So this month, the Queen and I decided (both in celebration of the Tour and me turning 29 again) that we’d take a little extended weekend trip and bring our talents to this month’s destination of the Florida Beaches Royalty Tour – the beautiful and placid Miami South Beach. More specifically, Pier Park Beach.
Now we’ve taken this drive many times, both when driving to the Queen’s younger sister’s college basketball games and on our way to cruise ports. But only once have we visited this beach in particular. The previous time we were completely out of our element and looked like a couple of boogies.
Shame they had to soil that beautiful cruise port with a couple of Carnival ships.
Ahem, ok. Sorry. Back to the story.
If you’ve never been to the South Beach area, it’s not only a must see for the beaches, but for the shopping and hoity-toity atmosphere – which must be appreciated in person. Despite the rich person feel, it really is a very cool place. Tons of casual and upscale places to eat, fast cars and the like.
Feeling slightly bourgeois, we made our way to public parking, ready to get this show on the road.
Parking is $1.75 per hour at Pier Park and we filled the meter for a few hours.
It really is a gorgeous beach. The water is crystal clear and tepid warm, the sand is soft and the view is breath taking.
Now I must warn you – there is a reason why in all the shelling books and websites related to shelling that South Beach is not mentioned as a shelling destination. It’s known for a couple of other things. Mainly, people with very little clothing on. So if you’re alarmed by that, the minute you step onto the beach you will be in for a culture shock. But there are shells there; many of which I’d never seen before.
There is no wrack line. But there is a “line” of sorts that runs the length of the beach from the incoming tide. The Queen and I spent the first half hour or so walking and picking up shells along the line.
We found many of these “shells” here. I’m not sure if these are operculums or an offshoot of an oyster shell – like these:
Queenie found a Lion’s Paw – one of two she found.
and a very cool find – a Cyphoma – better known as a Flamingo Tongue.
Some really bright Scallops – as I said, many of which I’d never seen before. The larger one (after scouring through all of our shell books) is a bright orange Thorny Oyster, missing a few thorns.
I decided to hit the water with the snorkel
and dug up….
A Scotch Bonnet. I don’t care that it’s broken and slightly worn. I’ve never found one before. So I am happy.
We also found tons and tons of coral in all shapes and sizes. So many cool pieces!
One of those funny Oysters, two Lion’s Paws, an Atlantic Semele and a Red-Brown Ark.
A worn Orange Marginella, that killer Orange Thorny Oyster, Florida Nautica, False Limpet, Sentis Scallop and the Flamingo Tongue.
So South Beach is memorable. There is no abundance of shells, but the ones there are certainly keepers and lots of coral to be found. Go instead for the beach, the atmosphere, the fast cars and good food.
And get yourself a suntan while you’re there.