14 Beach States With Official State Shells

These coastal states have an official seashell recognized just like state birds or trees. If you’re traveling to any of these states this summer, here’s what to look for in the sand.

Related To:

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Alabama Tourism

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Jason Burnett

Photo By: Roman Milert

Photo By: John Dreyer

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Joel Wooster

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Jason Burnett

Photo By: BD Digital Images

Photo By: Hirurg

Photo By: Abdecoral

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Lance Beck

Photo By: rockptarmigan

Photo By: laura.h

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Texas Tourism

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Jason Burnett

Alabama

Designated in 1990, the official state seashell of Alabama is Johnstone’s Junonia.

Connecticut

The official state seashell of Connecticut is the Eastern Oyster. It was designated in 1989. “They may look like rocks,” says Jason Burnett of Oyster-Obsession.com, “but every shell holds a delicious, briny bite of the sea!”

Florida

Designated in 1969, Florida’s official state seashell is the Horse Conch. And this writer can attest that the shell's inhabitant is delicious cut up in a salad or fried as fritters.

Georgia

Georgia’s state seashell is the Knobbed Whelk. It was designated in 1987.

Massachusetts

Known as the Wrinkled Whelk or sometimes the New England Neptune, Massachusetts’ official state seashell was designated in 1987.

Mississippi

Like Connecticut, Mississippi’s official state shell is the Eastern Oyster. Our friends at Food Network have several recipes for this common oyster including a Bloody Mary shooter that will take your brunch to a new level.

New Jersey

New Jersey’s official seashell is the Knobbed Whelk. It was designated in 1995.

New York

The Bay Scallop is New York’s official state seashell. And if you love eating them, our friends at Food Network have some delicious recipes for Bay Scallops including Ina Garten's gratin. No wonder New York made this mollusk official.

North Carolina

North Carolina was the first state to designate an official state seashell, and in 1965 chose the Scotch Bonnet.

Oregon

With the best shell name ever, Oregon’s official state seashell is the Oregon Hairy Triton. But even though these guys look warm and fuzzy, they’re one of the largest predatory sea snails and produce acid in their salivary glands to hunt down cute guys like urchins and sea stars.

Rhode Island

While Northern Quahog, the official name of Rhode Island’s state shell, might not sound familiar, it has many common names like the hard clam, round clam and chowder clam. A New England staple, these are synonymous with clam-digging.

South Carolina

South Carolina’s official state shell, the Lettered Olive, is the home to a large type of sea snail. These shells have a speckled, almost Tortoise shell-like look and are popular in beach jewelry. Just make sure you're picking up an empty shell for your next bracelet!

Texas

Designated in 1989, the official state shell of Texas is the Prickly Whelk.

Virginia

Like Mississippi and Connecticut, Virginia’s official state shell is the Eastern Oyster. Mississippi and Virginia both chose the shell in 1974.