The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel is officially declaring June 20 as National Seashell Day. The destination—known for the thousands of intact seashells that wash up on its 50 miles of beaches—is offering groups and visitors alike several National Seashell Day deals and events to inspire seashell collecting this summer.
Captain Bubby’s IsLAND Tours is offering discounted private land tours for groups looking for an educational way to explore the area’s history and nature or even participate in a pirate hunt. Groups visiting the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum — the most comprehensive museum in the Western Hemisphere dedicated solely to shells — on Sanibel Island from June to October will receive a free shell bag.
The National Shell Day Walk is also taking place on June 20 for attendees looking to join Sanibel Sea School’s biologists on a beach walk where they will discover basic bivalve and gastropod biology and explore the reasons why shells wash up on these specific beaches. Other holiday events include tours that explore the history of the native Calusa people, or “shell people,” who once used the shell as a valuable tool in day-to-day life.
“As a destination renowned for world-class shelling, we are thrilled to officially declare June 20 as National Seashell Day,” says Tamara Pigott, executive director of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau. “Our beautiful shells have long attracted writers, artists and innovators to our beaches for creative inspiration and a connection to nature. National Seashell Day is a celebration of the gifts from the sea that make The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel so special.”
Travelers from all over the world visit the area’s popular shelling spots such as Sanibel Stop and Captiva Crouch in search of the about 400 different shell varieties that come in different shapes, sizes and colors. For groups that want to go on their own shelling excursions, it’s important to know that peak-shelling season is May to September. The best time of day to do it is an hour before and after low tide, or high tide after storms. Remember: It’s prohibited to collect any shell with a living mollusk/creature inside.