Visited Sanibel & Captiva Islands near Fort Myers this week.
Shell-collecting culture is pretty high on the islands.
The Gulf of Mexico has no offshore reef to smash the shells,
and the waters are relatively shallow and warm,
with a flat bed. All factors that encourage the growth.
It's not easy to find beaches which are open to public there.
Most of the shoreline is for private houses
and small hotels and inns.
Parking can also be quite a problem there
as most of the parking places are just for residents.
It's advisable to rent a bike.
There're bicycle rentals at the entrance to Sanibel
and bicycle lines everywhere.
Sanibel is a bit more commercial with shops & restaurants
than Captiva which is more residential
with pretty luxurious mansions.
My shell collection.