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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
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 1,171 reviews
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    Terrible
A Must See!

This museum is well worth your time. There was a half-hour presentation by a naturalist and I learned many things about the "animals" who inhabit those lovely shells and there was... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed October 1, 2015
Janice T
,
Lagrange
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1,171 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,141: English reviews
Lagrange
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2015

This museum is well worth your time. There was a half-hour presentation by a naturalist and I learned many things about the "animals" who inhabit those lovely shells and there was a nice 30 minute film which was instructive. The shells, needless to say, are gorgeous.

Helpful?
Thank Janice T
Ft. Lauderdale
Level Contributor
109 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2015

Did you know that shells can reproduce and grow?! We were surprised at how interesting shells could really be! This place has so much that it would be a shame to miss it. Its not really a "standard" museum, but more of a discovery museum. They have displays, films and art made from shells. Fun for kids and the adults... More 

Helpful?
Thank yazdragonfly
Katie B, Public Relations Manager at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

We're so glad you visited and got so much out of the Museum! We hope you'll return because we have exciting new things in store. More 

Rushville, Indiana
Level Contributor
180 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2015

Whenever we are on the island and have someone staying with us that has never been on Sanibel, we take them to the museum to see the large display of shells, which helps to answer any questions they might have. Never boring to go through this and always find something new to learn.

Helpful?
Thank th0ds0n
Katie B, Public Relations Manager at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Thank you so much for sharing the Shell Museum with friends and family! More 

Level Contributor
67 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2015 via mobile

This little museum has so much to offer and is well worth the price of admission. There are tons of displays with lots of information. There is a special area for the kids with a live exhibit so the kids can see what lives in the shells normally. There are a couple of videos plus some fun games to play... More 

Helpful?
Thank Deanna S
Penn Valley, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2015

Amazing collection of local and global shells. Historic " sailor valentines", carvings, huge shells, collection of possibly extinct shells. Great brochure. Tank explanations by local wildlife experts. Videos, the two we saw on mollusks. Excellent.

Helpful?
Thank Bennett H
Inverness, Florida
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2015

Very nice place. It's amazing how many different shells there are. They also have activities in regards to shells.

Helpful?
Thank meow571
Level Contributor
39 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2015

This is a really neat place to visit. We had three boys with us 5, 7, and 9. When we got there, we were told of a free craft we could participate was starting shortly. We didn't expect much as we have been to these "craft" sessions in the past at other facilities and have not been impressed, but this... More 

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1 Thank x4famfun
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2015

Be sure to watch the videos offered at the Museum. Amazing shells and explanations of their creation and the creatures living in them

Helpful?
Thank Karen O
Mequon, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2015 via mobile

Very interesting museum. Beautiful facility. We were glad we took the time out of our day on the Island to visit. A lot of fun facts.

Helpful?
Thank 13420deb
Gardnerville, Nevada
Level Contributor
48 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2015

Raymond Burr (aka Perry Mason and Ironsides) donated his pristine collection of shells to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum where beautifully displayed mollusks from Florida, the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Caribbean and all parts of the world may been viewed and admired. This repository of shells is unique and a must see for visitors to the Fort Myers-Sanibel Island area. For... More 

Helpful?
Thank Rvinjan

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?