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“You must stop here”

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 September 10, 2012

The shells are fantastic and this is a great way to spend a morning. Great gift shop and the shells are all beautifully displayed

Thank Swflfoooodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,084 - 1,088 of 1,300 reviews

Reviewed September 1, 2012

A truly wonderful find! Well designed and impressive collection of shells, interesting write ups on the shells and excelletn movies in the auditorium.

Thank jmkn_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

We went here on a rainy day. The children were given a kind of scavenger hunt to locate the shells described on a sheet of paper. Upon completion they got to pick out a shell from a very nice collection. This activity kept them happy and occupied for a good half-hour. We also watched an interesting video about shells. Overall, this was a great rainy day activity.

Thank Sal M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

This place is terrific for people of all ages; the kids will love seeing the HUGE shells on display, as well as typical finds from various geographical locations, and lots of rare ones, like junonia; some old artwork and crafts made of shells are also on exhibit, and even recipes that use different shell life. The kids were kept occupied by having to find different shells on a worksheet; they were then given a pencil, coloring book and a shell of their choice when they finished (the shell is a surprise so you may want to keep that way until they finish). The film was shown twice within every hour in a cool auditorium, and was very informative; our children were mesmerized by it because it showed live shells as well as "shells" as we typically find them. There is a live shell tank as well in the children's lab. You can take some nice pictures in and out of the museum, and the museum store has a lot of interesting items for gifts or souvenirs. Use the coupon which you can find in most coupon/visitor books and you can save a little on the childrens' tickets (I think it was $1 off a youth fee with purchase of an adult fee). For moms who might be wondering, the bathroom was clean and had a baby changing station :)

Thank QueensMother
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2012 via mobile

Pros:
- Very informative: From the biology of shells and mollusks to their historical, cultural and medical importance, this museum gives you all kinds of information about shells that you never would have known!
- Great kids activities: Kids are invited to complete a scavenger hunt, and are rewarded with a shell of their own. It definitely keeps kids interested in the displays.
- Everything is well-done: Displays are eye-catching, modern, and easy to read, factoids are interesting, and gives you new-found appreciation for all the shells you see on the beach.

Cons:
- Self-produced videos went a bit slow at times, but maybe it's because the mollusks move slowly, too. Video was still interesting, though, but maybe not for little kids.

Overall: I never would have thought that a museum devoted to shells would keep me enthralled, but it did! Don't leave Sanibel or Fort Myers Beach without visiting.

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

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