Shell Key is a pristine barrier island south of St Pete Beach. The island is part of a Wildlife Preserve that encompasses 1755 acres, including several smaller islands. It is accessible via a shuttle that can be caught in Pass-a-Grille. There are no lifeguards, phones, restrooms, or any other amenities on the island.
Unlike most other beaches on the Gulf, this one is not picked over and is literally covered with shells. On the shuttle you will be given a mesh “shelling bag” which you can easily fill up in a few minutes. In addition to the shells there is abundant wildlife and sand dollars.
There are many schools of Devil Rays (Mobula hypostoma) swimming up and down the shore. From a distance they look like one dark, wavy animal.
Make sure you arrive at the pier on time and bring sunscreen, food, and anything else you might need. This is probably not something to tackle in a day trip from the Kissimmee area, but if you are staying a few nights around St Pete this trip is well worth it.
- Distance from WDW:100 miles
- Travel time from WDW:1 hour 33 minutes
- Umbrella rentals:Yes, from shuttle
- Shelling: excellent
- Shell Key Shuttle Website
- ShellKey Map
- Shell Key Surf Report