Learn About Shells!

Known world round for its Sanibel Island shells, this area of Florida is a mecca for those who enjoy shelling or learning about the beautiful treasures that litter the beaches of the island. As a result of the popularity Sanibel Island has gained from it’s abundance and variety of shells it would only make sense that a museum to catalog the history of these natural wonders, has it’s home on the island.

Since its opening to the public in 1995, The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum has operated as an information and reference center for national and international shell enthusiasts, scientists and students.  Today, the non-profit Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum features more than 30 exhibits of mollusks from around the world!  Not only devoted to shell habitat, but shells in art & history, rare specimens, fossil shells, common Southwest Florida shells and many, many more.  One of the many features the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum offers is a learning lab that hosts a ‘hands-on’ play area for children (of all ages) and a tank with indigenous mollusks.  This one‑of‑a‑kind museum (the only one in North America totally dedicated to shells) holds more than two million specimens and represents a third of the world’s 150,000 species of living mollusks.  Amongst the 30+ exhibits is a Memorial devoted to the late great Raymond Burr, who was invited to serve as Campaign Chair in January of 2009.   

Located: 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road  Phone: 239.395.2233 or 800.679.6450 or visit: The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum