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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

Read all 648 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 366
    Excellent
  • 189
    Very good
  • 74
    Average
  • 16
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
A Must See!

This museum is extremely full of seashells from around the world. The displays are great and staff is so helpful. This is a must see when visiting the island.

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 28, 2015
902patty
,
Ohio
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648 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Ohio
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2015 NEW

This museum is extremely full of seashells from around the world. The displays are great and staff is so helpful. This is a must see when visiting the island.

Was this review helpful? Yes
SE Idaho, United States
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2015 NEW

It was kind of small, although the shells are beautifully displayed. There is a small gift shops with lots of shell identification books and pamphlets to choose from. However, that afternoon our hotel gave us a shell identification folder that had most of the shells for Sanibel and Captiva on it. (after I had bought one at the musuem)

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Hallandale Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
4 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2015 NEW

Good information, a little pricey for what it is. The demo in the pool was very informative. The 2 film pieces were the same. Good for a break from beach and shelling.

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015 NEW

a nice change of pace....take a look at the indigenous shells as well as those from around the world! What an interesting exhibit. And the sailors' valentines made of shells are some fine specimens! For $11 a person (adult), well worth the visit. One can sit through two short videos, as well--all about shells and their trails, etc. Very informative... More 

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england
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2015 NEW via mobile

Very impressed by this museum, a little gem on the island. The collection is wide and varied, the educational talks very informative. I think the age group for children would be at least 7 yrs and up to gain the most from from it. Pitched well for adults too, I learned a lot and to be able to see some... More 

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Covington, Kentucky
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

and would like to see it again. Very beautiful and interesting displays. My husband was not as thrilled as I was...

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Fort walton Beach, FL
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
23 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015 NEW

This could be so much better. How about a display on how to shell? We were done in about 30 minutes. Definitely not worth the price of admission.

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Portage, Michigan, United States
Top Contributor
208 reviews 208 reviews
83 attraction reviews
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2015 NEW

This place as every shell you could ever imagine. So many colors and types. They have names on some of them. Oh what you can do with shells is awesome too!

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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2015 NEW

This museum is the best museum I have ever been too! So interesting! Even a scavenger hunt for the kids! Also live fighting conchs in the kid room!

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Valparaiso, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2015

I learned many things in the hour or less I spent in this museum. It's not very big, but there is so much information. It was the perfect break to enjoy a change of pace and learn something new. The shell collections were unusual and beautiful. I will definitely go again when I visit Sanibel next.

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