18 Oct 2018
There is the short history of shelling on Sanibel. The Island ranks in the top 3 world destinations for shelling and for many, that is all they know and all they need to know.
When you take a Sanibel beach walk, you will be greeted with a variety of shells. You will then see many doing the “Sanibel Stoop”. That’s the term for the bent posture used while collecting shells on Sanibel.
But the nuances of the shelling history are as compelling as the experience of shelling.
The island is situated in an east/west alignment in the Gulf of Mexico. Prevailing winds and strong currents come from the South that cause this eleven mile-long, 3 mile-wide island to become a “scoop” for shells.
Shells have created an economy for Sanibel's residents since the time of the Calusa Indians. They are highly integrated into the culture and the economy of Sanibel. Many visitors come to Sanibel and its neighbor island Captiva each week, drawn by the desire to walk their beaches and collect their shells.
No matter where they come from, tourists of all ages spend their time learning about the Island's history at the Sanibel Historical Museum. You can learn about the diverse wildlife that inhabits the Island at the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. Stop and study the ecology of the most famous island inhabitants - mollusks, during your visit to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. Visitors also enjoy the art of local artists in many cozy little boutiques and shops that sell wind chimes, jewelry, lamps, paperweights, decorative boxes and ornaments.
Of course, conversations in these shops are usually centered around shelling. They provide a good stopping point between a day's activities and a good place to catch up on the tide report!
Come visit us for some good shelling of your own. Book a Sanibel Holiday vacation here.