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The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

3075 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3111
+1 239-395-2233
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Review Highlights
Shell lovers - a must do

This museum has shells from all over the world. We weren't expecting see such a variety. It has... read more

Reviewed today
travelkat317
,
Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Ok, not worth cost to enter

Definitely not worth the $51 we paid to get in with three children. It was nice to get out of the... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Jenny M
via mobile
Read all 1,420 reviews
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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
  • Excellent63%
  • Very good27%
  • Average8%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“scavenger hunt” (69 reviews)
“rainy day” (84 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
LOCATION
3075 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3111
CONTACT
Website
+1 239-395-2233
Write a ReviewReviews (1,420)
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All reviews
"scavenger hunt"
in 69 reviews
"marine biologist"
in 43 reviews
"rainy day"
in 84 reviews
"world record"
in 19 reviews
"gift shop"
in 82 reviews
"on display"
in 51 reviews
"beach walk"
in 26 reviews
"live shells"
in 35 reviews
"amazing collection"
in 15 reviews
"sea shells"
in 51 reviews
"per adult"
in 19 reviews
"all ages"
in 53 reviews
"learn something"
in 19 reviews
"great place to learn"
in 14 reviews
"sea life"
in 25 reviews
"whole family"
in 16 reviews
"touch tank"
in 17 reviews
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1 - 10 of 1,386 reviews

Reviewed today

This museum has shells from all over the world. We weren't expecting see such a variety. It has lots of cool interactive displays, a shell talk on the bottom floor, and a local Florida exhibit. There is something for children and adults. You can do...More

Thank travelkat317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Definitely not worth the $51 we paid to get in with three children. It was nice to get out of the heat for a while though.

Thank Jenny M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago

Went by today to get out of the heat and do something a bit different. We've come to Captiva for 25+ yrs and never visited so this was the year. Adult cost to enter is $15. This gets you in for all activities and displays...More

Thank ssbrandes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago

This is an amazing hidden gem- they offer a great overview of conchology (the study and science of shells), provide arts and crafts (I made a really cool necklace), have a nice gift shop... They also have scientists and naturalists who give talks, offer guided...More

Thank S M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

We hope you come back for a longer visit!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

Very enjoyable. Knowledgable staff. The family always enjoys making the crafts. You will learn things here.

Thank h0use0f7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

Thanks for visiting.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

During her "hands on" presentation, Angie explained everything about the different shelled creatures, how they move and survive, how to provide a safe habitat for them, all at a level easily understood by children but not boring to adults. The exhibit hall has some of...More

Thank E B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

Our live tank talks are often the highlight of a day at the Museum. Glad you enjoyed yours. I'll be sure to pass your compliment along to Angie!

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Reviewed 1 week ago

If you think this is some dumb museum, you are wrong! Appropriate for all ages, the museum part is huge and full of cool shells from around the world and explanations of the creatures that once lived the the shells. That part will take you...More

Thank emilydavis12082017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

Thanks Emily! Come back soon for another visit.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

My grandsons age 8 and 11 requested a return visit to the Baily-Matthew National Shell Museum. They loved it! We spent two hours there. The first had a craft session making animals from sea shells with museum staff assisting them. Next we explored the museum...More

Thank rndiver1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

I'm so glad your grand kids wanted to come back for more! Thanks for sharing.

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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Education/information/entertainment all rolled into one! Loved the tanktalk and the walk through the exhibits was enlightening. Staffed mostly by dedicated volunteers, this is a jewel not to be missed, particularly if you like to shell.

Thank Jay C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks Jay. We have some GREAT volunteers. And great staff too! They all want you to come back soon.

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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Did you know that sea silk - or byssus - is perhaps the rarest and most difficult to make fabric in the world? Now you do. This is just one of many things you’ll learn here. This museum is full of interesting shells and their...More

1  Thank Gary G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Gary - Thanks for visiting. FYI, the byssus exhibit was created by Joyce Matthys, one of our excellent volunteers. It won the top prize at the Shell Festival.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
katieh31405
March 10, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Lucy N | Reviewed this property |
I concur with the other posters...an hour to an hour and a half, IF you don’t do the shell craft activity. They offer a “free” shell craft building activity, which lets a person make something with the shells they supply. We... More
1
Vote
don22cc
April 13, 2016|
Answer
Response from Melanie H | Reviewed this property |
Yes! They have an elevator.
0
Votes
Susan J
April 9, 2016|
Answer
Response from winetravelers2014 |
$15. / adult..... seniors $14
1
Vote
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