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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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581 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
GRAND JUNCTION
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2015 NEW

The talk that they gave in the basement with the live animals in the shells was really interesting to us and helped us learn a lot about these things.

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Northwest Ohio
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2015 NEW

I though the entrance price was pretty steep. I will not go there again. For the price you pay, the exhibits were really showing wear and tear. Many of the cases were cracked, dirty and run down. For $11.00 they could at least use a bottle of windex and clean the displays.

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clinton, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2015 NEW

I enjoy collecting shells wherever we go but Captiva by far had the most to offer. My family enjoys this pastime with me to a point but they are TOTAL converts after our recent stay in Captiva (South Seas Resort, phenomenal!!!) and after this education and FUN, hands-on visit to this spectacular museum. I would recommend it to EVERYone. The... More 

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Fremont, Ohio
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
15 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2015 NEW

WOW. We did the beach tour -- meeting at the Historic Island Inn. A great staring place. Go early to see the lobby exhibits and display cases. We met Stephanie who was magnificent. Find out when she is scheduled. You will be enthralled. Our eyes were opened to the marvels of shells and what they mean--not just meaningless beach rubble,... More 

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Flanders, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
13 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2015

Decided that if we're at the sea shell capital we should go to the museum. Exhibits are interesting and the staff go out of their way to provide info about the museum and the shells. 20 minute movies run every half hour. Certainly know more about mollusks that ever thought possible. Visit lasted 90 minutes. Worth the price of admission.

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Cherry Hill, New Jersey, United States
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
20 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2015 via mobile

My so wanted to know how sea shells were made, and I have to admit I wasn't so sure. After visiting the shell museum our questions were all answered. He even wrote a report about them when he got back to school. Great museum! Take some time to get out of the sun and into the AC.

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Evergreen, Colorado
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
16 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2015

A lovely way to see the shells of Sanibel as well as shells from all over the world. Informational videos and live demos.

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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

Surprisingly good museum with great, comprehensive displays and informative movie. Entirely enjoyable.

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Longmont, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

If you are into shells, go to the beach. Honestly. It's 10 minutes from this museum. Nothing fascinating to see here. If you are not into shells, why on earth would you go to the Shell Museum. In short, I am having a hard time justifying spending the time and the money to visit the Shell Museum.

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Palos Hills, Illinois, United States
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2015

This place is a great find so that you can get your eye trained for the shapes, colors and textures of what shells to look for. The staff is friendly and informative. The gift shop is really nice and you can shop without paying admission to museum. A visit here would be great when you first arrive before you go... More 

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