When most people think of how to find sand dollars at the beach, they picture guys and gals paddling in circles trying to locate the tiny coins lying lazily at the bottom. This is not entirely accurate. These little coins are usually found on the beach floor by vacationers and scuba divers. While it is unlikely you will actually find a dollar by this method, it is still an interesting sight to see.
How Do You Find Sand Dollars at the Beach? Many sand dollars can be found by scuba divers or experienced beach goers. Scuba divers look for shells along the sea floor, in areas where areas of breaking water have formed. If these break apart, they drift to the ocean surface where scuba divers search for them. If these are found on the beach, they often scatter up and down the beach, sometimes side to side.
The best place to find the first sort of sand dollars you are likely to find on the beach is on the second sandbar across the area. This second sandbar is used by wave runners and surfers as an exit point. It is also often the target of “sanding runners”, small boats that travel along the edge of the surf and pick up broken sand dollars as they pass. If you find this second sandbar, it is likely to contain more shells than the first sandbar, making this a great place to make a find.
Another great way to find sand dollars at the beach is on the beach shore. If you spot some people sitting on the shore doing what seems like a relaxing activity, look around. Many times you will see a couple sitting on the beach in towels or paddling a sailboat, looking at the waves rolling in. If you can find them, you just might get the chance to join them for a little while.
Most of the time, you won’t be able to get close enough to the coastline to actually attempt finding live sand dollars on the beach. However, there are a few things you can try. If you see a string of shells along the shore, there is a good chance these are live sand dollars, although they may be scattered all over the place.
The best thing to try is to look along the edge of the surf line. This second sandbar is used by many surfers as an exit point when approaching the beach. Since most of the shells here are broken, they will likely lie in the water until the tide changes and re-docks. Once the tide goes out, many people scoop up the sand dollars in their yards. Although this is a very effective method for how to find sand dollars, it does require that you are right by the surf line at all times. If you can’t get to this area, try checking your second sandbar from a spot further out.