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The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 3075 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3111
Phone Number:
+1 239-395-2233
Website
Today
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description:

An American Association of Museums (AAM) accredited non-profit natural...

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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,199 reviews
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  • 701
    Excellent
  • 330
    Very good
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    Average
  • 22
    Poor
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    Terrible
Great for the whole family

My husband and I went with our 2 small children and my parents. It was great for the whole family. Spent longer than we thought we would. Listened to one of the talks which we... read more

Reviewed yesterday
BBR27
,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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1,199 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,169: English reviews
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed yesterday NEW

My husband and I went with our 2 small children and my parents. It was great for the whole family. Spent longer than we thought we would. Listened to one of the talks which we all really enjoyed. My daughter, mother, and I did the shell craft, which was a big hit. Very knowledgeable and friendly staff.

Helpful?
Thank BBR27
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Really great museum with shells from around the world and knowledgeable staff. Offers a great opportunity to learn more about the shells you are finding on the beach.

Helpful?
Thank Kempsl
Cincinnati
Level Contributor
60 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

we went to the museum and it was wonderful. My sister found a unique specimen and they were able to identify it for us. They were most helpful. We enjoyed the exhibits, the trails and tales movie and the tank talk. The talk was very informative and interesting. We are so glad we went..

Helpful?
Thank PatCincinnati
Kansas City
Level Contributor
28 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We noticed this museum on our way to visit "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge which was not open on Fridays. The Shell Museum was worthwhile visiting and has a very accommodating staff. The were a presentation on the bottom floor on shells (particularly mollusks) which was informational and entertaining, and is especially recommended for adults as well as children.

Helpful?
Thank annerose321
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

I'm sorry that "Ding" Darling was closed but glad that you stopped in! More 

Springfield, NJ
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I loved this place. Excellent staff and activities like making jewelry. Love it. Shelly Kelly helped us understand shell pods and the specimens are simply gorgeous.

Helpful?
Thank B00mie
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Thanks for visiting "Shelly Kelly" is one of our best volunteers - we love her! More 

Sanibel Island, Florida
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

How amazing that actor Raymond Burr was instrumental is setting up this shell museum! They have so many interesting displays from shells all over the world .

Helpful?
Thank gloria462015
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

You're right Gloria - Raymond Burr was the celebrity chair of the initial fund raising campaign for the Museum back in the early 1990's. More 

Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

What a very interesting museum. Learned so many things about shells. Kids loved it. Volunteers are all very friendly and helpfull. Recommended to visit with kids!

Helpful?
Thank Coen V
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Thanks for visiting! More 

Auburn, CA
Level Contributor
108 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

This might be the only shell museum in the world and according to our naturalist, Bubby Howell, it is the only one in the US. My feeling is that we are lucky to have this place available anywhere to enjoy. It has a very organized informative exhibit area explaining the different types of shells and how they were used in... More 

Helpful?
Thank bobba
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Dear Bobba - Thank you for your wonderful and detailed review. Sounds like you spent most of your day with Bubby - one of our great staff members. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit and encouraged others to support our work. More 

Midlothian, Virginia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

What a wonderful museum - the only one in the country dedicated to seashells! Don't miss the live talk downstairs with lots of info about shelling. We learned quite a bit even though we have been researching for this trip for well over a year. It doesn't take long to go through the entire museum but the staff is very... More 

Helpful?
Thank jqwall
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Thank you for your review. Our staff and volunteers love what we do and sharing with others. More 

Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The Shell Museum was very educational and definitely children friendly but I don't think it is worth $15 a person for adults. It was great to do once to say I've seen it!

Helpful?
Thank Faith S
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Dear Faith - I'm sorry that you were disappointed. If you'd like to email me, I'd love to learn what we might have done better to earn five stars from you. More 

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Boynton Beach, Florida
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