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The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 3075 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3111
Phone Number:
+1 239-395-2233
Website
Today
10:00 - 17:00
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00
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 1,142 reviews
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  • 667
    Excellent
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    Very good
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    Average
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    Poor
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    Terrible
Great spot to learn

Why not learn about shells? Take a few hours and learn about gastropods and mollusks! Watch both movies and you will never look at the beach the same again. Take some time to... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Barbara M
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1,142 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,113: English reviews
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Why not learn about shells? Take a few hours and learn about gastropods and mollusks! Watch both movies and you will never look at the beach the same again. Take some time to wander about the museum and learn about our local environment.

Helpful?
Thank Barbara M
Califon,NJ
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

All children should understand that shells are living creatures. The National Shell Museum helps everybody to learn more about shells through displays, lectures and hands on learning. Since Sanibel Island is the shell capital of the world, after a visit to this museum, you will go on a beach walk to collect shells with a different perspective. The museum even... More 

Helpful?
Thank Millie H
Orient, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Breathtaking exhibits of the shells of Sanibel, situated in an inviting and easy to navigate building. Lectures and slide presentations downstairs, remarkable gift shop. Along with "Ding" Darling Wildlife Preserve, this is a Must-See no matter how brief your stay is in Sanibel. One of the boxes I filled below asked if it were exciting, unusual or risky to visit.... More 

Helpful?
Thank OrientChris
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Thanks for your review. We recommend that you plan at least two hours for your visit - 1/2 hour for a live tank talk, 1/2 hour for one of the movies, 1 hour for the main exhibit hall and museum store. More 

Scottsdale
Level Contributor
113 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

My friends and I Loved this place. We loved learning about the shells and going to the live tank room. We learned all about shells and I would definitely go back. The staff were very friendly and made you feel welcomed. The gift shop is very good and you can purchase a bag to collect your shells when you go... More 

Helpful?
Thank ClareScottsdale
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Thank you Clare! More 

West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Wonderful museum with shells from all over the world - big and small. We visit every year and there is always something new to see. Don't let all those stairs at the front entrance scare you away. For the handicapped there is a side entrance just past the stairs with an elevator to take you to the main floor where... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mofl1
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Thanks for visiting us every year! We're always coming up with new ideas - I'm glad we're making you happy. :) More 

Sanibel Island, Florida
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Amazing!!! An absolute "must" to visit. Wonderful for children of all ages and adults of all ages. The shells, the history, the information, the knowledge-it is all fascinating and interesting. Highly recommend.

Helpful?
Thank paulaZ1618FI
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Thanks Paula - We're glad you visited! More 

Missouri
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We enjoyed going through this Shell Museum. Beautiful shells from many areas plus so many other exhibits. They also had live demonstrations that were interesting for both adults and kids. Just made us want to go back to the beach to look for things we saw in the musem. Well worth the entry price. Good parking.

Helpful?
Thank zipladyMissouri
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

We know we're doing our job when it makes you want to go back and take a second look at all the life beneath your feet at the beach. Thanks for visiting and reviewing us! More 

Clarksboro, New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I love shelling. My husband came with me under pressure, but even he found this place interesting. You can spend at least a half day here; we were pleasantly surprised at the amount and variety of information and activities in this little place. First, there is the actual museum room.....shells of all varieties and from many places with descriptions and... More 

Helpful?
Thank rhunt213
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Wow! Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed review. I too am amazed by how much fun it is for people of all ages (including me) to get a little creative and make a creature to take home! More 

Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We saw world record size shells. Shells in all colors and shapes from around the world. Well versed discussion of mollusks and how to collect shells. Nice gift shop

Helpful?
Thank Tim S
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Thanks Tim! More 

Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I loved this museum because it is quirky (a museum for shells?), well organized, and provides a nice balance between looking at odd specimens and "science" -- in a visually interesting space. The half hour talk by a volunteer was exceptional -- both entertaining and a nice respite from standing in front of exhibits. This would not be a great... More 

Helpful?
Thank Karen S
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review
Google Translation

Karen - Thanks for visiting! More 

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Questions & Answers

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10 months ago
11 months ago
Boynton Beach, Florida
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?