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The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
+1 239-395-2233
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty Museums
Activities: Leisure education
Owner description: An American Association of Museums (AAM) accredited non-profit natural science museum, The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum features more than 30... more » Owner description: An American Association of Museums (AAM) accredited non-profit natural science museum, The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum features more than 30 exhibits of mollusks from around the world devoted to shells. Exhibits include shells in art and history, shell habitats, rare specimens, World Record size shells, fossil shells, common Southwest Florida shells, and more. The learning lab features a hands-on play area for children, displays, games, and a tank with indigenous mollusks. A half-hour video, Mollusks in Action, is shown on the hour, and a children's video is shown continuously. The museum store offers a wide selection of shell books « less
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530 reviews from our community

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English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
542 reviews 542 reviews
157 attraction reviews
234 helpful votes 234 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014 NEW

I've shelled virtually all my life and always wondered about the creatures that used to inhabit the shells that I've found. This museum, particularly the two movies, answered a lot of my questions. I was stunned and amazed throughout both movies. The upstairs displays have a lot on local shells as well as shells throughout the world and throughout history.... More

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Bella Vista, Arkansas
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
5 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014 NEW

This museum was mostly good but is overpriced. I believe all museums are of value for a variety of reasons but should be appropriately priced so as to not only provide appropriate value but to encourage more participation. The $11 per adult is too high for "word-of-mouth" advertisement. A relative few will truly enjoy this initially and a few others... More

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Fort Myers, Florida
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12 reviews 12 reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

You can always learn something when you go to any museum and you'll learn a whole lot about the bazillion different kinds of shells here.

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Ontario, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014

If you love shells then be sure to visit this museum. Loads of shells on display and information. Good hands on display, learnt a lot. Nice gift shop too.

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Owings Mills, Maryland
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
12 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014

First trip to Sanibel and stopped in to see what exactly a shell museum had to offer. Although admission was a little pricey ($11 pp), you'll be amazed at what you see! The staff was very informative, explaining how to identify mollusks etc. by the trail they leave in the sand.

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Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
15 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014

There is no other shell museum like it anywhere. The staff is so knowledgeable and friendly and you learn so much about the shells. They are so beautiful! Be sure to stop here.

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Clayton, North Carolina
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
7 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2014

The Sailor Valentines were amazing and a must see. Also a great variety of shells on display. Gift shop is a little lacking however.

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2014

We had a great experience at the Shell Museum! Very interesting to learn about mollusks, local and not. The museum also has a really cool kid's section.

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Saint Louis, Missouri
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

The Shell was very interesting and had many different species of Shells from all over the world. For people who have been to the East or West Coast this was an eye opener to see some of the almost unbelievable shells with such a color range. Admission is $11 and there are 2 30 min movies to watch about shells.... More

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Miami Gardens, Florida
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2014

Exactly what the sign says. There are a lot of shells. My 7 year old was moderately interested and the 4 year old was bored to tears and tantrum. With that being said, The place is well laid out, the shells are pretty and the front desk ladies were super nice.

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