How you can find the best seashells on the beach

Ask any of your obsessive/compulsive shellers what their secrets to success are, and you’re likely to get some answers that are totally all over the place. 

Some folks like to think it’s a matter of skill. They know when to go, where to look and most importantly – what time of year to go out and find specific kinds of shells. Others attribute their success mostly to luck – that they’re more often than not in the right place at the right time. 

We tend to think it’s a little bit of both. You need to have some skill to find the best shells – but even when you know what you’re doing – as is the case with anything in life – you need a little luck to help you out.

Today, we’re going to talk about a few things you can do in order to find some great looking seashells – the kinds of shells that you’ll be able to use in your next art project, proudly store at home – or simply just create a great memory. Let’s jump right in.

Go early in the morning.

Low tide is unquestionably the best time to go find sea shells – and low tide almost always happens early in the morning. It’s even better when you go early in the morning on the heels of a storm. Perhaps most important of all though – is you’ll be beating the crowds. Most people peruse the beach during the day – which means by the time the afternoon rolls around, most of the good shells have been looted from the beach. Remember – the early bird always gets the worm!

Stay where the sand is wet

The best shells are usually found below the wrack line (where debris can be found from high tide from the previous night). Don’t get us wrong – you can find some beautiful shells in the dry sand as well – but most of those will likely have been damaged or their colors worn down from sitting in the sun too long. If you’re looking for bright, bold, colorful ‘like new’ shells however – below the wrack line is going to be your best bet. 

Go where others don’t

Now let’s be crystal clear here – don’t put your physical health at risk for seashells. Ever. But also don’t be afraid to look in some nooks and crannies that others might be avoiding. Stray off the beaten path a bit. Check inside stumps and driftwood. Check out the large boulders by the jetty. Rifle through a thick clump of mangrove. Explore. Roll your sleeves up. Even get a little dirty! Sometimes the right shells are in the places everyone else has passed on.