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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
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 1,115 reviews
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    Poor
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    Terrible
TRULY WORTHWHILE!

We have collected shells from many places, but had no idea about the creatures that inhabit them. There is so much information with creative displays that you will need more time... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Barbarino_12
,
Waukesha, Wisconsin
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1,115 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,087: English reviews
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
71 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

We have collected shells from many places, but had no idea about the creatures that inhabit them. There is so much information with creative displays that you will need more time than you expect to get the most out of this place. Marine biologists and other knowledgeable people have presentations at various times throughout the day so come early. Nice... More 

Helpful?
Thank Barbarino_12
Minnesota
Level Contributor
150 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Very well laid out, enthusiastic employees (volunteers??), and so many, many shells. Great little videos around the displays. Loved it.

Helpful?
Thank MariaMag
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
176 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

We visited for about two hours and that was a good amount of time. The naturalist gave a very interesting a talk about different shells and We watched two movies that were really interesting. Then the exhibits of shells round it all out so that when we left we had learned so much about shells. It turns out I knew... More 

Helpful?
Thank Libby_travels_alot
Pune, India
Level Contributor
117 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Very nice to see such a terrific collections of shells at one place. The staff was also very cooperative. Nice

Helpful?
Thank Chetan1087
Chicago
Level Contributor
94 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Wish we had more time at the museum to look at all of the fascinating facts about mollusks and their shells. Tank talk was interesting too (live specimens) but I think it should be shortened and made easier to understand for littler folks.

Helpful?
Thank Jeannelb
chicago
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Was visiting Sanibel but a tropical storm blew through. When it's not beach weather this museum is a great indoor activity. The presentation was interesting, and the exhibits are well done. A nice afternoon diversion for a rainy day.

Helpful?
Thank amused1
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

We're happy when it's sunny - because we have great shelling beaches. We're happy when it rains - because we have great shells here at the Museum. Perfect world. More 

Kiel, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
94 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Very cool little museum, I learned so much about where shells come from and the creatures that used to inhabit them. Be sure to catch a tank talk. My 4 year old sat still and listened for the whole talk, about 30 minutes, no small feat. The gift shop is neat and the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. The... More 

Helpful?
Thank Brewers333
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Great review! I'm glad your family was able to sample lots of our activities. We're pretty proud when we can keep a 4 year old enthralled. More 

North Carolina
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Loved the ability to make your own souvenir using the sea shells. Staff that works at the museum are very nice and are very knowledgeable.

Helpful?
Thank I50
ShellMuseum, Executive Director at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, responded to this review

Thanks for visiting. You can make your own shell art every afternoon! Get creative with us. More 

Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

This museum was more than just your average museum. Many different examples of Shells and organisms from all over the world. I highly recommend taking the short Shell class where the very knowledgeable instructor talked about the Shells and organisms in great detail with live examples. This is not just a class for kids but everyone who enjoys shelling and... More 

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

Dear Corky - I've been here for more than three years and I still learn something new every time I sit in on one of our tank talks. The ocean and its inhabitants never cease to amaze me. Thanks for sharing! More 

Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Such a cute little museum and a fun place to learn about shells. I learned a bunch of fun things about shells. Its a pretty little museum but the staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. We brought our 4 y/o and she had a blast doing a scavenger hunt and poking around the kids room in the museum

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

Thank you. We try to offer something for everyone - there's always something new to learn. More 

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10 months ago
Boynton Beach, Florida
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