Find Seashell Treasure on Sanibel Island, Florida

In the early morning, the beaches of Sanibel Island on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast are dotted with beachcombers doing what locals call the “Sanibel stoop.” Hunched over as they slowly walk the beach, Sanibel Island vacationers search the sand for telltale slivers of color or unnatural lumps under the sand that could spell treasure. Lucky hunters will reap riches in the form of perfectly formed seashells, the ultimate treasure from a Sanibel Island vacation.

Known to have some of the best shelling beaches in the world, Sanibel Island and neighboring Captiva Island attract many vacationing shell collectors to their beautiful white sand beaches to hunt for early morning treasure. Deposited by the tides, dozens of species of shells wash up on the beaches of Florida’s “Shell Islands” every morning. Clam and small snail shells are frequent finds; but the distinctive brown and white spotted junonia shell with its delicately swirled top, the vacated home of a fist-sized sea snail, is the golden doubloon that keeps beachcombers coming back year after year. Guidebooks and local lore claim that a single junonia shell is usually found on the islands every day which makes its discovery a prize souvenir.

Vacationers will find the best shelling beaches along the Gulf sides of the islands. The best time to go shelling is during low tide when the shells are most exposed. Spring tides during full and new moons seem to deposit more shells; but the best shelling is often found the day after a storm.

If you want to relax on the beach and try your hand at shelling, book beautiful Sanibel Island and Captiva Island vacation rentals on today.