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Fort De Soto Beach and Park is known to many as “America’s best beach for families,” and it is certainly one recreational area that will not disappoint! It has also been named America’s Top Beach in 2009 by Trip Adviser. Over that past year we have spent time at Fort De Soto either kayaking, shelling, and swimming.

Fort De Soto Beach, Florida.
Manatees, Sand Dollars, Shells.
Fort De Soto Beach, Florida

As part of the offshore keys in Pinellas County, Fort De Soto is located on the southwest corner of Mullet Key. It is actually not far from St. Petersburg. The park and beach are spectacular and shelling for sea treasures at Fort De Soto, Florida is one adventure that anyone can enjoy! You never know what sea creatures you might find!

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Early Settlers

Before I delve into sharing all the beautiful and unique sea treasures I found here, let’s take a brief look into the history of this recreational paradise.The first early inhabitants to this area were the Tocobaga Indians around 1000-1500 A.D. Later, Spanish explorers ended up landing on and around the west coast of the Tampa Bay area.


In the mid 1800’s, the Army Engineers determined that the gulf islands of Mullet Key and Egmont Key would be used for military operations.When visiting the park, you can take a self guided tour to learn about the vast historical details of the fort and weaponry. There are the last four 12-inch M 1890-MI mortars remaining in North America (the only others remaining anywhere in the world are in the Philippines) that you can observe.

Mortars. Fort De Soto Beach and Park, Florida.
Mortars at Fort De Soto, Florida.


Visiting Fort De Soto offers a wide array of activity including touring the historical Fort, kayaking, swimming, and shelling. Please enjoy the earth’s treasures I found while visiting Fort De Soto beach.

Cockle Shells. Fort De Soto, Florida.
Cockle Shells

Spending a day at the beach is not just about laying around and relaxing! Nope, when you live the fit life, you go out into the water, don your diving mask, and jump in! You might occasionally see fish underwater too. A manatee might quietly and gently pass you by in the water so be on the look out!

Shells at Fort De Soto. Florida.
Shelling at Fort De Soto
Scallop Shells. ShellingWithShannon. Shelling at Fort De Soto. Florida.
Scallop Shells
Shells. Fort De Soto Beach, Florida.
Fort De Soto Beach, Florida
Shelling For Sea Treasures At Fort De Soto, Florida.
Sea Creature at the shoreline. Fort De Soto, Florida
Sand Dollars at Fort De Soto Beach. Florida, Shelling, Shells,
Live sand dollar at Fort De Soto Beach Florida

The sand dollar above was found alive, and was placed right back into the water at the bottom. We do not remove any live sand dollars from the waters in Florida. We only collect the ones that are not alive.


Our quest to find beautiful and unique shells continues on. Fort De Soto is one of the many spots where we indulge in treasure hunting. The Fort De Soto area is one of the most visited recreation areas along Florida’s gulf coast. When you visit this park and beach, it will be clear as to why it has been voted in such high regard to all visitors alike!


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