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The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum

3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
+1 239-395-2233
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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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515 reviews from our community

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English first
Olathe, Kansas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014 NEW

Impressive display and informative. Two choices of very interesting 30 min. documentaries about moluscs. I learned that conchology is not the same as malacology.

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Miami, FL
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014 NEW

We loved the shell museum! It's a great place to go for a few hours to learn about the shells you're finding on the beach and they have a GREAT kids program. They give the kids a scavenger hunt sheet and when they locate the shells on the sheet they get a nice prize. We all loved this place!

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Micanopy, Florida, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014 NEW

Super friendly staff, wonderful building, great gift shop and displays. Very nice and we would go back again!

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Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
171 reviews 171 reviews
39 attraction reviews
162 helpful votes 162 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014 NEW

I was in shock about the many varieties of sea shells they do have in display. the movie about how the seashells are created is very informative and educational. The movie is about 30 minutes long but it's worth it. The display about Calusa Indians is wonderful!!! you don't know how much you will learn and I appreciate the natural... More

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Homestead, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

After years of visiting the area, we finally made it to the museum. Admission price to museum is reasonable, the cashier was very pleasant and was kind enough to tell us that since we had arrived close to closing that we could come back the next day to catch the two thirty minute films that they offered. The museum had... More

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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

ice gift shop. ,informative, treasure hunt,even a gift for the kids,lots of amazing history. Need to visit if you are on the island

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Nashville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
10 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Although it is small, it is top-notch! Some kids' activities, history and shells from around the world. The movie was great too!!

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Colora, MD
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

We stopped by on a rainy afternoon and really enjoyed our visit. We were just in time for a talk led by one of the educators called "Shelling 101." As this was my first trip to Sanibel, this was very informative for me. The educator told us a lot about the different types of shells and equipment to use. Afterwards,... More

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Baltimore, Maryland
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
18 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

Please make the time to visit this treasure. We learned so much about ecology, these beaufiful islands and new and interesting things about the environment and how we operate in it. There is a lot of see, but you can make your way through the museum thoughtfully in under 2 hours (if we take time to see the short films,... More

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Staten Island, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

I never knew shells could be very interesting. Very detailed museum, describing the "making" of a shell, etc. A must-see when in Sanibel

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