Shelling on Marco Island is for both the young and not so young visitors to this beautiful island. Your agenda upon arriving may not include shelling; however, it is highly probably you will leave Marco with shells. The larger shells are beautiful additions to flower beds or along walks. I have several glass containers of shells throughout my house (in my office, bedrooms and baths) to remind me of Marco Island all year round.
Marco Island has beautiful white sandy beaches with many treasures for those who enjoy shelling. Sea Mar Condo provides shelling baskets. We also have a shelling book on the coffee table to help you identify your shells.
Shelling is a wonderful experience on Marco Island and you can make your shelling expedition more enjoyable and rewarding by being prepared before you go.
Our Shelling To Do List
Here are several things to make your shelling experience more rewarding:
1) Check the tides. Low tide is the best time to shell because more shells will be exposed as the water recedes. However, if you plan on walking across an inlet to a sand bar, start early. Give yourself enough time to return before high tide.
2) Wear comfortable shoes and plenty of suntan lotion. Blisters and sunburn are no fun.
3) Take along one of our shelling baskets and perhaps a small plastic bag to put your shells in.
4) Do not take live shells from the beach.
5) Clean your shells outside at the shelling station (outside the gate as you come from the beach area). Cleaning shells inside will clog water pipes with sand which can be very expensive to repair.
6) After washing shells, place them in a mixture of half Clorox and half water for several hours. We have a bucket in the condo which you may use – please do this on the balcony area.
7) Clean small colorful shells with rubbing alcohol. This will bring out the color in the shells, where bleach may fade the colors.
8) Starfish are fragile – use alcohol to cure them and let them dry in the sun.
9) Bleach Sand dollars in half Clorox and half water for several hours. Rinse them thoroughly after bleaching and allow them to dry completely in the sun. Once they are dry, use a mixture of Elmer’s Glue diluted with water to whiten them and protect them.
10) Both Starfish and Sand dollars are fragile. They need to be wrapped in paper towels and packed in plastic containers for transporting them home.
11) Use our shell book located on our coffee table in Sea Mar Condo to identify all your shells. Impress your friends with your knowledge!
It is Illegal to Take Live Shells
Marco Island, and especially the Tigertail Beach area of Sand Dollar Island are great places to find colorful, unique, and even rare shells. However, do not take shells that are live from the beach – this is illegal.
Visit our website at https://seamarcondo.com to see our rates and availability. Our website also provides more information on Sea Mar Condo and Marco Island.
Let us help you make the most of your Marco Island vacation!