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“If you are even minimally interested in shells, go there!”

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 February 5, 2013

All you ever wanted to know about sea shells, and didn't know whom to ask! This is an extremely comprehensive museum, and visitors of all ages will benefit from visiting it. I was particularly impressed by the central area, with its 8 areas of the world depicting the kinds of shells found. The movies are not terribly exciting, but they are thorough, and you will understand the differences between molluscs and bivalves by the time the documentary that covers these creatures is over. Good gift shop, but if you want a bag of pretty shells, you will have to go elsewhere! Entrance fees are not high, and NARM members get in free.

Thank Professional-Pilgrim
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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1,105 - 1,109 of 1,380 reviews

Reviewed February 4, 2013

An educational and artistic visit. Shell displays so beautiful I heard one visitor gasp --"Look at the colors!" Educational and interesting videos about marine life and shells. Great gift shop if you want to take home something that is NOT a tacky souvenir. Highly recommend.

Thank carol h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Any sea Shell that can be found on Sanibel can be found in the displays here. Admission is somewhat high, but the displays are excellent.

1  Thank Larry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

This is a great place for a short visit. There is a well done movie that gives you some good information about live shells. It is definitely worth seeing. The museum features shells from all over the world besides just the local area. There are some interesting displays of things people have used shells for over time.

The staff at the museum is always really friendly. The gift shop is has a nice selection. The laminated shell sheet we found there was more thorough than the most common one found at gift shops.

There is also a kid activity (finding specific shells throughout the museum) that can keep the younger one busy. They get to choose a shell to keep when they are done. It would be nice if they added a touch and see tank. There is an area to look at live local shells but no touching which I think kids find disappointing.

1  Thank MKBSt.Paul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 25, 2013

I was at the Museum a few years back, and found it to be very informative (I watched the film) learning about the island in a clear informative way was kind of cool... it wasn't your typical film but rather a film of the very island you are on... giving it a very hands-on vibe. I would highly recommend!

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

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