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How to Find Big Shells On The Beach [5+ Tips]

  • If you want to find big shells on the beach, go early in the morning- especially after strong winds or storms
  • Check out the beach during low spring tides and whenever there was a full moon or during new moon periods
  • Be patient and take care to really spend the time scouring areas– and you might luck into a Nautilus Shell, a Hundred-Eyed Cowrie Shell, a Queen Conch Shell, a Miyoko Murex Seashell, a Conus Gloriamaris Seashell, or even a Venus Comb Murex Shell
  • Look where others aren’t looking– shells end up in unexpected places, especially after storms
  • Stay where the sand is wet, below the wrack line (the area where organic material like seagrass, kelp and the shells is deposited at high tide. If you go too high up, you’re just foraging picked over shell treasure
  • Bring your kids: kids have great eyesight and since they love shell collecting they can be enthusiastic scavengers!

Finding a large shell on the beach is a fun beach activity. They’re really rare, and finding one is always exciting! From whelks to cowries to conchs, these shells provide many functions in our lives.

Tips On How to Find Big Shells

They can be used as tools, food, jewelry, and beautiful decorations. But they’re not easy to find, so it’s no surprise that people go to great lengths to find them. Also, check out how to pose for photos on the beach with your discovered treasure.

If you want to find some of these giant treasures for yourself, here are some tips on how to find big shells on the beach. They include:

Look For The Shells In The Morning

Look For The Shells In The Morning.

The best time to find shells is in the morning. The waves that come at night can wash away the sand, and there’s a higher chance of finding them in the morning.

Go After Or Before Low Tide

The best time to look for shells is low tide because the water is the calmest. But if you want to find a shell or an especially big one, you can go after high tide as well. The waves will make the sand easier to sift through, and you’ll be more likely to find shells that are buried.

Bring a Digging Tools


A metal spoon or a trowel is a great digging tool for finding shells in the sand. If you don’t have one of these tools, bring something that will help dig into the sand, like a long stick or your hands! Also, make sure you wear a proper beach hairstyle so you don’t get too messy!

Look Near Rocks And Driftwood

Shells can get stuck between rocks, so it’s best not to miss any areas while searching for them on the beach. Driftwood can also be good places where shells might be hiding, so don’t forget to check them out as well!

Look For the Shells On Wet Sand


Shells are found in many different areas. Typically, people find them on dry sand. But if you want to find a big shell, look for the still-wet ones. They’re most likely found in damp sand near the water’s edge.

The shells need a little time to dry so they can survive. That’s why you’ll typically find more large shells near the water because they have more time to dry, and they’re not as vulnerable to predators like birds who might take a liking to them.

Work as a Team


While you may be eager to find that large shell all for yourself, it’s best to work on the hunt as a team. You’ll have more eyes and ears to help you search for shells and can cover more ground by working together. Plus, it will be easier for one person to carry them back if they are found. After you’re done, why not set up a beach bonfire for nighttime fun.

Take Your Time and Explore

It’s important to take your time searching and not just rush from one place to another. This way, you’ll be more likely to find the bigger shells. Sometimes they’re hiding under rocks or in other places you might not think of at first. Explore and see what you can find!

Look For Shells In Places With Few People.

If you want to find a big shell, the last thing you want to do is look for it in areas with lots of people. Many people mean lots of trash on the beach, and when you’re looking for a specific type of shell, they mustn’t be mixed in with other garbage.

So if you’re searching for whelks or conchs, head to an area with few people. But if you’re looking for cowries, search in an area that has a lot of people because they often get mixed up in the sand and don’t stand out as much.

Always Dig Into The Sand

person in blue long sleeve shirt and blue denim jeans standing on brown sand during daytime

If you’re searching for a shell, always dig into the sand. (Digging into the sand is a great way to find crabs on the beach) The shells are often buried and can be hard to find if you don’t dig into the sand. You may even have to dig down several inches before you find a shell.

When you’re looking for a shell, you must know what type of shell it is before digging in because there are different types of shells that look very similar to each other. For example, there are two main types of whelks: the knobbed whelk and the tiger whelk.

These two look very similar, but they have different uses and appearances, so if you don’t know what kind of whelk you’re looking for, it’s better to dig up all of them so that they can be identified later on.


The above-discussed tips will help you find big shells which are not easy to find. Remember that patience is a virtue if you want to be successful in searching for big shells. If you’re patient, you’ll be able to find a big shell and add it to your collection!

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