Myrtle Beach, SC - The Grand Strand - Vacation Travel Guide

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Myrtle Beach Area Features

Shelling in Grand Strand

  By: Paula Beckham

Here are some tips from William Tilley, a founder of the Grand Strand Shell Club, for hunting and finding shells along the shores of Myrtle Beach.

  • The more deserted the beach, the better the chance of finding shells; there’s less competition. Barrier islands, generally accessible only by water, are the best. Huntington Beach State Park, about 15 miles south of Myrtle Beach, is another good bet.
  • Best times to look: early in the morning before the beach gets crowded, and after a storm. A rough sea usually tosses many shells onto the shore.
  • One can often find shells at the high water line, at water’s edge, or in the small pools left on the beach at low tide.
  • Shells you might find are the lettered olives (South Carolina’s state shell), knob whelks and channel whelks, giant heart cockles, tulips, augers, and shark-eye moon snails. Though not technically shells, sand dollars, sea urchins, and shark’s teeth are other prizes found on local beaches.
  • Though big shells are the “showiest” and easiest to spot, don’t overlook the small ones. You’ll find some real beauties!
  • Unless you plan to eat what’s inside, it’s best, ecologically, to leave “live” shells where you find them.
  • Don’t take your treasures home and throw them in a drawer. Frame and display them for your enjoyment and as a reminder of your wonderful Myrtle Beach vacation!
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