Seashell Season in Sarasota: Part 1

There’s no end of amazing discoveries to be made in Sunny Sarasota! Are you looking for some of the best shelling spots in Sarasota? Keep reading to find your unique vacation souvenir! 


One of my most treasured memories as a child was diving for sand dollars in Sarasota! Every evening, my siblings and I would run down to the beach and scatter everywhere, searching for the best shell to bring in. The crowning jewel of these shells was the sand dollar. I had many unforgettable memories, diving under the tropical waters for hours, all for the famed sand dollar. I never did find one of my own! My older sister had a knack for it – everytime she dove under, she would come up with another pristine sand dollar. Of all my childhood memories, shell searching in Sarasota was my favorite pastime. 


Seashells are some of the oldest inhabitants of the earth, and a prized treasure! While shells can be found all over the globe, Florida is known for their unique natural repository of alluring shells. Shells are the exoskeleton of mollusks, sea creatures with soft bodies. When a mollusk dies, the exoskeleton is left behind in Florida’s waters, creating some awesome souvenirs to bring home! 


Shells you can find in Sarasota

Sarasota is home to many different shells, but one of the most prized treasures is the sand dollar! Here are some other seashells you may find in Sarasota: 

  • Whelk
  • Olive
  • Sunray Venus
  • Scallops
  • Cat Paw
  • Coquina
  • Fighting Conch
  • Auger
  • Cockle
  • Turkey Wing
  • Jewelbox


Want to know more about your haul? You can purchase a shelling guide to help you determine the identity of your new treasures!


Shelling Advice

  • Follow the shell line and high-tide mark.
  • The early bird gets the worm! Shells wash up overnight, meaning the early morning is the best time for shelling.
  • The best time to search for shells is an hour before and after low tide. 
  • Hit the beach after a storm! Storms can bring in loads of unique shells you have never seen before!
  • Go snorkeling! You can get an up-close view of the shallows and sandbars, and find shells that haven’t made it to shore yet.