10 Best U.S. Shelling Beaches
© Peter Essick/Aurora
Sanibel Island, FL
Why Go: This shellers’ mecca attributes its bounty to a wide continental shelf. Bend over in a “Sanibel stoop” to hunt for the coveted junonia (a twisted cone shell with markings like a giraffe’s spots): find one and you’ll get your picture in the local papers. For the best pickings on this Manhattan-size island, head up to Bowman’s Beach, on the northern end of the Gulf-facing beaches almost to Captiva Island. Rainy day? Get your daily mollusk fix at the island’s Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum.
What You’ll Find: Coquinas, scallops, whelks, and sand dollars.