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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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490 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Long Beach, CA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014 NEW

Since the reason so many people come to Sanibel is for shelling this is a great stop for newbies or on a rainy day. Great intro videos and the displays are done beautifully. Fun to watch the presentation in the kids corner with the docents teaching the kids how to deterring if a shell is "alive". Be sure to be... More

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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

Had a great time downstairs making our "shellasaurus". The ladies helping the kids do crafts were patient and very nice. Our little guy has a treasure he will remember for many years to come.

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Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
8 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014 NEW

Nice collection of local shells and shells from around the world. Kids were into it, but not for long. I think it is expensive for what it is.

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Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014 NEW

Very friendly staff at the front desk. A nice place to spend a hot afternoon or a rainy day. Kids liked doing the scavenger hunt

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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

My husband and I really enjoyed our visit, as did my 10 year old. I must say that my 12 year old was a bit bored. It was just not active enough for him. The self guided tour was interesting and the shell displays were lovely. The shop has very beautiful items as well as some inexpensive kid friendly trinkets.... More

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grandjunction
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

Go there on your 1st day to get familiar with the shells and then its more fun shelling on your own. Beautiful museum

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Lorain, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

Our trip to the Bailey Matthews shell museum was a great way to spend an afternoon and it was quite affordable for a family of 4.

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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

Pretty cool place to visit. The kids loved it, and it was cool to identify all the different shells we had been finding.

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Fayetteville, Arkansas
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

To find optimal beaches to shell and to know how to identify those ocean treasures you so painstakingly gather, this place is a must. Before we went here, we weren't aware some live shells can sting! Right past the service desk was a hanging rack of free info: a map of Sanibal and all of the public beaches, directions how... More

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Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

If you love shells this is must see by the sea shore. Even my kids loved it and they got a special gift for completing the search and find. Educational and fun!

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