Anna Maria Island Shelling

Free souvenir’s…Free sunsets…

Some of the most relaxing moments in a vacation can be searching for the perfect shells while walking along the Gulf of Mexico.  Family in toe it sometimes seems all too easy to get the entire group focused on a fun task that everyone can participate in.  Thankfully shells don’t get you stopped in the airport security lines as you are sure to bring back the best of the best shells to help you remember a more relaxing time while vacationing on Anna Maria Island.  Below are some tips regarding shelling however don’t make the scavenger hunt too serious.  Remember the shells themselves are not the reward but the journey with your family to find the shells is the true once in a lifetime treasure! Also, more on shelling.

Finding the best shells are typically found in low tide just after a storm.  While rare, taking of live shells or sand dollars are strictly prohibited by Florida law.  Collect shells in a bucket or “green” container.  If necessary use a mixture of 50/50 bleach and water to rinse your shells.  If you are searching in water be sure to shuffle your feet to disturb resting sting rays.

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Originally from Rochester, NY, Larry has found paradise on Anna Maria Island. He is an Anna Maria Island resident and President of Island Real Estate. He is always happy to share his expertise on the local real estate and vacation rental market. As a local, he is also able to offer excellent island insight on what to enjoy and things to do in the area.


  1. says

    Yes, be certain NOT to take any live shells, including sand-dollars, starfish, seahorses or other shells you may find on or near the beach. Up at the north end of the island, you may find augurs, olives and scallops in abundance at some times of the year. In the grass-flats off Key Royale, you can also find large whelks or horse conchs. Neat to look at but usually the latter are live and merely looking for their next meal.

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