Growing up along the Atlantic where the surf is generally too rough for delicate sand dollars to make it on shore has given me a keen appreciation for finding one on the beach. The beaches along the Gulf coast of Florida offer unprecedented access to sand dollars, many shell-seeker’s ultimate desire. As a resident here for the last several years, I find that they tend to be easier to find in the winter and early spring months thanks to passing fronts that seem to bring them onshore. It probably doesn’t hurt that there are fewer beachcombers to take them during that time of the year, either. While many people look for the bright white sand dollars that have been bleached by the sun, I actually prefer the more natural looking sand dollars that range from deep purples and grays to browns. They seem to show more detail and have so much more character than their bleached counterparts. This photo is of a few sand dollars I collected from Caladesi Island State Park in Dunedin, FL in late spring a few years ago.