Which North Florida beaches are best for finding shells?

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Answered by: Noel, An Expert in the Beaches and Coasts Category
Whether you live in Florida or will just in the area for a vacation, hitting a beach is part of the quintessential Florida experience. Since the Sunshine State is a peninsula there is no shortage of beaches. Head in almost any direction and you will eventually hit a body of water. One of the many exciting things to do, other than swimming and sunbathing, is to collect shells. They are the perfect souvenir because they are plentiful, free, and each one is unique. Not all Florida beaches are created equal when it comes to shelling, some have more variety than others. Generally speaking, the Atlantic coast has more shells than the Gulf coast side The best location to find shells at North Florida beaches is at Fort Clinch State Park.

Fernadina Beach, located near the Florida- Georgia border, is home to Fort Clinch State Park. It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean and the St. Mary's River. A Civil War fort, museum, many hiking trails, and much more are packed into the park. The beach is an excellent location for swimming and surfing, but many people come to do some beach combing. There are a wide variety of shells on this Florida beach plus plentiful fossilized shark teeth.

Collecting shells is simple and easy at any Florida beaches, but there a few tips that can help beachcombers Timing is essential. The best time to hit the beach is at low tide, which happens twice a day. There is a broader expanse of beaches at these times making it easier to cover more territory. Another ideal time to find more beach treasures is after a storm. Lots of interesting shells and other debris will wash up on shore. Oftentimes jellyfish, seaweed, and driftwood will end up on shore as well as more shells than usual. There is also the potential to find rare shells at this time. Most people will just use a bucket to collect their findings, but others prefer to bring a rake and a trowel as well. The best advice is to start small and work your way up as you feel comfortable. The final tip is in regards to local law. Empty shells are legal to take but any shell that is still occupied by a living creature is illegal to remove from the water and beach. Simply take a few pictures with your findings and return it to the water then everyone wins.

Any trip to the North Florida beaches is incomplete without a stop at Fort Clinch State Park. It is a grand place to spend the day. There is a historical fort and plenty of outdoor activities to entertain all ages. Tucked into the state park is a wonderful beach that is an ideal location for beachcombing. Visitors can find many varieties of shells and if they are lucky, a few fossilized shark teeth. So whether you hope to find a few shells to take home as a souvenir, or if you are a serious collector, then Fort Clinch Beach is the place for you.

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