The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Sanibel Island

4.4
#3 of 71 in Museums in Southwest Gulf Coast
Specialty Museum · Museum
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Put your hand in a tank with domestic mollusks or see fossilized shells at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. This nonprofit museum teaches visitors all about shells and their role in art, medicine, architecture, cuisine, and even the economy. Spin the museum's classification wheel and learn how to arrange and identify Florida shells. Watch a video showing huge mollusks in their natural habitat, or use a microscope to observe micro mollusks. Kids can spend some time in the children’s learning interactive lab. Discover how to plan a Sanibel Island trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.
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The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,648 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Great for young kids. A lot more to see than just some shells and the touch tank is a hit with most kids. Only downside is the liberal nonsense like bathrooms for people with only half a dress... 
    Great for young kids. A lot more to see than just some shells and the touch tank is a hit with most kids. Only downside is the liberal nonsense like bathrooms for people with only half a dress...  more »
  • If you want to learn more about the shells you found on the beach, this is the place for you. We expected to see only shells displayed. Instead, there were live exhibits and the opportunity to touch.....  more
    If you want to learn more about the shells you found on the beach, this is the place for you. We expected to see only shells displayed. Instead, there were live exhibits and the opportunity to touch.....  more »
Google
  • I gained a whole new level of respect for beaches and the aquatic life that live on/near them. This place was much more educational than I thought it would be. Admission was kind of pricey ($47.90 for just wife and I) but I felt a little better about it as we walked through. There was a lot of large aquariums with life inside that need to be fed and supported. I know how hard and expensive those are to maintain. Also the amount of detail put into the displays, informational signage, and keeping everything beautiful and clean. The gift shop was a nice way to end the visit. I applaud everyone here for their hard work and dedication.
  • Very friendly guides. Lots of shell and mollusk information!

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