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The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

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Address: 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Phone Number: +1 239-395-2233
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Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description:

An American Association of Museums (AAM) accredited non-profit natural...

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

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 856 reviews
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  • 489
    Excellent
  • 247
    Very good
  • 94
    Average
  • 21
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
Shells Galore

There is something for everyone to enjoy. The sheer numbers, colors, sizes and shapes of shells as well as the creatures that inhabit them is remarkable. To learn how shells... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Seashell340
,
Pontiac, Illinois
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856 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Pontiac, Illinois
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

There is something for everyone to enjoy. The sheer numbers, colors, sizes and shapes of shells as well as the creatures that inhabit them is remarkable. To learn how shells have been of significant historical significance is also interesting. It is well worth the time to visit.

Helpful?
Thank Seashell340
Kansas City, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We visited the museum for the 2nd time to get a better, in depth, understanding about shells from the Sanibel area. The staff was very knowledgeable and informative. There also are shells form other areas. The live animal orientation provided a better understanding about mollusks.

Helpful?
Thank Mike H
Wildwood, Missouri
Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

This is a small museum with some interesting shells and exhibits. It is a little expensive to get in for the size and number of exhibits. There are two 30 minute films that we did not watch as arrived only about an hour and a half before closing. We were able to read and look at everything in about an... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kim T
Waterville, Maine
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Have taken my grandchildren and my mom through the Shell Museum and everybody loved it. There's something to see for all age groups.

Helpful?
Thank Terry M
Hampshire
Level Contributor
63 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We visited on a rainy day in Sanibel and spent a couple hours here. In addition to the displays of shells from Sanibel and around the world, there are informative displays about the life of marine creatures, etc. We also attended a talk by one of their experts which was most informative and helped us understand better what we were... More 

Helpful?
Thank Terlow
MetroWest Boston
Level Contributor
149 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

My husband and I took the beach walk with a marine biologist from Baily Matthews. The walk begins in the lobby of the Island Inn. The cost is $10 a person and includes a talk in the Inn with many shells passed around, a walk on the beach and a half off ticket for admission to the shell museum. (I... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Buttercup92
Loveland, Colorado
Level Contributor
145 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 206 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We recently visited this shell museum on a trip to Sanibel Island. We had no idea of the diversity of shell life on this and other islands. The exhibits were well designed and easy to read. The presentation in the activity room about certain shell life was great. A must see experience.

Helpful?
Thank Tippet
Springfield, Missouri
Level Contributor
58 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

If you come to Sanibel for the shells, this should be a mandatory first stop. Try to find out when the curator is giving a shell talk to enhance your experience and if that doesn't work out, stay for the two 30-minute films on shells on Sanibel.

Helpful?
Thank Dub1955
Indiana
Level Contributor
104 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Wow! What a storehouse of shells on display for all to see and the perfect place to go when the weather outside does not allow for beach time.

Helpful?
Thank hotdogindiana
Darlington
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Their videos are very interesting. Displays of shells extensive. Displays of use of shells are very interesting. Sailors valentines have to be seen to be believed.

Helpful?
Thank MaryJo B

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Questions & Answers

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Gurabo, PR United States
7 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?