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The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

Address: 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Phone Number: +1 239-395-2233
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86%
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty museums, Museums
Activities: Leisure education
Owner description: An American Association of Museums (AAM) accredited non-profit natural science museum, The...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Specialty museums, Museums
Activities: Leisure education
Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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

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599 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Mount Union, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015 NEW

We were told this was a must-see so we biked to it. (that got us $1 off admission) It was small but full of shell history. There are lots of workers around to answer any questions for us. It's a little small, and if I was choosing, I'd go to Ding Darling Refuge instead, but if you have the time... More 

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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015 NEW

I'd received mixed reviews about the shell museum before we arrived on our last trip to Sanibel. We decided to visit on a cold, rainy day to get out of the elements, and I am so glad that we did! The exhibits at the museum are absolutely fascinating and I highly recommend the presentations featuring the live shell tank. A... More 

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Milton, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015 NEW

We watched a movie explaining the way sea creatures live and make their shells. The museum was great with guides giving extra information.

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Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
13 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015 NEW

A one of a kind museum! Terrific program on the Giant Squid. Selection of shells is great and info on shells is outstanding!

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Marathon
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

This place is magnificent! We sat in on some of their presentations where we learned a great deal on shelling and recognizing mollusks. The specimens they have on display are incredible!

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Branford, Connecticut
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
13 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015 via mobile

We would strongly recommend that you take the time to visit the museum. We were all surprised with the wonderful display of shell from all over the world. It is reasonably priced and the two shows are also worth while seeing.

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NC
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

It was a bit pricey, but worth going to hear the program presented by a naturalist on sea shell creatures.

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Kennett Square PA
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
4 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2015

We went on the one rainy morning during our visit. Very interesting small museum. Shells from all over the world,two videos and lots of information.

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Top Contributor
305 reviews 305 reviews
97 attraction reviews
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2015

We paid$30 for our family of 4. It really only takes an hour tops to get through it all. While it's really neat to see, not worth the price. Skip it and find something else to do.

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Pueblo, Colorado
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
32 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2015

Such a gem! This museum only takes an hour or two, but, is packed with information. Great for all ages - even my 3 nieces enjoyed it (ages 6, 8, and 10). Many videos... and activites to enjoy as well. The gift shop is also wondeful for unique gifts - shipping is avaliable!

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