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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 - 17:00
Closed 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 1,189 reviews
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  • 693
    Excellent
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    Very good
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    Poor
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    Terrible
Interesting time!

We enjoyed the whole museum. We made shell art and viewed the tank presentation downstairs. Austin, the presenter there, is very good! He presents interesting information in a... read more

Reviewed yesterday
631lynn
,
Fort Myers Beach, Florida
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1,189 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,159: English reviews
Fort Myers Beach, Florida
1 review
Reviewed yesterday NEW

We enjoyed the whole museum. We made shell art and viewed the tank presentation downstairs. Austin, the presenter there, is very good! He presents interesting information in a relaxed and engaging way!

Helpful?
Thank 631lynn
West Chester, Ohio
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

This was an educational stop. I think kids would especially really like this. Plan on staying for around 1 to 2 hours.

Helpful?
Thank mkayk47
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Learn about the different shells and how the function in the ocean environment. How many different shells there are and how they grow and move around. Very informative and is great for adults or kids.

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Loveland, Colorado
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

We enjoyed seeing the great variety of shells on display and also hearing the live tank talk. I would recommend a visit here. Special exhibits and programs for children are available.

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

Thanks Kathleen! More 

Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Level Contributor
155 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Shells from all over the workload are featured here. There is hands on activities for the kids, a movies, docents. This is a good activity after being on the beach as the kids will see many specimens that they have encountered. Also a good rainy day spot.

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

Sue - Thanks for visiting. We're hoping for some rain soon to help our drought. Remember the Museum when the rainy season starts. More 

Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This museum has plenty to offer in the way of teaching you about the life of sea shells. The admission fee is a little high but you can have access all day and come and go as you like. There is a great talk in the touch tank room as well. We missed the arts and crafts activity. It would... More 

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

Sorry you missed the arts and crafts - it is great fun for all and goes on most of the afternoon. Perhaps next time? More 

Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My family loved it! Truly worth the money! Helped us know what to look for on the beach! Our children were able to identify the shells and other things that we found on Sanibel beaches.

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

I'm so happy to hear that your children not only learned - but remembered when they were on the beach. You made my day. Thanks! More 

Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Ok. So this is a QUIET museum. If you are NOT into the shell thing do not bother. If you are, then put your thinking cap on and get into the zone. On our last visit, we appreciated the small, but well curated gift shop.

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

Your review has me puzzled. The only time we're quiet is perhaps first thing in the morning. By mid-day we're hopping with tank tours, shell crafting and families with smiles throughout the building. More 

Wisconsin
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

If you enjoy sea shells (and who doesn't), then this is the place you need to be. An actual and excellent shell museum, and collection. We go here once every year. It is a bit pricy, as almost everything is on the island. Get over it ... enjoy.

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

Yes - we are a real Natural History Museum - just all about shells - trust me the diversity and shell stories are enough to fill your entire day! More 

Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We really enjoyed this little museum. It was $37 for 2 adults and a 7- year old. We made a shell craft, watched an interesting movie, and watched a fascinating live shell presentation, that even Helga l held our son's entire attention. Only reason 4 not 5 is because of the price. Loved it!

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

Dear Lauren - Thanks for visiting with your family. Our admission helps support all of our educational programs both for visitors and our school children. More 

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