It’s that time of the year, when many people take a trip to the beach to play in the tide, soak up the sun while reading a book or connect with one’s soul and decompress.

But there is so much more to the beach than just sand and surf.

For some, it’s all about the natural treasures to be discovered along the shore while combing the beach for shells, shark teeth, driftwood and more. A day at the beach isn’t complete until finding a gift from the sea.

Caspersen Beach in Venice, Fla., is known as the Shark’s Tooth Capital of the World. Prehistoric shark teeth wash up on the beach and can be found by sifting through the sand along the shore line.

Sanibel Island in Florida is world renowned for its shells. There are about 250 kinds of shells that can be found in the shallow water, including the banded tulip, lightning whelk, paper fig and lion’s paw.

Sanibel’s crown jewel of all shells is the junonia shell, the most highly prized beach treasure for shellers.

The Gulf of Mexico has consistent currents, which gently sweep thousands of shells from the Caribbean to Florida waters daily. The best time to go shelling is two hours before and after low tide. That’s when seashells are more exposed and easier to find. But, Florida law prohibits the collection of live seashells, sand dollars, starfish and sea urchins.

It is a thrill to find a treasure on the beach or in the water to add to a collection. The greatest souvenirs, though, are the memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.

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