Shells are very beautiful objects and so many people flock beaches either to look at them or collect them. Winter storms normally stir up a bounty of beautiful and precious shells on the shore. In this article, we take a look at the top 10 beaches where you can find awesome shells and they include;
1. Sanibel Island, Florida
This is without the number one shelling spot in the U.S and probably the entire world. Shell lovers from all over the world come to this island just to see what it has got to offer. Sanibel’s beaches are protected by a broad underwater shelf that are perfect for receiving deliveries from shell laden currents. Sea shells cover almost the entire coastline, tinkling like wind chimes especially as they tumble over one another. The island also has limited development, abundance of wildlife and great restaurants making it the perfect getaway destination for shell lovers.
2. Ocracoke Island, North Carolina
The rarely seen scotch bonnet North Carolina state shell at times turns up on the beaches of Ocracoke. These are fragile but very beautiful egg shaped shells, with spiral bands and brown spots. These shells once housed a remorseless sea snail that fed on sand dollars and other smaller sea creatures. During the winter, the restless weather stirs up all kinds of treasures from the deep sea, flooding the coast with very beautiful but fragile shells.
3. Bandon, Oregon
Though west coast beaches are not known to provide bounties of shells, beaches in the small but charming town of Bandon, Oregon have been found to harbor some bounties of beautiful shells. These can be found in protected areas like at the mouth of the Coquille River. Winter storms do not just toss up beautiful shells but plenty of other precious finds like Japanese glass fishing floats as well as semi-precious stones like jasper and agate.
4. Tunnells beach, Kauai, Hawaii
Another beach that deserves a spot on our list of the top 10 beaches where you can find shells is Tunnels beach in Hawaii. There are several beaches on the north shore of Hawaii’s garden isle with plenty of shells on display mostly in the areas surrounding Haena but for nostalgic reasons, we shall single out Tunnels beach. Local legend has it that the the puka shell necklace craze that has taken over this area dates back as far as the 1960s. This area is not only popular for sea shells but is a good destination for snorkeling as well.
5. Galveston Island, Texas
The Gulf of Mexico beaches are among the most decorated with shells and gulf beaches are considered to be some of the best shelling beaches in North America. The western side of Galveston Island usually offers shell lovers some prime pickings especially during the winter months when storms drive the shells to the sea shore.
6. Flag Ponds Nature Park, Maryland
Most of the shells in this area especially along the Chesapeake bay are fossils that date back millions of years. These shells came from Calvert cliffs, a 30 mile stretch of what used to be the bottom of the sea during the Miocene Epoch. The bay today chews into the cliffs, leaving behind a trail of beautiful shells, shark teeth and other fossils from millions of years back. South of the bay is Calvert Cliffs state park that has a small public beach which is a good place to search for sea shells as well. However, the cliffs are unstable and people are normally encouraged to stay away from them.
7. Cumberland Island Northern Sea Shore, Georgia
Here lies 17 miles of undeveloped and almost unpeopled beach with plenty of UN picked specimen and sand dollars as well. No bridge reaches this island and access is only by ferry. However, it is worth all the time and effort as you will come across some of the most beautiful shells you will ever lay your eyes on. On the west side of the island where there is plenty of marshland, you can come across shark teeth as well. Apart from the shells and shark teeth, there are also plenty of birds and other wildlife on the island to make your shell searching adventures entertaining and interesting.
8. Great Peconic Bay, Long Island, New York
The great Peconic bay, located between the north and south forks of long island was once the largest source of bay scallops in the United States but most of this population was wiped out by algae in the mid-1980s. However, the beaches in this somehow unspoiled area still have plenty of bay scallop shells and other treasures. The bay scallops have also shown signs of recovery largely because of the restoration methods that have been put into place by New York City authorities.
9. Stinson Beach, California
Like earlier said, west coast beaches are not as endowed with shells as the gulf beaches but a couple of beaches on the west coast are a good hunting ground for sea shells. Stinson beach in California is yet another one of those west coast beaches that supplies plenty of limpet shells as well as sand dollars. It is also a good place for surfing and has plenty of restaurants making it an ideal getaway.
10. Point No Point Beach, Hansville
This beach offers great shelling with a good view as well. While shelling, you can catch a glimpse of a passing whale or Mount Rainier. On the beach, expect to find dog winkles, limpets and geoducks (the biggest burrowing clams in the world). The oldest lighthouse in Puget Sound watches over the ever green lined coast. The US Lighthouse society even rents out the lighthouse keeper’s house to visitors so you get chance to spend a night or two of your shelling adventure in comfortable quarters.
Those are the top 10 Beaches Where You Find Awesome Shells. There are plenty of shelling beaches but the 10 beaches mentioned above stand out from the rest. To book a trip to any of the beaches above, you can dial the National Express Number to find out the offers they have for you.