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Home > Shelling Guide

Sanibel Island Shelling Guide

Beach ShellsThe Sea Shells of Sanibel welcomes you to the world’s best shelling beaches and an absolute dream for nature lovers!

While staying at Sea Shells of Sanibel, you will most definitely encounter people doing the "Sanibel Stoop". The "Sanibel Stoop" is the name given to people bent over at the waist on the beach "stooping" to find their next shell souvenir.

Here are some basic tips to keep in mind while you try to perfect your "Sanibel Stoop":

  • It is best to go shelling during a low tide or after storms
  • Bring along a bucket or a net bag and scoop
  • Smaller seashells are generally found on the east end of the island toward the Lighthouse
  • Larger shells are found on Sanibel's neighbor to the north, Captiva Island and North Captiva Island
  • It is illegal to take live shells

It's no wonder so many people flock to Sanibel in search of shells, since there are more than 400 varieties of shells on Sanibel and Captiva Island! Some of the shells you may find include:

  • Shell VarietyConch
  • Junonia
  • Lightning Whelk
  • Cockle
  • Scallops
  • Murex
  • Tulip
  • Olive
  • Coquina

Did you know? There are 2 major varieties of shells:

  1. Gastropods, which consist of a single shell and include shells such as conchs and whelks.
  2. Bivalves, which consist of two-hinged shells and include shells such as clams, cockles, and scallops.

Find out these facts and more from any of our local experts when you stay at Sea Shells of Sanibel, where the shellers stay!