Looking for the perfect souvenir to give to a friend back home from your trip to Anna Maria Island? If so, then stop by The Green Turtle Shell & Gift Shop in Bradenton Beach!
The Green Turtle has everything from apparel, jewelry, home decor, and more! They also have tons of large shells to chose from so you can always have a piece of the beach with you. It’s a great family owned business that’s just a short stroll from the Gulf Drive Cafe, and across the parking lot from Wicked Cantina.
Speaking of Wicked Cantina, if you bring your Wicked Cantina receipt over to The Green Turtle, they will give you a free necklace similar to the one pictured below!
The Green Turtle Gift Shop is open everyday, from 9AM – 8PM.
Anna Maria Island has become famous for its pristine beaches, calm azure waters and unlimited Florida sunshine, but it has so much more than that to offer. People come here from all over the globe to get SEASHELLS! Not just collectors or merchants, but real people like you and me can find absolute treasures. Some of my favorites to find, and possibly the easiest are lion’s paws, tiger paws, clam shells, turkey wings and coquinas. The ones I love to find, and I sure everyone feels the same, are sand dollars! You have to go pretty far out to get them intact, and you have to have some time to spend collecting them from the sea floor. Here is a list of Anna Maria Island’s best shell finding beaches.
1. Manatee Public Beach at the end of SR64 – I am a fifth generation Bradenton Florida native, and this is the beach I grew up on. My parents brought me to this beach for the first time when I was only 6 months old. I learned to swim here, sunbathe here and my favorite beach activity to collect seashells.
2. Anna Maria City Beach at the end of White Avenue – Not only is the beach at the end of this road unspoiled it is mostly secluded. I remember finding seashells here that hadn’t even been touched by other beach goers. This is definitely where I am always able to find unbroken shells.
3. Bayfront Park on North Bay Boulevard – I find that this is a good place to find larger shells because there are not a lot of waves the on the bayside of Anna Maria Island. If you catch this area at its lowest tide you will be able to find shells like none other anywhere on the island.
4. Bean Point on North Shore Drive – This is a place easily missed by most vacationers to Anna Maria Island, but locals like me love to explore the northern most beaches of Anna Maria Island. I found a beaut of a large pink and white conch shell that my daughter swears she hears mermaids singing inside.
5. Coquina Public Beach on South Gulf Drive – The south end of Anna Maria Island is a great place to not only find seashells, but sharks teeth as well! Some great advice I got from a fellow local was to keep my eye on the water line, and that “shark’s teeth will tumble while seashells roll”. I have found the most sharks teeth just remembering that phrase!
Shelling for free souvenir’s and free sunsets…
Some of the most relaxing moments in an Anna Maria Island beach rental vacation can be searching for the shells. 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, here’s more on shelling.
Shelling for the best
You typically find the best shells after a good storm. Even better, if you visit Anna Maria Island during a re-nourishment project you are sure to find fabulous shells. Florida and Manatee county laws strictly forbid taking of live shells, shells with a living organism, starfish, Queen conchs or sand dollars. A Florida Fishing License is required to take living shells, and has a bag limit of two of any species per person per day. Collect shells in a bucket or “green” container, and be sure not to take too many. Shells, dead or alive, play a vital role in the Florida ecosystem. Perhaps limiting yourself to less than a pint sized bucket is a good ethical measure. 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.