Dec 14, 2018

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Sanibel Attractions: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum


Did you know that Sanibel Island is home to the only official shell and mollusk museum in the country?

Established in 1995, The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum only museum in the United States that is solely devoted to shells and the mollusks that make them.

The natural history museum exhibits beautiful shells from around the globe. With world-renowned Malacologists (scientists who study Mollusca mollusks) and Marine Biologists at the helm, a visit to the museum offers a wealth of knowledge about shells, science and the cultural, historical, and culinary facets of shells.

There are several activities your family can participate in during your visit to the Sanibel shell museum. Daily live tank talks are fun and educational for all ages. Listen as an expert offers amazing insights about the creatures on display in live fish tanks. Talks are available at 12:30pm, 2:30pm, and 4pm daily and are included with museum admission. Family shell arts and crafts are also available for the kids

Experience more than 30 permanent exhibits, as well as a small variety of temporary exhibits during your visit. The museum becomes alive at the most popular exhibit, the touch tank. The kids will love getting up close and personal with live shells and mollusks all the while learning about the ocean and the creatures that inhabit it.

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum also offers guided beach walks throughout the entire year. Join a marine biologist and walk the beach looking for live shells and mollusks to learn more about! In the summertime, the museum also offers summer monthly guided excursions at nearby Bunche Beach with world-renowned Marine Biologist Dr. José H. Leal. Sanibel beach tours depart fromt 3111 W Gulf Drive Sanibel, FL 33957

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is open daily from 10am – 5pm. Adult admission is $15; Youth admission (12-17) is $9; Child admission (5-11) is $7; Active military and children under 5 are free.

Visit the museum located at 3075 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957. Contact the museum by calling (239)395-2233