January is National Hobby Month, and Tampa Bay’s beaches are full of fun activities for people with just about any hobby. One of those hobbies is shell hunting, and there are plenty of places to find unique shells in Tampa Bay. These four beaches, in particular, have great shelling.
Honeymoon Island State Park
Honeymoon Island, located in Dunedin, on the West end of State Road 586, is a nature lover’s retreat. The State Park offers an array of options to enjoy the natural elements of the park, including snorkeling, fishing, and hiking, amongst others. The shelling is particularly good on the North end of the island, where you can find all types of shells, including full sand dollars.
Caladesi Island State Park
Near Honeymoon Island State Park, Caladesi Island was voted America’s Best Beach in 2008. The beach’s most popular activities include shelling, paddle boating, and fishing. Caladesi’s shelling and beachcombing is especially good after a storm, as the high winds and strong currents will wash any number of interesting objects to shore.
Just south of Sarasota, Venice Beach is known for the abundance of shark teeth that can be found along the coast line. This beach also offers great scuba diving – there is a reef located about a quarter mile off shore. Venice Beach is a very popular spot, so it is recommended that you arrive early to get the best shelling before the beach gets too busy.
Accessible only by boat, Shell Island is a small barrier island in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Its location in the middle of Clearwater’s intercostal water make it a great shelling spot. Shell Island is a nature preserve, and is pretty small, so there isn’t much to do there other than enjoy the shelling and beautiful vistas. It is long and narrow, but secluded which makes it a great afternoon escape from other, more crowded areas.
These spots are just a few great places to go beachcombing near Tampa Bay. Each of these beaches make great day trips, or extended stay vacations. Learn more about Florida State Parks and Florida shelling beaches.