You can’t pass GO without collecting $200 - and you can’t pass through Key Largo without collecting some shells - at Shell World.
Located @ 97600 Overseas Highway in Key Largo, Florida, Shell World - to me - is the single best souvenir shop in all of the beautiful Keys.
While everyone’s driving to get further and further south, I passionately believe it’s also always a good idea to stop while enroute. And that stop can be a small and very brief break, or it can be a much longer one. It can be a lunch outing, an overnight, or something, somewhere in between. But either way, on our travels we always take a break. Get some lunch. Or I’ll do some stretches, and I always get my steps in. I may get a coffee. Or, better yet, I’ll do some good old fashioned shopping… browsing, souvenir hunting. And when shopping is classified as better than coffee, for me, that’s a good store indeed.
On our first trip to the Keys a few years back, we already knew about Shell World and that we were most definitely going to be making a stop there. My mother-in-law had told us about the place, and she had also brought us back a sea urchin from her visit there, which I now have sitting front and center atop my white, antique dresser in my bedroom.
And since our first visit to the store, Shell World has moved locations. They’re now situated in the center medium on the Overseas Highway. Their former location had them placed in the Southbound lanes of the highway - meaning all northbound drivers had to cross over to get to the store. Now, travelers going both north and south bound can access Shell World with equal and greater ease.
Don’t let its looks deceive you either. Shell World is huge. Housed in a simple and brightly painted building, once inside, it’s a shopper's paradise. I walked and I walked, and I browsed and I browsed. The store just kept going. I’d say allow at least twenty minutes to a half hour inside Shell World - if you love shopping as much as I do. But I’m pretty confident I might have been inside there even a tad longer than that.
You’ll feast your eyes on every type of sea shell you can possibly imagine. Coral, starfish, shark teeth, sand dollars, shells in their natural state and shells that have been painted or otherwise decorated in some fashion, sea urchins, sea glass… the list can go on.
And that’s just the shells themselves. Shell World is not just one room - it is many, many rooms, all connected in one large building. You can walk and walk, and not see the same thing twice. After checking out all the shells, there are then the typical touristy souvenirs such as tees, sweatshirts and hoodies, bathing suits, flip flops, beach towels and other gear for days in the sun, baseball caps and sun hats.
And I really loved checking out all the jewelry. I spent way too long browsing through it all, and I think the jewelry sucked up most of my time in the store. I’m actually not very sure how I passed it all up - in order to buy a tank top and some shells from the world - apparently the shells were more important to me.
I also purchased a piece of red coral, which was on both my “definitely” and “must buy” lists. And I was really happy with the very comfy and lightweight tank I picked out as well. I then snagged a few postcards, stickers, and a few other unique shells and other finds. All items added up, I spent a total of $57.18 at Shell World. And honestly, I did not even feel too overcharged, only just a bit overcharged, in a place that could easily sell at even much higher prices to brief encounters with endless tourists.
And now that Shell World has officially become a Keys tradition for me, I will most definitely be going back on my next adventure to Key Largo. Whether I’m just once again quickly passing through the island, I will, at a minimum, be utilizing Shell World to get out of the car, do some browsing, and to stretch my legs. And if I’m once again spending the night on Key Largo, I’ll still stop and do the same. I’d highly recommend stopping in while you’re traveling the Overseas Highway. If you love shopping, you’ll be in a shoppers paradise, while you’re also, literally, in paradise. ~
Have you been to Shell World in Key Largo, Florida? I’d love to know. Drop me a comment down below:
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