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The Sanibel Arms Vacation Guide

Top Tips For Shell Collecting on Sanibel Island

vacation condosOur vacation condos on Sanibel Island are ideal for those who love the sun, the sand, and the sea. While Sanibel fishing, swimming, boating, and sunbathing are bound to be at the top of your vacation to-do list, there's one outdoor activity you can't forget about: shell collecting. With more than 250 different species of identified shells, shelling is a favorite pastime of both tourists and residents alike. We even have an entire museum dedicated to shells! But if you want to get the most out of your island accommodations and learn to collect shells like a pro, you'll definitely want to follow these helpful tips.

  • Gather your supplies
    While shelling is a pretty low-maintenance activity, you'll still need a few things to ensure you have the best time possible. You'll definitely want to bring a bucket or other container for holding the shells you collect. Otherwise, your pockets or hands will get full very quickly! You might also want to consider bringing a net bag and scoop. And it's always a good idea to wear a hat, sunscreen, and comfortable, waterproof shoes. For cleaning, you'll need water, bleach, some mineral or baby oil, and a pick or toothbrush.
     
  • Know when to collect
    When guests stay in our vacation condos, they'll often start out their morning with a shell-collecting walk on the beach. But low tide is actually the best time to head out to the shore. Since low tide will vary greatly on a daily basis, you'll want to consult a reliable tide chart for the best chance of shell collecting. In addition, shell collecting right after a storm can be quite fruitful.
     
  • Don't take live shells
    Casual shell collectors need to make certain the treasures they find aren't still alive. Florida law requires anyone who intends to take living shells from the water or shoreline to have a recreational saltwater fishing license. And whether you hold a license or not, you're not allowed to collect Bahama Starfish or live Queen Conchs. It's fine to collect shells in Sanibel, but you need to make sure no one is living inside! This applies to sand dollars, too. Turn them over and if you see little centipede-like feet, touch them to see if they move. If they don't, feel free to take it home with you. But if you find living shells of any kind, you'll need to return them to the water.


Ready to escape to the beautiful beaches? Our vacation condos give you access to the perfect private oasis. For more information or to get started on booking your trip, contact us today!

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