Everyone’s doing it! They’re grabbing their nets and heading to the tide line in search of washed up treasures. Over the last few years shelling and searching for sea glass has become a favorite past time for beach goers, walking up and down the coastline in pursuit of the perfect shell.

The best time to join the hunt is at low tide, the ocean has once again retreated and along the tidelines an abundance of beautiful shells and other treasures are scattered on the beach. Other great opportunities to find shells are after a summer storm or during a full moon period where the tide reaches higher than normal.

Everyone has their favorite method for finding the best shells. Some prefer to use a small net to scoop shells and then shift the sand out leaving nothing but handfuls of sparkling trophies. Others rely on good eyesight and combing through the valleys of washed up goods, either way they all leave the beach happy, buckets and bags full of shells!

Holden Beach is a treasure trove for lightning whelks, sand dollars, scotch bonnets, coquina clam shells and more. Every time you venture out into the sand, you’re sure to bring home a new favorite shell, just remember to check your shells for living occupants, and return them to the sea if found to be inhabited!


Seashells aren’t the only thing given by the sea, if you look hard enough you may be able to find mermaid tears or more commonly known now as sea glass. Sea glass is a reversed gem, made by humans and refined by nature. These beautiful gems take seven to ten years to make and their beautiful colors and shapes make them worth waiting for.

The color of sea glass depends on the color of the original glass, common colors tend to be browns, greens, and blues. Purples, pinks and reds are rare and a beautiful find. In recent years plastic has replaced glass in the industrial world making finding sea glass harder than ever.

What are you waiting for? Put on your sunscreen and kick off your flip flops and start shelling!

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