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seashells in sand
7 May 2020
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Shell hunting on the beaches of Coastal Alabama is always an adventure! You never know what your treasure of the day will be. The tropical weather here along the Gulf Coast influences the location, type, and volume of seashells you will find. You can go to the same beach over and over, finding a wide assortment of bounty.

Where Can I Find the Best Shells in the Gulf Shores / Orange Beach area?

Short answer: check out the weather forecast and ask around about recent storms.

Depending on where the storm originates (from the east or from the west), the results can be amazing. After a tropical storm, you often see much larger sizes of seashells along the shore...making a very fine adventure!

When Is The Best Time to Find Shells in the Gulf Shores / Orange Beach area?

Many travelers that visit the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area like to get out early in the morning to see what the night has deposited. Head out at first light and move along the shore slowly. Miniature shells are plentiful but often overlooked. Keep in mind, the tide changes that occur during and after a full moon make it the perfect time to find those sought after shells. Head out just after a low tide and you’ll be surprised at everything the ocean turned up on the beach.Your finds may vary depending on where you search along our beautiful 32-mile shoreline of sugar white sands. Always take a look around overpasses, piers or bridges, as well as in the large sand piles where the city has cleared areas overnight.

Shell-Collecting Etiquette

  • Collect conservatively. Do not collect living juveniles. Do not take everything you find.
  • Leave the habitat as undisturbed as possible. Return things to the way they were when you entered the habitat.
  • Learn the local regulations. State and national parks, as well as marine preserves, generally have laws against taking live shells. Some states require a fishing license to collect live shells from public waters.
  • Respect private property fronting the waters. The waters are public but the land often is not.
  • Appreciate any gifts of nature that come your way.

Start Planning Your Gulf Shores / Orange Beach Vacation