A hot summer day at the beach is always made better by discovering a cool seashell or two in the sand.
Despite the trash talk Texas beaches often receive, a few along the state's coast boasts shorelines full of unique seashells.
To help Texans find the best spots for beachcombing, Narcity got expert intel from local Marine Scientist Jace Tunnell, who knows all the hotspots to find these pretty pieces. After all, Tunnell is the director of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Port Aransas, TX, where he leads beach restoration and conservation efforts.
It's safe to say that he has seen his fair share of unique shells, rare sea animals, and random trash items wash upon the Texas shores.
So, here are the expert's suggestions for the best beachcombing you can experience in the Lone Star State:
Mustang Island State Park, north of the Fish Pass jetty
Address: 9394 TX-361, Corpus Christi, TX 78418
Why You Need To Go: The state park has five miles of shoreline you can visit, but Tunnell says the best spot for cool shell finds is north of the Fish Pass jetties.
There, sift through the powdery white sands and shallow waters, and you could find one-of-a-kind snail shells or an abundance of cockles.
South Padre Island's North End
Address: South Padre Island, TX 78597
"Atlantic Cockles, Lettered Olive snails, sand dollars, and Pen shells are some of the more common shells we find," he said.
You'll want to head to the island's north end for the best finds. However, Tunnell also said the coastline on Padre Island National Seashore might also be a place for some good discoveries.
Address: Calhoun County, Texas
Why You Need To Go: With an impressive 38 miles of coastline on this Texas Island, it only makes sense for Matagorda to be on Tunnell's list.
Sunday Beach is a great option to spend the day searching for that perfect seashell. You can even camp on the beach for free here!
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.