Sanibel Island is located on the west coast, the Gulf coast of Florida.
It is well known as an excellent location for collecting seashells. On the shores of Sanibel Island and neighboring Captiva, a wide variety of sea life and various types of shells wash up on shore. I visited and stayed there twice in the 25 years I lived in central Florida, but it would have been nice to go without kids so I could have strolled the beach leisurely…but I have NEVER been without kids…so I enjoyed the area from a kids view, which meant standing close by as they swam.
Nevertheless I did collect some nice little bivalves, like the spine jewel box shells in my photo below.
The gulf area is perfect for young children because the water is generally calmer than the Atlantic water and therefore not much of an undertow. It’s perfect for anyone because it’s just so beautiful. We watched gorgeous sunsets through the palm trees and were up early every morning to scour the beach for good shells. I’m lucky that I got to visit before it became so full of people.
One of the pretty shells found along the beaches is the jingle shell. They are pretty colors when collected on the West coast. On the East side of the state I often find black shells.
We’d see Stingrays gliding along just off shore. Beach shoes of some kind were necessary because the beach is made up of shells which are crushed and whole. We were afflicted with the “Sanibel Stoop” just like everyone else vacationing there! It happens when there is so much to view close up on the beach that you are in a constant stooping position.
I have large jar of shells that mostly came from the beaches there (in 1990 or 91) and I have recently been trying to identify them. Some of the shells in the image above are called “kitten’s paw” shells. I photographed them alongside a daisy flower to show how small they are.