christmas.

#9 Shelling Tip- Cleaning your shells is a huge part of your shelling experience. My shell cleaning page is still under construction since there is so much information to consider. The good news is… I have a post with a video to help you out right now. Please read all of the comments  from so many other shell collectors on this post since there is so much information and also dangers of some ways of cleaning your shells. Go to How To Restore Color To Your Seashells Tutorial

#10 Shelling Tip


SMELL the salt in the air.

FEEL the sand on your toes.

LISTEN to Beach Sounds by Mother Nature.

LOOK at the seascapes and seashells.


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