On May 25, Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, named Siesta the best beach in America. Most people know Leatherman from his yearly rankings and media appearances, including on The Oprah Winfrey Show. But few know that Leatherman is a card-carrying member of the International Sand Collectors Society, some 200 people dedicated to acquiring little vials of sand from all over the world.
Just South of Siesta Key in Venice, known as the “Shark’s tooth capital of the world,” rocky Caspersen beach is known as an excellent location for finding fossilized shark’s teeth. During low tide, a ribbon of dark sand is deposited at the water’s edge, where collectors and visitors search for the fossilized shark teeth that often wash ashore. With about four miles of beachfront, Caspersen is typically not crowded. You can walk along the waterline looking down at the black ribbon of dark sand and spot them just sitting there. If you want to be productive, pick up a Florida snow shovel at a local Walmart, Ace Hardware or bait shop. Head out a little into the water where the waves break and there is usually a 6-12 inch drop-off with a pile of larger shells and rocks. Just reach down to the edge of the drop-off or even wade out a few feet into the water to scoop up sand and shells. You can use a kitchen strainer, a shovel or just scoop the sand and shells with your hands. Bring it back up to the beach and look through it to find the treasures or Shark’s teeth, shells, and possibly a whale jawbone or stingray plate. Want to know what you found? The Fossil Guy has a great image for identifying your teeth.
Travel Tip created by Chip & Miao Whiteside in association with Vacation Soup