Located right on 30A in Mexico Beach, Shell Shack is a unique business that is part souvenir shop and part seafood market. Go for some fresh fish and stay for the unique merchandise.
We’d say that the Shell Shack probably couldn’t be more aptly named. You’ll find this business within a very fishing shack-styled building with its rustic wood exterior and extended front porch. Even more appropriately, this building is nestled between two more modern-styled businesses, one a condo and the other an independent market, and boasts its own dock at its back.
This part of the Panhandle was largely destroyed by Hurricane Michael in October 2018 and so you will see a lot of newer buildings around Mexico Beach. Shell Shack itself is housed in a newer structure but one that pays homage to its name and legacy. And it is quite the legacy! Shell Shack has been in operation since 1965, under the same family name. It took them two years to rebuild following Hurricane Michael, but business seems to be booming as it has once again become a staple stop for both locals and guests thanks to its mix of offerings.
Step inside Shell Shack and undoubtedly the first thing you’re going to notice will be the rows upon rows of souvenir and beach items. They really have just about everything you could want for a day at the beach including big displays of sunglasses, hats ranging from baseball caps to large brimmed boater and sports versions, towels that are both basic and Mexico Beach-branded, float tubes, water shoes, and so much more. If there is anything you think you’re missing for an enjoyable day at the beach, then this is the place to go get it.
In addition to very beach-oriented items, Shell Shack also offers an array of more fun touristed items. For example, they have quirky coffee mugs such as one with a shark and the text, “Send More Tourists, The Last Ones Were Delicious – Mexico Beach.” You can purchase necklaces made out of shells featuring shark teeth, small loose items like dried starfish and carved driftwood, and wall art of just about every artistic style, from wrought iron replications of school fish to beachscape oil paintings. If you love browsing cute as well as kitsch items, then this is the type of place that one can easily spend an hour perusing.
Last but not least, we have to talk about fresh seafood! Every day, local fisherman bring Shell Shack their fresh catches, and Shell Shack cuts, skins, and otherwise prepares those catches for sale in a side part of their store. For example, they often have grouper, snapper, and flounder available and you can purchase the fish as it comes, or request skinning for easier at-home cooking. They also frequently have crab, scallops, oysters, and, of course, shrimp. Such shellfish can be steamed on-site as you wait so that you can enjoy a hot, delicious treat right at Shell Shack.
Whether it’s the fresh seafood, beach items, or souvenirs that initially called you to Shell Shack, we recommend spending some time exploring each other part of the business.
-Looking for newer, more modern goods? Walk right next door to the General Beach Country Store which is part of the Mexico Beach Marina. This store has all of your basic beach gear plus some, like high-quality coolers (think Yeti-styled) and advanced fishing gear and tackle. The Shell Shack also has an extended chilled beverage case that makes it a great spot to stop for a quick cold drink.
-Never cooked fresh fish before? Then Shell Shack is definitely a must-stop. Their staff is very friendly and will offer you full and detailed cooking instructions that will have you serving up your fish like a pro. And if you want to catch your own fish, they can also help hook you up with a great outfitter.