Shelling on Caladesi Island

CaladesiWhat would most moms do on a girl’s weekend? Sleep late, see a non-animated movie, relax at the spa and eat at a restaurant without a kid’s menu. This past weekend I was so excited to have a relaxing girls weekend with my roommate from college. She’s from the north. So she appreciates the warm Florida weather at the beach. Her one request was to go shelling on Caladesi Island.

In the fifteen years, I have lived in Tampa, we have shelled at the beach, but there was no pressure to find really awesome shells. Knowing that we were staying on Clearwater Beach, I researched shelling in Pinellas and found that Caladesi Island was highly recommended because of its more remote access and there are a lot of shells to choose from. We were excited and had our beach gear ready to go.

shellsGetting to Caladesi Island requires a ferry trip from Honeymoon Island for a small fee unless you have your own boat. The ferry ride added to the fun seeing wildlife along the way. Once we reached the Island, it was straight to the beach for shelling. We walked over a mile on the white sandy beach searching through the vast number of shells for the best and biggest, most unique and unoccupied. There were many inhabited Fighting Conch shells. Typically, when our family goes shelling at most beaches, we may fill up half of a gallon ziplock bag. At Caladesi Island, we were overflowing with shells and could hardly carry all our loot in just one bag.

sandAs we were walking back along the beach, we saw an entrance to the nature walk. We thought it would be fun to see a different part of the Island and look for wildlife. There was much more to do on the island than I remembered visiting about ten years ago. The nature walk was very pleasant and doable for kids. There was a playground near the concession area, too. I was thinking how much fun it would be to come back with the family for a fun day of shelling, splashing and exploring together on Caladesi Island. I am sure it would be less relaxing than the serene quiet girls weekend experience, but fun in its own way.

Caladesi Island is a Tampa Bay treasure and an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Florida beaches. Enjoy a day with the family that starts on a boat ride and ends with smiles from an adventure of beaches, shelling, climbing on the playground, and walking along the nature path. We even saw dolphins off the beach swimming down the shoreline. It was a magical experience for my friend and can be a magical day for your family. I look forward to returning very soon with my family for another special day.

What are your favorite day trips in Tampa Bay?

Carrie S. synthesized her corporate expertise, educator background and passion as a mother to develop the award-winning Exploracise® program and Fun Wise™ Exercise methodology. Inspired by her two gifted and high-energy children, Aaron and Felicia, she created fun educational products and programs to help children develop a love of learning and healthy lifestyle. Carrie is married to Adam Scheiner M.D., world-renowned Laser Eyelid and Facial Plastic Surgeon, for more than 17 years and has lived in Tampa for over14 years. Find Carrie playing with kids around Tampa, sharing ideas on Facebook or Twitter, and developing new educational games at