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Finding the best secluded and/or shelling beach in Tampa Bay

Brooklyn, New York
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Finding the best secluded and/or shelling beach in Tampa Bay

I'm planning on going to Siesta Key Beach BUT I also want to go to a much more seculded beach as well as a beach I could find some cool shells. I'm assuming a beach with lots of nice shells wouldn't have the nicest sand so this might have to be a different beach from the seculded and relaxing one I'm looking for as well.

I won't be taking a boat out so it needs to be accessible by car (or car and a reasonable walk). I see so many beaches listed in the area (like Anna Maria Bay Beach, Bradenton/Cortez Beach, Greer Island Beach, Long Boat Key Beach, Turtle Beach, and Palmer Point beach just to name a few) but just don't know which would be best for the two things I'm looking for and there isn't a ton of information/photos about each on any of the sites that mention them. I've gotton some great help from the New Yorkers who know the area so hopefully you'll have some experience here as well. As long as it's above Ospry,FL and below Palm Harbor,FL I'm interested.

Tampa, FL
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1. Re: Finding the best secluded and/or shelling beach in Tampa Bay

Okay, well to start off, Siesta Key will most likely be crowded, at least the public beach almost always is. The sand is white, soft, and amazing; so it doesn't make the best beach to look for sea shells. A great place to find seashells is south of Siesta Key on Sanibel Island. It should be less crowded than Siesta Key too, and yes, you can drive there. :O)

http://www.sanibelisland.com/

Edited: 8:14 am, January 07, 2011
UK
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for Florida
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2. Re: Finding the best secluded and/or shelling beach in Tampa Bay

Best secluded beach is Ft De Soto. There are places where there are toilets and a cafe if you want, otherwise park off the raod and thru the dunes on a path to the beach. Miles and miles and not many peeps.

Shelling I am not too sure there is anything good close. Sanibel is great, but too far from you possibly. I have found some on North Captiva and Little Gasparilla but you have to go by boat. Perhaps Bean Point on Anna Maria might be OK, and I think the southern tip of Anna Maria/nothern tip of Longboat key?

Clearwater, Florida
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3. Re: Finding the best secluded and/or shelling beach in Tampa Bay

Sanibel is the place to go for shells in FL.

In the immediate Tampa Bay area, look at Honeymoon Island, and Caladesi Island. You can drive to Honeymoon, explore the beach there, and take a passenger ferry to Caladesi Island. Ferry is not a big boat, a larger pontoon type, short ride, Ferry is $10-ish.

Also, Fort DeSoto Park at the Southern tip of St. Pete Beach.

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: Finding the best secluded and/or shelling beach in Tampa Bay

"find some cool shells"

hmm, what constitutes a "cool" shell, in your mind ?

An unbroken, no worm holes, shell?

Does it have to be of a certain size?

My suggestion is to not have preconceived notions of what you want, but be delighted with any that you find, that are whole, with no holes, whether it is a small perfect auger or a lettered olive or a lovely left handed welk.

Take a stroll along any of the beaches, look down, carry a plastic bag with you so you can stash your shells somewhere while walking along the beach. Pick up any shell that is of interest to you, you can cull them later back at your accommodation.

Edited: 7:56 pm, January 07, 2011
5. Re: Finding the best secluded and/or shelling beach in Tampa Bay

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