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“Neat little place”

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
Certificate of Excellence
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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
Reviewed May 31, 2011

This isn't a large museum, but it is well done. Those who like shelling (after all, if you're on Sanibel you'd better) will think this is a neat place. If you're not into shelling, you probably won't like it. The museum has shells from all over the world, and a lot about the ones you are likely to find on the shores of the island. Good information about the life of the little critters that live in them, how to clean and preserve them, and the history of how shells have been used in the past. Overall, for my family, a great place to spend a hot afternoon.

2  Thank wvfamily2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"scavenger hunt"
in 68 reviews
"marine biologist"
in 42 reviews
"rainy day"
in 83 reviews
"world record"
in 19 reviews
"gift shop"
in 82 reviews
"on display"
in 50 reviews
"live shells"
in 34 reviews
"beach walk"
in 23 reviews
"amazing collection"
in 15 reviews
"sea shells"
in 49 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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1,322 - 1,326 of 1,381 reviews

Reviewed May 29, 2011

Could never have imagined I would have enjoyed this museum as much as I did. Very well done and shells were truly a work of nature's art. Just fascinating and educational to boot. Especially enjoyed the section of shell artwork. Would definitely go back as this is the kind of place you can visit several times and see something new that you might have missed before.

1  Thank Chickchuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2011

This is Shells 101. This is a great overview of shells found on beaches of Sanibel as well as shells in other parts of the world. It is a small manageable, size museum with a tremendous amount of information about mollusks. This is not Disney World with whistles and bells, but a well done displays meant to educate. The video and live tank add to the experience.

2  Thank Bdgr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2011

12/30/10 Friendly staff, nice displays. There were shells from all over the world, not just Florida. Displays of shell crafts and things made from shells. There was a small tank with mollusks, not too exciting but later while we were in the gift shop we heard that an employee would be taking the mollusks out of the tank to touch. The kids were excited and the adults learned a lot. I did not know that clams could move that fast or that they would fight with others. A fighting conch was put on a towel, it’s long foot came out and flipped itself over. We went to the beach the next day and found some live fighting conch and were able to get them to flip over (yes we returned them to the ocean). The mollusk tank was worth the cost of admission.

1  Thank dfsohio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 4, 2010

Although small, they've done a really nice job at this museum. They have some beautiful specimens, and it was really helpful to put names to the shells we've been finding along the beaches.

Perhaps I didn't look in the right place, but I couldn't find any postcards in their gift shop.

Thank ziona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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