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! 

Shelling Advice

Tidal Deposits

It’s no secret that Sarasota’s barrier islands have the best shells! A tip from shell experts: follow the tides. The best time to search for shells is an hour before and after low tide. Separating each island, you will find waterways that hold the best shell hauls! Each incoming tide brings fresh treasures to find. 

Beat the crowds

The further away from the crowds you get, the better your shelling prospects! It’s much easier to find a prime shell selection away from the busy areas of the beach.


Are you on the search for the famed sand dollar? Find a sandbar! Sandbars are known for having fresh shell deposits, full of sand dollars. Sand Dollar Island, found between Siesta and Lido Keys, promises fresh, breathtaking treasures every evening!

Don’t forget! The Golden Rule of Shelling: Never take a shell with a living creature still in it. 

Where to find the best shells in Sarasota

You’ve read some of the best shelling secrets, now you just need to know where to go! Below you will find Sarasota’s prime shelling spots.

Englewood shell display

Florida’s Barrier Islands

Siesta Key

Lido Key

Longboat Key

Casey Key

Venice, Manasota Key

Looking for a more unique souvenir to remember your Sarasota vacation by? Venice is famed for their fossilized shark teeth! 

Tips for cleaning your shells

To clean your shells, simply wash them with fresh water, or let them soak overnight for the ones that need a deeper clean. If your shell has algae stuck on it or is discolored, you can use a diluted clorox solution. 

Creative Ways to Use Your Shells

Shells make a great home decor item! There are many ways you can use your shells once you bring them home. A great way to repurpose shells is by placing a strand of christmas lights in a glass vase and filling it with sea treasures. This makes a beautiful room accent in any season! Other ways you can get creative with your shells is by gluing them to gift boxes, mirrors, lamps, and chairs. Anything you can glue it to, shells will turn it into a fun, tropical decoration. 

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