Sanibel Island, Florida, is known as the shell island because, well, it’s made out of shells! Everywhere you go – shells. In everyone’s yard, on the side of the road, even the sidewalks are made out of shells.
All sorts of exotic shells can be found on the beach. I didn’t find any large shells, probably because it is such a popular pastime that all the really big ones get scooped up pretty fast, but there were literally tons of small shells. Bucket-loads. But if a big one is what you really want, there are plenty of shell shops that sell seashells by the seashore on Sanibel.
Say it with me now: Sanibel shell shops sell seashells by the seashore, Sanibel shell shops sell seashells by the seashore, Sanibel shell shops sell seashells by the seashore.
The reason there are so many shells here is because it is a barrier island that has an east-west orientation whereas most are north-south. Also the island is part of a large plateau that extends out into the Gulf of Mexico for miles and acts as a sort of shelf for the seashells.
The gorgeous shells and white sand beaches are only one reason to visit Sanibel Island. It is also home to the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge and I’ll have more on that next week.