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It's a natural fit for tourists to visit Sanibel Island when they are vacationing in Fort Myers. Sanibel, a short drive from Fort Myers, is most famous for its abundance of seashells. People constantly rave about the shells found on Sanibel Island, but never really talk about why the area is so good for shelling.  

Sanibel and the seashell

Sanibel Island is essentially a plateau that extends into the gulf waters in an east to west fashion, rather than north to south. This allows the island, which can be compared to a shelf, to accumulate massive numbers of seashells that are eventually swept to shore when the tide comes in.

Sometimes finding unique shells on Sanibel Island can be hit or miss. Follow some of these tips to ensure you'll hit the jackpot during your visit.

1. Go shelling when the tide is low. A low tide means there's more beach to cover, and possibly even a sandbar.

2. Hunting for shells on a beautiful sunny day sounds fabulous, but actually it's better to find shells during stormy, windy weather. High winds tend to wash the shells onto the beach. The perfect time for shelling on Sanibel Island? Following a tropical storm or hurricane (but don't go shelling during these storms!).

3. Keep in mind that the larger shells are closer to Captiva Island while the smaller ones generally wash to shore around the lighthouse.

4. Bring a net!


Additional links:

Sanibel Island & Captiva Island Chamber of Commerce
The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum


Special Discount Rates on these Sanibel Hotels

Holiday Inn Fort Myers Downtown Historic La Quinta Inn Fort Myers
Best Western Fort Myers Waterfront Howard Johnson Express Inn
Crowne Plaza Ft Myers at Bell Tower Shops Days Inn Fort Myers North
Click here for more Downtown Fort Myers Hotels
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