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The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

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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
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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 1,026 reviews
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  • 593
    Excellent
  • 281
    Very good
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  • 21
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    Terrible
Amazing shells frrom around the world on display

There are amazing examples of large and unusual shells from around the world on display. AAA discount applies to admission fee, which is nice. I especially loved the unusual... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 days ago
gabi_kansas
,
KC
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1,026 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,002: English reviews
KC
Level Contributor
355 reviews
133 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 169 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

There are amazing examples of large and unusual shells from around the world on display. AAA discount applies to admission fee, which is nice. I especially loved the unusual displays of "Sailor Valentines" and also the gorgeous display of what looked like a large vase of flowers, but the flowers were delicately made of shells. Amazing! For me, the most... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank gabi_kansas
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

We went on a Tuesday when they had a craft project. The whole family was allowed to make a shell animal/person. My girls loved the craft and I love we all have a keepsake to cherish! I have to say one of the best moments of our trip. My girls also enjoyed the scavenger-hunt thought the museum. I would say... More 

Helpful?
Thank tealhog
York, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
46 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This is a great museum and a wonderful place to see shells you wouldn't ordinarily find. The staff is so friendly and helpful. A group of students arrived while we were there and they had all kinds of activities planned for them. The gift shop is loaded with unique items as well as a lovely selection of books. The lady... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank MamaM60
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW via mobile

A great little museum! We went on our last day on the way to the airport. I wish we had gone at the beginning of our trip so we could have used the knowledge we gained. Great for all ages and very educational as well as having a 'wow' factor with the amazing things Mother Nature can do!

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

After 3 hours of early morning shelling on the beach we needed to get out of the sun, heat and humidity for awhile so we went to the National Shell Museum. It was fascinating to learn ALOT more about shells and the animals that live in them. The "tank talk" was quite interesting and we saw live critters in their... More 

Helpful?
Thank SusanRJ
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The Shell Museum has a fantastic collection from all over the world. There are weekly lectures that you should try to attend. I learned about "Tusk Shells" and found about 40 the next day that I donated to the museum. The Shell Museum is the reason for my vacation to Sanibel - and it exceeded my expectations!!! The museum needs... More 

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Level Contributor
61 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This is our third visit to this beautiful place. We came first when we were dating, later as newly weds and now with our children 12 years later. We absolutely love it. The museum is beautiful, interesting and educational. The staff is very friendly and do their beat to entertain every person that visit them. They are very proud of... More 

Helpful?
Thank Edith W
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Underwhelming is a good word. It's a really nice museum with extremely friendly staff but I personally found the subject matter uninteresting. Great for kids.

Helpful?
Thank Laura O
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We were able to drag our son off the beach and we were glad we did. The shell museum was an awesome experience. We attended the cool shells presentation, tank talk with Alec, watched the mollusk film, and did a kids shell art project. The entire staff was knowledge and helpful. My son brought a few shells that he had... More 

Helpful?
Thank Dawn C
Beaumont, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Our entire family (ages 8-70) enjoyed the museum. Most of us participated in the craft hour and we all thoroughly enjoyed the tank talk about mollusks. We learned a lot that we put to good use as we searched for shells on the beach. It made our beach forays a lot more enjoyable because we learned a lot about what... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kathryn1948

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Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum and other visitors
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5 months ago
Gurabo, PR United States
over a year ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?