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The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum

3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
+1 239-395-2233
Website
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Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: Specialty Museums
Activities: Leisure education
Owner description: An American Association of Museums (AAM) accredited non-profit natural science museum, The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum features more than 30 exhibits... more » Owner description: An American Association of Museums (AAM) accredited non-profit natural science museum, The Bailey-Matthews 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 « less
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433 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014 NEW

We loved our trip to the shell museum! The kids ( ages 6 and 11) enjoyed the scavenger hunt to find certain shells and we all learned a lot about mollusks watching the video that plays every 30 minutes. It was great to go before we went shelling because it really helped us to know which shells we wanted to... More

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Cairo, New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

The Baily-Matthews Shell Museum was a great place to learn a LOT about shells from not only the Sanibel Island area but form around the world. The displays were artfully done and the collection was immense. You had to look up, down and all around in order to not miss something beautiful. The museum building is lovely. There are many... More

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Jacksonville, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

Sanibel is one of the worlds best places to gather shells. The museum had many fabulous specimens. We'll worth the time to tour this museum.

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Aiken, South Carolina
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

Something to see on a rainy day-a little high on price for what you see. Beautiful shell displays and friendly volunteers, but overall small. We really enjoyed a demonstration in the kids' area involving shells with creatures inside! That part was awesome!!

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Midwest
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

As mentioned in another review, the cost for entry is $9/adult and $5/child, so it did cost over $40 for our family. I don't mind that fee, though, because this is a not-for-profit organization. Also, you can save $1/adult (up to 4 adults using a coupon from the local visitor's guides). The museum is small but interesting. The film on... More

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Naperville, Illinois, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2014 via mobile

My husband grew up coming to Sanibel Island and knows a lot about the names of the shells. He has taught our three boys (14,12,8) all the names and they love shelling. What was so great about the museum was learning about the lives of the shells we collect. It was fabulous and gave us a much better appreciation for... More

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Burton, Michigan
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

Well worth the stop while on Sanibel. Make sure to catch one or both of the videos that run every 1/2 hour.

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Columbus, Ohio
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

I suppose this is a decent rainy day activity. You will learn more than you ever intended to know about shells and the animals that make and live in them. There is a scavenger hunt for younger children to do on the visit that I highly recommend.

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New Market, Alabama
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

My husband and I visited the Bailey Matthew Shell Museum on Sanibel. They have lots of shells. I was a little disappointed that only a small portion of the museum is dedicated to shells from the local area. I thought the price of $9 per person was a little steep just to walk around and look at a bunch of... More

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Gurnee, Illinois
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

We visited during the last week of march and we were happy to go to the museum to get out of the cold for a bit. The museum was interesting and kids liked the educational toys and things in the kids room, but it was a small place, it seems a little over priced but it was something you should... More

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