When people think of Florida the first thing that usually comes to mind is lazy beach days. You picture yourself lounging in a chair with the water tickling your toes and the sun bathing you in rays of warmth. I'd bet you could almost smell the sunscreen and feel the ocean breeze in your hair. When I picture the beach I envision shells; piles of them as far as the eyes can see. Hours of walking, bending over to dig through mountains of seaweed, and carrying heavy bags full of ocean goodies sounds like the perfect day to me.
Now, I'm not far from the ocean, just a quick 20 minute drive to paradise. However, I live on the south east coast of Florida. Shells are not as easy to come by as you might think. While the shell-filled beach of Marco Island is just across the state, the beaches here are pretty bare. Truth be told, when most people find a sandy spot that blesses you with shells, they are most are likely to keep it a closely guarded secret. I'm a firm believer that the ocean has plenty of gifts for us all so I'm going to dish on my favorite place to go shelling in my neck of the woods.
Just an hour north of Boca Raton, hidden away in Palm Beach County is the picturesque Jupiter Beach. Best known for it's towering, historic Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum; there is so much to do and see in this beautiful city. For me, it's Coral Cove Park that grabs my attention and keeps me coming back for more. By far, I've found it to have the most shells of any beach I've seen locally. This stunning spot is located on nearly secluded barrier island and makes the perfect day trip for any beachcomber. With 600 feet of peaceful beach, you'll enjoy searching for oyster shells, olives, augers, turkey wings, jingles, cockles, murax, angel wings, lion's paws, bittersweet clams, conchs, bonnets, and droves more.
You might not take home the haul you would from shelling on Marco Island or Ten Thousand Islands, but you will most certainly score in a big way. So the next time you here in South Florida, add Coral Cove Park to your agenda. I promise, you'll be glad you did. Email us some pictures of the shells you find there; we'd love to see how you made out. As always, please be responsible when you comb any beach. Leave all live shells alone and pick up any trash you see along the way.