A living sand dollar in Destin, FL

Destin Dollars!

One of the best souvenirs to take home from Destin is a sand dollar.

Here are a few tips to help you find a few as a keepsake from your next trip to Destin.

Sand dollars are living creatures much like a starfish. They burrow themselves beneath the seafloor for protection from predators. For conservation efforts if we find live sand dollars we always just observe them and release them.

Live sand dollars are usually reddish brown with fuzzy little urchin arms. What to look for is the exoskeleton remains that wash up on shore. Dead sand dollar exoskeletons are varying shades of white and usually around one to four inches around.

The best time to find these coin looking shells is at low tide. Tides are lowest in the mornings or after a storm. Or you can check the weather online, check for low tide times there. You’ll want to be in shallow water so you can shuffle your feet beneath the sand and walk slowly as not to disturb the floor so much that you can’t see.

Continue down the beach in a zigzag pattern. Also look ahead as the waves recede and keep an eye out for exposed sand dollars. And always bring a bucket because you might just hit the mother load.

Once you have found your fill you will want to clean them thoroughly.

Otherwise you will have a very pungent odor coming from the trunk on your way home from your vacation.

Cleaning is a simple process. All you need is a bucket, some bleach and 24 hours to let them soak. Pour enough bleach in the bucket to cover the sand dollars and fill the bucket about ½ full with water. After 24 hours remove the sand dollars and dry them with a towel or paper towel. Leaving them in the sun after helps to dry faster and get rid of the bleach smell.

That’s really all there is to it. The best part is we have some great hunting grounds for those on a quest for sand dollars right here on our beach at Sea Oats Motel.

Call 833-803-3320 today to learn more or to book your stay!