Daily: 10am to 5pm

Holidays: 12pm to 4pm​ (Christmas, New Year's Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day)

Thanksgiving: closed


Adult (18+): $15

Youth (12–17): $9

Child (5–11): $7

Under 5: FREE

Active Military: FREE


3075 Sanibel Captiva Rd.

Sanibel, FL  33957

FREE on-site parking

Daily Programming

Beach Walks

Time: 9am daily, year-round

Location: depart from the lobby of Island Inn, 3111 W. Gulf Dr.


Join our passionate shell experts for a one-hour walk along the beach to learn about the shells, mollusks, and other marine life that washes ashore on Sanibel.

Reservations required.

Live Tank Talks

Time: ask when the next talk is when you arrive!

Learn from one of our experts about some of the local mollusks that make the beautiful shells you can find on our beaches! Fun and educational for all ages.


Included with Museum admission; no reservations required.

Shell Arts & Crafts

Time: 10am–5pm daily*

Build your own shell creation and exercise your imagination and artistic talents. Then take home a treasure that's sure to be a favorite reminder of your visit. Fun for the whole family!

*Wednesdays from 1–3pm, Shell Jewelry replaces Shell Crafting. Guided by our experts, make a fabulous necklace or bracelet to take home. Space-available basis.


Included with Museum admission; no reservations required.

Museum 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.

Costa Rica Eco Tour

When: February 3–11, 2020

Delve into Costa Rica’s diverse habitats, national parks, and private reserves on this 9-day expedition with the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Accompanied by your expert Museum leaders and Costa Rican guide, you’ll observe the abundant marine mollusks on the country’s Pacific Coast.

Florida United Malacologists

When: February 3–15, 2020

Join us for an informal, one-day gathering of short presentations about shells and mollusks! Everyone is welcome—whether you’re a researcher, collector, citizen scientist, Shell Ambassador, student, or enthusiast. Registration is free, and includes a complimentary boxed lunch!

Upcoming Events