Southwest Florida is well known for being an excellent place to collect Sea Shells. From Boca Grande, Cayo Costa, Captiva, Sanibel, Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Beach and down to Naples are all known for being great places to collect Sea Shells with the most popular one being Sanibel Island.
The Variety of Sea Shells is simply amazing.
The best time to collect shells is during low tide and right after a strong storm. Druing a storm, the gulf of Mexico gets all stirred up and pushes the shells up onto the beach. These are predominantly dead or empty shells, but some live ones make it up onto the beach as well. The live shells should be placed back in the gulf because it is Illegal to collect them.
You can find small shells and occassionally very large ones. Most shells are broken, but because of the vast quantities, you will always find whole shells with beautiful colors. In the past 18 years, I've found thousands of shells and some so large it took two hands to pick up.
People come from all around the world to search for shells on Sanibel Islands Beaches. Because of Sanibels notariety, they built the only Sea Shell Museum in the world on this island. Also, Sanibel hold an annual "Sea Shell Collectors"show the first weekend in MArch every year.
Surprisingly, collecting Sea Shells can be quite addicting. On many occassions, I've told my self that "Today" I'm not going to pick up any shells while I walk the beach ...... only to end up back at the car with a pocket full of shells.
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