When you come to our beautiful tropical island you sometimes wonder how this wonderful island paradise came to be. The Beach Shell Inn has had a long history of accommodating guests from all over the world and we wouldn’t have it any other way. This has been home to the native Calusas, Spanish seafarers and then to Americans at first settlers then the millions of happy tourists visiting every year.
Estero Island is actually a long barrier island located in rather shallow water and is part of the Gulf Barrier Island Chain which is a system of lagoons and then the outer island on the Gulf side. Our island was formed by the action of the tides eroding the shoreline creating the safe shallow back bay waters and beautiful soft sandy beaches on our side. Our beach is only 6.5 miles long , 1,466 acres with an elevation of only 6.2 feet above sea level but how much fun it packs in that small space. It is really a simple geological entity that is comprised of only wetlands or uplands. The wetlands consist of mangroves on the bayside and the uplands are on the Western side of the island is populated by cabbage palm, sea grape, gumbo limbo, cactus and spanish bayonet.
Amongst the wildlife that is supported by the island are nesting sea turtles, lizards, snakes, gopher tortoises, marsh rabbits, raccoons and opossums and with them all manners of birdlife. Recently otters and an occasional bear have been sited.
The original plots of land originally ran from the gulf side beach all the way back to the bay. Many owned by the old families of the island such as the Winklers and the whole Southern part of the island was until 1948 owned by the Koreshan Unity https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Koreshan , a sect whose home was across the bay in Estero.
We hope that you enjoy your time spent on our island and can enjoy all that it has to offer in relaxation, adventure, thrill-seeking and fun. You have the best of it all on Estero Island and of course at Beach Shell Inn!