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Pensacola Beach Shelling Guide


The Gulf Islands National Seashore is a beautiful place to explore and search for seashells. The gorgeous stretch of untouched, pristine coastline is known for shells like Sand Dollars, Florida Fighting Conchs, Lightning Whelks, Olives, Florida Cones, and more. Whether you like to keep shells for souvenirs or crafts, shelling is a fun and relaxing hobby everyone can enjoy on the beaches. Here are some tips for finding the best seashells:   


Go Early  

The winter season may cool off the sand, but this is a great time to head down to the beach and search for shells. Check times for low tides and plan on shelling then. After the high tide is receding, the seashells wash ashore and are exposed. Be sure to get out early before they wash away!   

Search Everywhere  

Any beach accesses in Pensacola are great spots to begin shelling; however, you may have better luck in areas that aren’t as crowded. Pensacola Beach Park East and Navarre Beach are quiet and can be lucky spots to find seashells.   

Don’t be afraid to wade into the water and scoop up sand to find shells. Walking up and down the shore is a great way to find shells that may have been overlooked.  


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Be Prepared  

Be sure to bring a container of some sort to hold your shells. Carrying them up and down the beach in hand will not be effective. Try getting a bucket, bag, or another seashell-safe container.   

Also, an excellent way to dig for shells in the sand is by scooping handfuls and sorting through them. If you don’t want to do this with your bare hands, consider bringing a fishing net or a shovel to sift through your finds.  

Be Responsible  

While it’s exciting to discover seashells and wildlife, never take any live shells away from their natural habitat. If you find a shell with its resident still inside, always leave it where you found it.   




Published by Emily Seay
Thursday, December 29, 2022

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