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Shelling

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Grimes
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Shelling

Our family is headed to HHI in July. Everyone enjoys something different about the beach, but I enjoy shelling. I've been reading several posts about the shells. What is shelling like there and is there somewhere up or down the coastline that is better to find shells. I think I've been spoiled by the Florida beaches, but I am keeping an open mind. Thanks for you comments.

Hilton Head, South...
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1. Re: Shelling

Hilton Head is part of a sand bar system and as such, we get fewer shells washing up onto the main beach as some other areas such as the Florida coast or even the Outer Banks. Mitchelville and Fish Haul beaches are the best for shelling (close to Dillon Rd- Beach City Rd. intersection), but go during low tide. Wear sturdy shoes (I prefer rubber boots) and wade out onto the mud flat. Take a small shovel or trowel and you will find all sorts of goodies buried slightly below the surface.

The Coastal Discovery Museum does a beach discovery tour at Mitchelville on Tuesday mornings. The first part is an educational presentation about various beach life and the second part is a guided beach combing experience. But if you are a veteran "sheller," just venture out and explore.

Joanne

PS Check out the museum for other family tours throughout the week.

Hilton Head, South...
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2. Re: Shelling

Def, skip HHI if you are into shelling, its terrible. HHI is the worst shelling beach on the SC Coast IMO.

There are some shark teeth to be found on a regular basis though.

Better spots to find shells in South Carolina:

Fripp Island

Edisto Beach (Really good spot)

Isle of Palms

Folly Beach (Especially if you get away from the hotel areas)

Litchfield Beach (Great shells and shark teeth)

For Florida, you can't beat Sanibel/Captiva, those are the shell capitals of the world right there.

Ontario, Canada
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3. Re: Shelling

Don't ever SKIP Hilton Head Island. While the shelling may not be as great as other beaches...there are still shells to be had. The hunt just might be a little harder! Lots of ocean life still washes up on the beach...we always find treasures on our walks!

Chicago
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4. Re: Shelling

The OP already stated that they are coming later next month. It's juvenile as well as unnecessary to tell them to skip a destination.

While shelling is simply not that great on the Island, it will make up for it in other areas. I haven't experienced shelling ever like the outer banks of NC, but all the other pluses keep me coming back to Hilton Head.

This year I am determined to explore the type of shelling that is offered through the Coastal Discovery Museum.

Have a great trip, return with any questions and be sure to post a trip report on your return home, even if it's just a paragraph to tell us if you liked it.

Happy travels!!

Daufuskie Island
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5. Re: Shelling

There are some great shells to be found including abundant sand dollars along with lettered olives, Carolina whelks and moon snails. Horseshoe crabs are everywhere. My wife hunts and collects sharks teeth.

Remember don't take live shells, especially sand dollars and starfish.

The best shelling will be early morning before the regular tourists wake up, especially at low tide. Also go to the far ends of the island, around the corner on the "sound" side of the island. This is where you will find the most whelks and larger shells. Unfortunately almost all of these will have hermit crabs inside so you seldom find one that you should keep.

Daufuskie Island is also a great place for shells. The beaches are pretty much empty all the time so very few shells get picked over.

And the big cannonball jellyfish that you see on the beach are harmless. Don't freak out. They are actually quite beautiful with short stubby tentacles and intricate internal deep purple patterns visible in the sunlight.

Have fun!

-Jeff

6. Re: Shelling

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Grimes
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7. Re: Shelling

Thank you so much for all your comments! We are excited to see all that the island has to offer! I am not discouraged in what I'll find. It's just a new adventure!

Pittsburgh...
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8. Re: Shelling

We were at Singleton Beach right now and found all kinds of star fish,sand dollars, and shells but they were all full of crabs.was still fun for all of ages. have fun.

Hilton Head, South...
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9. Re: Shelling

Yes, there are good shell finds on our beaches, but what and where does vary. The beach is an ever changing environment so you never know what will be washed up until you look. For me, that's part of the fun. How boring it would be to have the same buffet of shells every day on every beach.

Joanne

SW Illinois
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10. Re: Shelling

I'm with you, Joanne. We visited Sanibel Island a few years back, and there were so many shells that it got to be a little boring. ;-) I've never seen the number of sand dollars elsewhere like on HHI. I almost always find one that I can bring home each time we visit HHI.