Anna Maria is “Old Florida Charm” with expansive sandy beaches on the Gulf of Mexico; hotels, motels, lodging, vacation rentals, condominiums, cottages, homes, hotels and motels, offering fun eco-friendly activities, nearby attractions, restaurants, shopping, nightlife and trolley.

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Shelling on Anna Maria Island, Florida Beaches


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For the serious beachcomber, the most important thing about shelling is to know the tides. Charts are featured in most local newspapers or check the local news for tidal changes as the best shells are found just before low tide. Another opportune time is after a storm – advancing cold fronts tend to push water away from the beach and tropical storms can churn up the tides bringing shells ashore.

Below are three excellent locations for shelling:

  1.   Park at the pier near Alamanda Road and North Shore Drive and walk counter clockwise around the tip of the island. Although shelling can be sporadic, it is a very short walk and you might enjoy seeing the numerous starfish.

  2.   Park near the gulf front park at Gulf Blvd. and Palm Ave. This is the best... especially at low tide when a sandbar extends out into the Gulf a few hundred yards.

  3.   Take the ferry to Egmont Key and pick shells until you can’t carry anymore!

Identifying your shells:

        The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum has a great online shell guide that will help you recognize the various pieces in your collection. To browse shells commonly found in South West Florida, go to their Website.




Anna Maria Island is “Old Florida Charm” on the Gulf of Mexico with expansive sandy beaches, lodging, vacation rentals, condominiums, cottages, homes, hotels and motels, offering fun eco-friendly activities, nearby attractions, restaurants, shopping, nightlife and trolley.

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  (north to south)
  Bradenton
  Longboat Key
  St Armands
  Lido Key
  Sarasota
  Siesta Key
  Casey Key
  Venice
  North Port
  Englewood
  Manasota Key
  Port Chalotte
  Punta Gorda

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Anna Maria Island offers six beaches with expansive soft, white sand and expansive views off the coast of Bradenton Florida in Southwest Florida on the Gulf of Mexico.
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