Seashells are the beach lover’s ideal souvenir. There is something special about finding a seashell intact and straight from the source. A flawless seashell, found and treasured, could be an encapsulation of your entire vacation getaway.
Finding a great one isn’t always easy. You have to put the time in – or put the kids on the job. Regardless, Siesta Key is just filled with fantastic seashells. Below is a quick guide you can use to find the best seashells on Siesta Key.
Where Do You Look?
As you scan the beaches, keep an eye on the areas where the water meets the sand. This always changes. An hour later, and you may have to walk it back a few yards to meet the new sand line. You may just have the chance to grab a “freshly-made” shell on its first official mark on the land.
You can also find shells that have collected along the upper parts of the beach. They tend to collect around objects or foliage. But always be careful of critters hiding away in the plants or live shells.
Don’t be hesitant to dig a bit. You might find some shells buried just beneath the white sand. It does not take much for sand to collect over other sand and quickly burrow some brilliant intact shells underneath the surface.
What Beaches are Best?
There are shells along every beach on Siesta Key including Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach. You will have to find a shell at some point as long as you stay near the water. But there are a few areas that could be more manageable for you.
The first is Turtle Beach (8862 Midnight Pass Road) which is far less crowded than Siesta Beach and offers parking, bathrooms, showers and other facilities. It’s ideal for shelling with the coarser sand and far fewer people, as many travelers get lucky here and snag some nice finds.
Another top option is Point of Rocks (6900 Point of Rocks Road). This isolated haven is a fantastic place to go shelling. The many small and large rocks in this natural formation house some rather beautiful seashells.
Shell Beach on the far western end of N Shell Road on the northern end of the island is another top place to look. It did not earn the name by pure coincidence. This tucked-away little escape is just gorgeous, and the northern placement of the beach by Big Sarasota Pass makes it a great gateway for collecting big shells.
There is one beach where you may not have as much luck. This is Siesta Beach, and there are two main reasons for this. The first is the foot traffic. The beach is popular, so finding many intact shells could be harder than it would be at a more isolated beach.
The second is the condition of the sand. The smooth crystalline sands fall like powder between your fingers. It may be incredible to lie on and cool to the touch, but these sands do not always hold as many intact seashell treasures as you would hope.
What Can You Find?
You can find a varied selection of shells both rare and common on Siesta Key. Keep an eye out for the spiky Lace Murex, which has that distinct brown and white coloration with spiky points.
There’s also the Junonia. This rare shell has a crisp white color with a beautiful brown dot pattern along its spine.
If you look long and hard enough, you may even find a fully intact Sailor’s Ear. These shells are a local treasure.
There is a Science To It
It’s not just luck; there really is a science behind how seashells collect and what the best places are. It depends on current conditions, the tides, and even the wind.
The tide report is always available for Siesta Key online, and you should start your shelling excursion during low tides. At these times you are more likely to find complete shells. Just be sure they don’t have a resident living in it!
Although they are prized trinkets, you can find a whole lot more than seashells on Siesta Key. We have some exceptional Siesta Key beach rentals, with bountiful views of the waters, epic interiors, spacious patios, and many family-friendly amenities. Come stay in our vacation condos to experience it for yourself!