It's a guided walking tour at the beach given by a Florida Coastal Master Naturalist. We call it 'edu-tainment'. Education because you learn about the beach environment, and entertainment because it's fascinating and fun! Our guests consistently thank us for helping them appreciate the beach from a fresh, new perspective.
A Shell and Beach Walk lasts approximately 90 minutes. The first segment is walking on the boardwalk along Johns Pass for an overview of our sea and shore birds. We see so many different kinds of birds...and find out how to identify some of the most common ones. The second part is seated at picnic tables in the shade for an introduction to shells, where you'll see , touch and hear about twenty-five local shells from our collection. The last part is walking on the beach to look for shells, as well as learning about the amazing loggerhead sea turtles that nest on our beaches. We focus on seabirds and sea turtles since we have the incredibly good fortune to have both nest on our beaches.
A Shell and Beach Walk consists of leisurely walking, standing sitting, and walking distance averages approximately one mile or so. The evening Walks end on the beach around sundown, and we recommend you plan to stay on the beach awhile to enjoy a beautiful Gulf Coast sunset.
Tickets must be purchased in advance, and space is limited.
You can buy tickets online here or by phone: 727-313-6335
We try to keep the ticket price as low as possible for kids because we want to help them foster an appreciation of nature and become good stewards of the environment.
Walks start at John's Pass Village and Boardwalk in Madeira Beach, FL 33708. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and meeting address is provided upon booking. You'll get an email immediately after booking online with the meeting address, or we'll tell you the address if booking by phone.
Walks end on Madeira Beach. The beach is less than a 5 minute walk from John's Pass Village. We suggest you stay on the beach awhile after the tour and enjoy the sunset on an evening tour or look for shells on a morning tour.
Things to do in Johns Pass: John's Pass Village is a large, busy attraction with restaurants, shops, and more. Here are our suggestions of some fun things to do here.
The Alligator Attraction in John's Pass is a wildlife learning center and an interesting place to go to before or after the Walk. You'll see a display of local and exotic shells curated by Shell and Beach Walks, as well as live alligators; reptiles; two sloths (!!); fish from around the world; and SO much more. Their message is education and conservation, and 95% of the residents are rescued or surrendered pets. The Alligator Attraction address is 12973 Village Blvd, Madeira Beach, FL 33708.
How about some fun on the sea? Take a dolphin tour with Dolphin Quest or fun ride on the salty seas with the Pirate Ship Royal Conquest. They both leave from the same dock and have a mini gift shop to visit at 140 Boardwalk Place West, Madeira Beach, FL 33708 (Phone: 727-423-7824). All this activity will make you thirsty! The Sand Bar serves up great ice cream, and some more unique offerings of authentic shaved iced and real root beer (and beer!) floats. Stop in this cute shop at 121 129th Avenue East, Madeira Beach, FL 33708. They also have a collection of sand from beaches around the world.
Dress for a casual walk, and wear shoes appropriate for the pavement and the beach. Protect yourself from the sun with whatever your sun protection routine consists of (hat, sunscreen, etc.). If it's hot, you may want to bring water (in a reusable container if possible). In winter if it's cool, it will be even chillier on the beach due to the sea breeze, so bring a jacket.
Yes! Walks proceeds in light, sporadic rain. Dress to stay dry with a rain jacket, hat, umbrella, etc. If the rain is heavy, we have an indoor location and we bring the beach to you - so to speak - with our shell collection and dozens of photos of the beach, sea birds, sea turtles and more. All the information in the tour is conveyed while you stay dry and comfortable at a local restaurant. It's the exact same content as the outdoor tour, minus the rain and sand in your sneakers. We can't control the weather, but we can make the most of it and still have fun!
If tour is canceled due to a severe weather event, you'll get a phone call from us, and an email at the address the ticket was purchased, no later than two hours before start time. You'll have the option to reschedule or get a full refund for a severe weather event cancelation. If in doubt, give a call at (727) 313-6335.
The evening Shell and Beach Walks finish on the beach right around sundown in time to enjoy a gorgeous Gulf Coast sunset. We recommend you plan extra time on your parking to stay on the beach for a while after the Walk to watch the colorful show and look for some shells.
Parking on the beaches can be challenging to find, especially in season.
John's Pass Village has street parking (with pay kiosks $2.50/hr), three large parking lots, and several smaller lots on side streets (all lots charge a fee). See a map showing locations of the 3 large parking lots on the website: johnspassvillage.net
Several good alternative transportation options are available:
You may cancel up to 24 hours before the Shell and Beach Walk starts for a full refund. Cancelations less than 24 hours prior to start time will not be eligible for a refund. If the Walk is canceled due to a severe weather event, you can reschedule, or get a full refund. No Shows are not refunded.
Private Shell and Beach Walks are available.
Prices start at $95 for up to 6 people.
Contact Us for details.
We can also bring the beach to your group or organization with our entertaining Shell Talk. There’s lots of ‘show and tell’ during a Shell Talk - for example, you’ll see twenty-five common shells found in the area, lots of pictures of birds and sea turtles, and all the tour content can be conveyed inside without being on the beach. We bring the beach to you! Contact us for pricing.