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“Nice shells....but Pricey” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
+1 239-395-2233
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Type: Specialty Museums, Museums
Activities: Leisure education
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Attraction details
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
Burlington, Connecticut
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
32 attraction reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Nice shells....but Pricey”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

Interestingly many of the TA reviews from 1 to 5 stars are correct. $18 is a bit steep for what is about a 30-45 minute visit for most if you watch the movie. The movie is slow but well done and interesting . The staff was friendly and helpful. There are nice shell displays but they are static and without a large amount of information and audio. The open top tank is OK but you cannot touch things in it which is what I would think would be the first thing most kids would do! It would be best to go on a rainy or cool day.
The gift shop is fair with a few interesting items. More local items would be nice.

Visited October 2012
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San Ramon, California
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
39 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Conchologist's Dream!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

Although it's not a huge place, it's just PERFECT to spend a part of an afternoon browsing at the many shell exhibits that represent the world. I've been hooked on shells since I was a kid & have a serious collection, so this was a MUST ATTEND type of place for me. I was THRILLED to see an open-top tank that contained live Florida Conchs! It was VERY nicely displayed & the life of molluscs was wonderfully documented, yet a nice read. I was thrilled to visit & their gift shop had some very nice items...of course, I had to buy a few! It's only $9 per adult to get in, so it's quite reasonable for what they offer in exhibits & videos.

Visited October 2012
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Jacksonville, Florida
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Great Museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

What a great museum to see all the different, beautiful, colorful, unique shells of the world and get some history about shells as well. They also have a scavenger hunt you can do while browsing the museum and you can get a free shell for completing it. There is a little interactive room for kids and a gift shop where I purchased a great book about the shells of Sanibel to help us learn more about the shells we were collecting and also help us identify what they are. I highly recommend a visit here as it is a great experience and very inexpensive.

Visited July 2012
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Raleigh
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“The Story of Shells”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

The exhibits were wonderful. The docet was most helpful, especially the young man in the children's learning center. It is best described as Pretty Shells and Much More.

Visited October 2012
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Milford, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“A must see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

It's an $18 donation to get in, but there is a great film about mollusks and sea life that is hugely informative. Many beautiful shells from around the world to see. I had heard about this place while on vacation in New Hampshire...so it was a must see for us!

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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