Fancy a day at the beach? When you’re visiting Treasure Bay Resort and Marina, that will definitely be a daily itinerary stop. But sitting in the sun and lounging all day isn’t for everyone. Good thing there are plenty of activities to enjoy just steps from our gorgeous resort right on the Gulf of Mexico.


One popular excursion for a beach day paired with some leisurely activity is shell hunting.


Planning Your Shelling Adventure

The Treasure Island area is a haven for shellers of all kinds, whether hobbyists or serious collectors. The warm Gulf waters wash hundreds of thousands of seashells ashore each day. Shells native to the area include Fighting Conch, Whelks, Shark Eye, Alphabet Cone, Banded Tulpip, Horse Conch, and Junonia among many others.


Shelling is a fantastic way to explore the many pristine beaches that surround our Gulf Coast resort and stay active. But there are few things to remember to ensure you have the best experience.


You don’t need much to shell effectively. Bring a bucket or mesh bag and a sifter scoop. Wear sandals to protect your feet and try shuffling them in the sand to expose seashells that are partially hidden.


Please note that taking inhabited shells is illegal, so ensure no one is home in your shell prior to taking it. Mollusks, starfish and sand dollars are often simply waiting for the next tide to go back out to sea so please shell with respect for the fragile Gulf ecosystem.


Treasure Bay Resort and Marina signWhen to Go Shelling on Treasure Island


Typically, the most unique shells on Treasure Island are found after a storm when the surf has tumbled and tossed them around and deposited them on the beaches. So the next time there are some clouds, wind, and rain, instead of being disappointed, you can look forward to a shell delivery straight to you.


Sunrise is also a great time to plan for your shelling. Go as early as possible to find what the overnight waters have shared before everyone else arrives. We don’t know about you but quietly shelling on the beach at sunrise sounds like a picture-perfect morning to us!


Low tide is another factor to keep in mind. During low tide, the ocean recedes back exposing the previously water-covered shoreline. This is a fantastic time for shelling! Tide schedules can be found on nearly any weather app or one of our associates would be happy to assist you.



Explore On Your Own


Structured tours are great but if you like to do your own thing, we certainly won’t stop you! After all, you are on vacation, and no rules is just how we like it.


Treasure Island Beach is just steps from Treasure Bay Resort and Marina and it’s filled with seashells, so there’s no need to spend extra money if you’re just a casual sheller. The silky, sandy beaches of the Gulf are peppered with a variety of beautiful shells on any given day, so you are sure to find some unique discoveries.


Take the opportunity to slow down and take in the sights and smells. Feel the ocean breeze and the sun on your shoulders. Just go with the flow. After all, a bad day of shelling beats a good day of most everything else.


Shelling Tours Galore


However, we like options. Need a hand finding the magic location for shelling exploration? There is no shortage of tours available to help you have a shell of a good time!


Windsong Boat Rentals is a great choice for exploring some of the nearby islands and shelling spots only accessible by boat. Windsong recommends checking out the North Sand Bar at Anclote Key.

Fort DeSoto County Park, Shell Key, and Honeymoon Island State Park are all great spots for shelling as well, but you’ll need to travel by boat and stay away from the popular tourist gathering areas in order to find the best sea treasures. This is when a charter makes sense. Choose an hour or two, half-day or full-day. Windsong’s rates are very reasonable starting at just $25 an hour for a chartered experience.

Complete Your Collection

The Florida Shell Shop has been a staple on Treasure Island since 1955 and enables you to find shells that you may not have been able to hunt for yourselves.


No matter how you like to shell, your collection will be a constant reminder of your fun, relaxing shelling experience on Treasure Island. Packing your bags yet?