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Hours

The Museum is open, with these guidelines in place.

Daily: 10am to 5pm

Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve: 10am to 2pm

New Year's Day: 12pm to 4pm

Thanksgiving and Christmas: closed

Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day: 12pm to 4pm

Admission

Adult (18+): $23.95

Youth (12–17): $14.95

Child (5–11): $8.95

Under 5: FREE

Active-duty service members and their families are always welcome at no charge. Discounts available for seniors (65+), AAA, and AARP.

3075 Sanibel Captiva Rd.

Sanibel, FL  33957

(FREE on-site parking)

Location

Accessibility

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Are you ready to go Beyond Shells?

Explore our newest addition: an aquarium gallery filled with living mollusks (the animals that create shells).

 

Learn about mollusks from around the world, including the Giant Pacific Octopus, cuttlefish, sea hares, inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef, fighting conchs, and the rare Junonia. Pop up into the middle of our oyster bed, then engage with animals in our two touch pools and learn from our educational staff about the mollusks you're holding! 

Visitors enjoy the Living Gallery at Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

Daily Programming

Ongoing throughout the day and included with admission

 

Touch Pools 

Get your hands wet and touch living mollusks in our two 15-foot long touch pools, while our educators teach you about the animals you're touching.

 

Scavenger Hunt

Test your knowledge of shells and mollusks by participating in one of our fun and educational scavenger hunts. We offer four different levels and prizes for everyone who completes one!

 

Mollusk Movie

Take a break and enjoy a short film about the mollusks of Sanibel. The movie plays continuously throughout the day.

Things to do with kids at the National Shell Museum

Visit our Museum Store for a great selection of unique gifts!

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum has an exceptional Museum Store with amazing and unique gifts.
Exhibits at Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island

Exhibit Highlights

We offer more than 30 permanent exhibits and several temporary exhibits. Our spectacular shell displays offer insights into the vital roles that mollusks have played throughout history, culture, art, design, and medicine. You'll marvel at our exquisite variety of shells—many of which you most likely never knew existed! You'll also learn to identify local shells that you can find right here on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

Shells of Sanibel & Captiva

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is the leading authority on Sanibel and Captiva shells. Multiple exhibits give guests the opportunity to see prized Junonias, as well as fig snails, pen shells, and more. The Museum offers extensive information on how and where to shell on Sanibel and Captiva, and how to clean and transport your gifts from the sea.

 

Shells from Around the World

Explore a beautiful collection of shells from around the globe. Located in the Great Hall, this exhibit includes spectacular shells from the Japanese Province, the Indo-West Pacific Province, and others!​

 

Record-Breaking Shells

We have some of the largest shells ever found on display. Our record-holding shells include the largest known representatives of the Goliath Conch, the Lightning Whelk, the Atlantic Trumpet Triton, and the Horse Conch.​

 

Shells in Architecture, Art, and Human History

For centuries, shell forms have inspired crafters, builders, and architects. Throughout the Museum, discover how shells have influenced architecture and art across many different human cultures.