Enjoying the beach can be expensive.
There’s the cost of a room, a flattering bathing suit, those drinks in hollowed out pineapples with the umbrellas… So why not hunt for some treasure while you’re strolling along on the beach? One of my absolute favorite things to do is walk a stretch of sand hunting for a unique shell or rock that can I add to my collection, reminding me of this day and moment for years to come. Here are a two great picks for beaches that are known for their treasures.
Sanibel Island, Florida
The southern beach on Sanibel Island is widely considered THE place to shell in the US. Sanibel Island is notorious for attracting a large volume of shells of every size and shape. What makes Sanibel unique is its pleasantly curvy shape along the coastline adjacent to a group of other straighter and narrower islands.
The east-west position of Sanibel’s south end pulls and scoops up thousands of sea shells that flow in from the Caribbean. The best time to go out hunting is after a Gulf storm or during a low spring tide at full or new moons. You can find dozens of species of shells at all of the Gulf-side beaches starting at the Lighthouse, heading to North Captiva. Don’t forget to put together a shell hunting kit…gather a bucket, net bag, scoop and beach shoes. Shuffle as you walk to uncover hidden treasures!
Calvert Cliffs State Park, Maryland
This stretch of sand in Calvert Cliffs State Park along the Chesapeake Bay isn’t your typical beach. The reason people travel to this beach is not because they are in search of a boardwalk or a perfect stretch of sand to spend the day. They come here to search for fossils of animals that lived in the region 10 to 20 million years ago!
This area consistently produces fossilized shells and sharks teeth from the Miocene era, but there are also a number of current era clams and other mollusk shells to be found. If you’re going for the fossils, most are found just slightly under the surface of the sand, so bring a small shovel and something to help you sift.
Do you like to treasure hunt during your beach vacation? Share your secrets for finding the best shells!