Shelling is one of the most popular activities for people visiting the beaches near Fort Myers. It could be because it is one of the most bountiful areas for shells and it is actually hard to find places that don’t have any shells on the beach, or because it is such an easy and relaxing way to pass time during a vacation. Whatever the reason is, beaches around Fort Myers offer some of the best shelling in the world.

For individuals who have never been shelling, don’t worry. This is about the easiest thing to learn. If you can see, walk and bend over occasionally you can go shelling. Basically to get started, all you need to do is walk down the beach where there are shells, and pick the ones that you are interested in.

Shelling Regulations

While shelling is very simple to get into, a few regulations need to be remembered as punishment can include a $500 fine and 60 days in jail for a first offense.

Florida state laws prohibit collecting live creatures from the water or beaches, which includes live shells, sand dollars and starfish. I am no expert on these laws, so I highly recommend reading and researching about the rules from people more familiar with the matter or calling the Florida department of fish and wildlife if you have questions.

Getting Serious about Shelling

For those who get hooked, the next step usually is to identify the types of shells and either search for certain types, or building a diverse collection. Here’s a great web page for identifying shells which shows photos of each type.

If you decide to get more “serious” about shelling, I recommend you read through the I Love Shelling blog, which is based out of Sanibel Island. When you are in here, you might also want to go to the Shell Museum also over in Sanibel. You can also schedule a private boat tour where a guide will take you to islands which are only accessible by boat, for the ultimate private shelling experience.

Sanibel does have some of the best shelling in the world and if you are serious about shelling, that’s the place to go. Captiva is also a good place to go shelling, and for those just starting out or looking for a way to pass time, Fort Myers Beach also does offer shelling opportunities. The best place for shelling on Fort Myers Beach is south from the mid-island area. Head down to the parking lot at Strandview Avenue (on the beach side, almost across the street from Publix grocery store) and start walking south on the beach.