Thursday, April 18, 2024

Seashell Hunting in Gulf Shores | A Guide

Shelling in Gulf Shores, AL
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Shelling is a favorite activity in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, attracting both residents and tourists alike. Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, these beaches are a haven for a wide variety of shells. As a result, visitors can enjoy collecting a diverse selection along our shores. To help you make the most of your shelling experience, we've compiled essential tips and information.

What Kinds of Shells Might You Discover? The shells scattered across our beaches once served as protective homes for various mollusks such as clams, scallops, mussels, and oysters. These creatures lack a backbone and rely on their shells for support and safety.

Here are some typical shells you will encounter on Alabama’s beaches:

  • Angel Wing
  • Ark Clams
  • Ballast Stones
  • Common Egg Cockle
  • Florida Fighting Conch
  • Coquina Clams
  • Lettered Olive
  • Mermaid’s Purse
  • Moon Snails
  • Oyster Drill Snails
  • Oyster
  • Sand Dollars
  • Scallops
  • Snail Slipper
  • Surf Clams

Optimal Times for Shelling in Gulf Shores & Orange Beach The best shelling on the Alabama Gulf Coast often occurs early in the morning as the sun rises. Low tides and periods following stormy weather, which push shells onto the beach, also provide excellent opportunities. Shelling is a year-round activity here, enjoyable at any time and in any season.

Several public beaches are known for their rich shell deposits, often recommended by locals:

  • Alabama Point: Situated at the Perdido Pass Bridge, this beach spans 6,000 feet along the coastline within Gulf State Park and is ideal for shell collection. While it offers fewer amenities than other areas, it tends to be less crowded. Address: 28105 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

  • Beach at Little Lagoon Pass: This spot where Little Lagoon meets the Gulf of Mexico features amenities such as restrooms and a fishing pier. It has paid parking available near the Lee Callaway Bridge and is known for its clear, shallow waters, making it excellent for shelling. Address: 1660 West Beach Blvd., Gulf Shores, AL 36542

  • Gulf State Park Beach: This beach offers a full day of activities with 2.5 miles of shoreline and plentiful amenities including a snack bar, restrooms, a pavilion, and shaded areas. Address: 22250 East Beach Blvd., Gulf Shores, AL 36542

  • Fort Morgan: Located on Mobile Point at the junction of the Gulf and Mobile Bay, this secluded beach is near the historic Fort Morgan. It's an excellent place for a combined historical and natural exploration. Address: Fort Morgan Road, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

These locations offer prime spots for shelling, each with its unique appeal and beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned shell collector or a first-timer, the shores of Alabama are sure to provide a memorable experience.

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