A Guide to Shelling in Orange Beach & Gulf Shores AL

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Shelling is a fun and rewarding activity along the coast of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach that you can do all year long! All along the Gulf Coast of Alabama, the beaches collect a variety of seashells, and you can have a different experience every day. 

Shelling in Orange Beach & Gulf Shores AL

There are a wide variety of shells that you might find along our beaches, all with different shapes, sizes, and colors. All shells were once (or are currently) home to mollusks. Mollusks like clams, oysters, mussels, and scallops have the protection of a shell to keep their soft bodies safe. 

  • Angel Wing
  • Ballast Stones
  • Florida Fighting Conch
  • Coquina Clams
  • Mermaid’s Purse
  • Moon Snails
  • Oyster
  • Sand Dollars
  • Scallops
  • Surf Clams
  • ...and more!

Best Time to Find Seashells in Orange Beach

While there's no bad time to go shelling, rough waters and low tides offer the best chance for a great haul! 

It's best to get out on the beaches as early in the morning as you can. Venture out to the beach as the sun comes up, and slowly stroll along the shoreline to find shells. You'll find a plethora of shells of all sizes and shapes scattered along the shore. 

Shelling is also great right after a storm or after a full moon when the tides shift and the ocean's best-hidden treasures turn up on the beach. 

Places to go Shelling in Orange Beach

family of four shelling on beach

Alabama Point

Located at Perdido Pass Bridge, Alabama Point boasts 6,000 feet of coastline within the Gulf State Park Beach. This small stretch of beach juts out alongside the bridge, making it the perfect spot for shells to collect. There are some amenities at this beach, but not as many as the larger section of Gulf State Park Beach, and it typically doesn't get too crowded here. 

Address: 28105 Perdido Beach Blvd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Beach at Little Lagoon Pass 

Little Lagoon Pass is where Little Lagoon and the Gulf of Mexico meet. This beach has some on-site amenities, including restrooms and a fishing pier, and there is paid parking available near the Lee Callaway Bridge. Little Lagoon Pass Beach is typically uncrowded and offers clear, shallow waters that are perfect for shelling. 

Address: 1660 West Beach Blvd., Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Gulf State Park Beach

If you're interested in having a full day out on the beach while shelling, Gulf State Park Beach is a great place to go. With abundant amenities and things to do, Gulf State Park Beach offers 2.5 miles of shoreline to explore. 

As the state park, there are plenty of amenities available, including a snack bar, restrooms/showers, a pavilion, shady areas, and more. 

Address: 22250 East Beach Blvd., Gulf Shores, AL 36542 

Fort Morgan 

Fort Morgan is a secluded area west of Gulf Shores that is located on Mobile Point, which is where the Gulf and Mobile bay connect. This section of the beach is where the historic Fort Morgan is located. Plan a visit to the National Historic Landmark and spend some time perusing the beaches that surround it in search of shells. 

Address: Fort Morgan Road, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

 

You can even go shelling along the beaches right in front of SeaChase Resort. Have your cup of coffee as the sun starts to rise and feel the sand under your feet as you start your day. 

Rules for Shell Collecting in Coastal Alabama

  • Don't collect anything that has a current inhabitant.
  • Only collect items that have washed ashore.
  • Collect conservatively and don't disturb the habitat as you make your way through.
  • Understand local rules and regulations, especially if you are shelling in a state or natural park. 

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