Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum connects people to the natural world through their love of shells and the animals that create them.


At the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, we know that mollusks—the marvelous creatures that create the shells­—are amazing animals. There are more mollusks in the ocean than all the fish and marine mammals combined. Mollusks are a critical component of the world’s food web—including our own. Many are endangered and most people don’t know they exist.

One of the best things to do on Sanibel, the Museum offers fun and educational activities for the whole family. Kids love touching live mollusks in our touch pools, winning scavenger hunt prizes, and watching our Giant Pacific Octopus. Come visit the only museum in the United States devoted solely to shells and mollusks!

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Download the Shell Museum shell identification app on the app store!
Download the Shell Museum shell identification app on the Google Play store!

Take a photo of a shell and our app will identify it using machine learning. Every photo you take helps it get smarter! You can also browse the entire Southwest Florida Shell Guide.

Download the Shell Museum App