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22 Apr 2022
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One of the most enjoyable things to do on the beach is to hunt for seashells. As we enter late Fall and early Winter, we are also entering the best time of year to find seashells! This week we have everything you need to know to find the best seashells. We also have a few helpful hints about what you need to bring to have a successful day on the beach. So grab a bucket and get ready to hit the beach for some summer Oak Island sea shelling. 

When to look

There are a lot of good times of times to look for sea shells. However, there are a couple of times that are great for shelling. 
The first thing to consider are tidal changes. When the tide changes there is a huge movement of water and this is great for stirring up those shells we are looking for. Of course, the tides are at different times each day. Local tides are easy to find and most weather apps will give you the time of the low and high tides. 
Weather is another factor that can make or break a day of shelling. Look for storms. While they may ruin a day of sunbathing the morning after a strong storm can be some of the best for looking for sea shells. The wave action has a way of shifting the sands and uncovering hidden treasures. 

Where to look

The beach is a dynamic and ever-changing landscape. For that reason, it is important to have a plan when you head to the beach for a seashell hunt. You might think just walking along the beach will give you as good a result as any other method, but in reality, there are some places that are better than others. Since the ocean acts like a washing machine churning and mixing the shells, you'll want to be in a place to take advantage of what mother nature offers. Where you ask?
The best place to hunt for seashells is right along the water's edge. This is because the constant wave action is always churning up the seafloor. Shells are then brought to the surface and dumped onshore, creating the perfect hunting grounds for seashell lovers!
Another helpful tip is to look for sandbars and other unique characteristics. This is often easiest done at low tide. The small disruptions in the shoreline offer seashell hunters a great opportunity to find that elusive shell you've been looking for. 

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What you need

Luckily hunting for seashells, sea glass, or just beach-combing, in general, is not only fun, but free. However, there are a few things that you can bring that will make your adventure even better. None of these items are required but definitely should be considered. Here are our top five things to bring on your next seashell hunt. 

Small Shovel

Shovels are an invaluable piece of equipment. You never know what treasures you will stumble upon, and having a small shovel can make life a lot easier. If you really want to go all out, you can purchase a long-handled shovel like those used by metal detector enthusiasts. These have small handles with small holes in the shovel allowing water and sand to fall through the bottom of the shovel while keeping your special find safe in the body of the shovel. 


A sifter is a great piece of equipment to have as well. Think of it like panning for gold. With a sifter, you can scoop up larger piles of seashells and glass. Just swirl it around and you'll find your treasures! Don't have a sifter? A cheap plastic colander is perfect for this task. 

Mesh Bag

It is easy to carry around one or two seashells, but for the serious hunter one or two shells is never enough. Mesh bags work great for carrying your seashells. Don't want to spend a lot of money? Grab a laundry bag at the dollar store! They work great and cheap. 

 Ziploc Bags

A small sandwich sized zip-top bag is just the thing you need to hold your tiny treasures such as sharks teeth and mini shells, no need to lose your treasures. 


Nothing ruins a day on the beach faster than a nasty sunburn! Not to mention, it is important to protect your skin from the suns harmful UV rays. 
Now you are ready to hit the beach and begin searching for that elusive piece of sea glass you've been looking for or perhaps that shell that you've always wanted! No matter what you do or don't find, one thing is for certain a day on the beach on Oak Island is always a great day!
Are you ready to get out of the house and head to the beach? If you are then we can help you plan an upcoming beach vacation on Oak Island. Give us a call today at 910-278-1147 to speak with one of our friendly reservationists. 


Why Sea Shelling is the Perfect Way to Enjoy the Beach