A trip to Virginia Beach really isn’t complete without at least one beachcombing foray to look for sea shells. You may need the luck of the Irish to find larger ones intact though.

What types of shells might you find on the beaches of Virginia Beach?

  • You’ll no doubt find shells from the Atlantic horseshoe crab. (They are quite large and dark brown. You may also find the tail and legs of the crab still attached to its shell.)
  • You also may find blue crab shells and possibly (but not likely) oyster shells.
  • You might spot the Scotch Bonnet (very rare), or the Queen Helmet Conch (also very rare).
  • You also might find conical olive shells.
  • Augers, periwinkles, oyster drillers, sundials, and moon snails are fairly common.
  • The coquina clam is fairly common and easy to find.
  • Calico and bay scallops also are easy to spot.

Why is it so hard to find seashells perfectly intact?

The beaches of Virginia Beach are so popular with visitors, and the ocean around the resort so busy with watercraft of all shapes and sizes, the chances of finding these shells intact are as small as the shells themselves.

Best way to find one as a souvenir

If you’d like to bring some sea shells home with you, your best bet for finding intact shells is at one of the several stores that sell sea shells along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, as well as in shops further inland. Find sea shell options at The Virginia Gift Shop and learn why The Creative Wedge is so popular. Both of them offer very unique gifts and mementos.

Many gift shops have a great variety of intact shells to choose from, such as the large conchs or the tiniest of tiny periwinkles.

Even if you comb the beach for hours and find no intact shells, you’ve still spent a wonderful day enjoy the sounds of the gulls, the waves crashing onto shore, the sun, and the lightly salt inspired wind. It’s not a bad day when you’re away from the office.

And if you do find some, consider yourself lucky and enjoy. Post below showing what you’ve found!

Happy beach combing!