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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
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Activities: Leisure education
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

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  • 382
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    Very good
  • 78
    Average
  • 18
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
I cannot wait to go again!

When you visit the museum, make sure you take the time to watch the two videos in the theater. They are so informative! We visit at least once a year. If you like sea shells at... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed July 3, 2015
dkr5945
,
Franklin, Missouri
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680 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Franklin, Missouri
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2015 NEW

When you visit the museum, make sure you take the time to watch the two videos in the theater. They are so informative! We visit at least once a year. If you like sea shells at all, this is a must!

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Fishers, Indiana
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2015 NEW

If your a Shell Lover and Collector as I am. You will love this place. An Excellent Wide Variety of Shells from The Local Area and from around the World. I highly recommend this place to visit while on Sanibel.

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Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2015 NEW

The touch tank talk was a great experience for my kids. The knowledgeable staff taught the children (and parents) the correct way to identify if shells were empty or not and how to carefully put those that they found alive back. Both my kids 4 and 8 were mindful of what they had learnt when we got to the beach.

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Melbourne, Florida
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2015 NEW

My husband and I loved this museum! The kids were done with it pretty quickly. (Their ages: 14, 11, and 8.) They did have fun things for kids to see and do...even let them pick a free shell. I was amazed at the lifecycle of a shell. It really helped me to understand what I was seeing on the beach!!!... More 

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billings, mt
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2015 NEW

We didn't expect to enjoy the quaint museum as much as we did. Wonderful live talk with a biologist was the highlight. Definitely family friendly.

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Houston Tx
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015 NEW

We always visit the Shell Museum at least once a year. Great place to take kids too. They have the most beautiful collection of shells I have ever seen.

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Argyle, Texas
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015 NEW

We visited here today and were very happy with the experience. Our 3 year old daughter loved seeing all the sea shells and this place goes out of its way to be kid-friendly. They give each child a paper with shells to find and discover in the museum. Upon completion of this shell scavenger hunt the child gets to pick... More 

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Ackley, Iowa
Level Contributor
70 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015 NEW

First and foremost let me say that this is very overpriced for what it offers. The adult admission price is $11. There is basically one room with displays of shells and some pretty shell artwork. It took us about thirty minutes to look at everything in this room and this was taking our time and intentionally trying to take longer... More 

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Florissant, Missouri
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2015 NEW

My wife and I were pleasantly surprised by the building and displays for this museum. They have sea shells from all over the world on display with a special area for those from the Gulf and Florida area. It is fascinating to look at the shells and read about their formation in various parts of the world. They explain why... More 

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2015 NEW

A must for a trip to Sanibel! Great exhibits and informative movies. Everything you need to know about shells!

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Additional Information about The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

Address: Address: 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Phone Number: +1 239-395-2233
Location: United States  >  Florida (FL)  >  Southwest Gulf Coast  >  Sanibel Island
Open Hours:
Sunday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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Questions & Answers

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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?