The 7 mile stretch of sandy beaches that is Anna Maria Island offers fun for everyone. Want to work on your tan? Just find a spot, stick on some sun screen, stretch out and let the Florida sun do the rest. If you want to take in the sights then take an easy stroll along the beach before heading in to town to do some shopping and exploring. And when the heat gets too much you can spend your days swimming in the Gulf. The choice is up to you.
One of the favorite activities of visitors and locals is looking for unique and beautiful shells that have washed up on the beaches. Anna Maria Island is well known for its fantastic shelling opportunities and you will often see the entire family engaged in this fun activity, from grannies to toddlers. Here are a few tips to make sure your shelling expedition is a success.
- Hunt ‘Em Out. No matter where you are staying on the island, you’re never too far from a stretch of fine white sand and a collection of gorgeous shells. Although you’ll find plenty nestled on the sand, some of the best finds might take a bit more work. One of the best places to look is in the tangles of seaweed that wash up from the Gulf. Also, be sure to check out the sandbars created by low tides, as you’ll often be rewarded with something beautiful. Another great place to spot shells is close to Rod and Reel Pier and The Anna Maria Island City Pier.
- Wanted Dead. Not Alive. Remember that if you come across a live shell you are not allowed to remove it from the beaches, because the shell is still home to a live critter. This law includes live Sand Dollars and if you come across a live shell just place it gently back in the water.
- Can I See Some ID Please? Once you have completed your search for the day you can clean your findings by rinsing them in water and leaving them to dry or you can even submerge them in a light water and bleach mixture. Identifying the shells in your possession is almost as much fun as collecting them! Stop into one of the shops on the island and grab a shell identifying chart to figure out all of the different types that you were able to find.
So when you’re on Anna Maria Island make sure you pioneer across Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach or Anna Maria in search of buried treasures that will make the ultimate memorabilia of the wonderful days you have spent on vacation.
Have you been shelling on Anna Maria Island? We’d love to know what beautiful treasures you found.