Shelling at Sanibel Island - Manasota Key

Shelling at Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is located south of the Florida Gulf Coast Islands of Manasota Key, Palm Island and Gasparilla Island, only an hour away from Palm Island Vacation Rentals. Palm Island Vacation Rentals gives you the best of both worlds; access to Shelling At Sanibel Island without the high prices and large crowds of Sanibel Island resorts. Sanibel Islands Shells are world-renowned for the bounty, beauty and abundance. Visitors looking to enjoy Shelling at Sanibel Island can also find starfish, conchs, and large sand dollars. The best way to find these lovely treasures is to enjoy a Sanibel Island Shelling Charter or tour with a guide. Your guide can take you to the insider, hidden spots on the island that offer the greatest shell potential. Experts at Shelling at Sanibel Island recommend that visitors look for shells at low tides hidden just beneath the sand. Along surf lines, surf breaks or wading areas, shells are usually in abundance.

Why is the Shelling a Sanibel Island so excellent? Sanibel Island’s gradual surf slope is perfect for shelling as it gradually inclines on a semi-steep grade. The gradual slope acts as a filtering mechanism and the tides actually encourage large numbers of shells to roll onto the ramp-like surf line. Northwesterly storms in December and January  generally bring the best shells and sea treasures onto the beaches, so try to go Shelling at Sanibel Island during these months.

Sanibel Island Sea Shell Festival & Show
Sanibel Island is the best location in Southwest Florida to go shelling and hunting for other sea treasures. Since the early part of the 20th century, visitors have been flocking to Sanibel Island Florida to pay tribute to one of nature's greatest creations. Every March, Sanibel Island Florida hosts its salute to the shells at the annual Sanibel Island Shell Fair and Show.

The Sanibel Island Sea Shell Festival and Show is a fabulous, 3 day event that takes place at the Sanibel Community House and is jointly hosted by the Sanibel Community Associate and the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club.

The Annual Sanibel Island Fair and Show on Sanibel Island FL is the world’s largest and longest running shell show. Visitors love browsing the many displays and watching both experts and novices compete in shell competitions. The Sanibel Island Fair and Show will entertain shell aficionados and beginning collectors alike. The show offers shell art and other crafts and features informative, scientific booths for an educational family outing. Admission is free to the Annual Sanibel Island Fair and Show, however, crafts are available for purchase and donations are appreciated. Proceeds go towards marine-related biological research.

Sanibel Island Shells
Want to look for Sanibel Island Shells? If you are shell obsessed then read more and find out about how to go about collecting Sanibel Island Shells. Gulf-side shelling on Sanibel Island is usually the most popular and most successful place to shell. It is best to look for shells during low tides when the Sanibel Sea Shells will be more exposed. In general, the smaller seashells are found near the Sanibel Lighthouse at the end of the island. Larger shells have been discovered near Captiva and North Captiva, so keep this in mind when exploring Sanibel Island FL for seashells. If you are planning to go Shelling on Sanibel Island, then you will want to bring a large bucket or bag and a scoop and net. Wear comfortable water-resistant shoes and plan to get a little wet.

Shells and their mollusk inhabitants play an important role in the ecology of the islands of Sanibel and Captiva. They help keep the sand and island foundation in place and are regularly replaced and restocked as they wash ashore by the hard pounding waves. The shells provide food for other wildlife in the area and some scavenge and help cleanse and filter out the Gulf’s waters. Because these seashells are so important, the State of Florida has outlawed the collecting of live sea shells on these islands. A “live shell” is defined as any specimen that contains an inhabitant. Shells where the inhabitant is believed to be dead are also considered live shells and are prohibited from being taken from the island. The law also protects sand dollars, starfish, and sea urchins as they are considered precious shells that need to be protected.

Come stay at Palm Island Vacation Rentals premier Gulf Coast Florida Vacation Rentals and experience the many neighboring activities on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.


Sanibel Island Sea Shell Festival & Show

Sanibel Community Associate at the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club

2173 Periwinkle Way

Sanibel Island, FL


If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us at 941.697.4007 or fax to 941.214.8239, email us, or use our online request form.