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Sanibel Attractions: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

It’s common knowledge that Sanibel is one of the largest shelling beaches in the United States and even the world, but did you know that Sanibel is home to one of the most beautiful museums dedicated to the science of shelling and it’s all open to the public every day of the week?

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is by far one of the most interesting experiences you can enjoy on the island. After you’ve spent your morning shelling and doing the famous “Sanibel Stoop”, take your treasures to the Shell Museum to identify what you’ve found!

The world of Shells is a fascinating science that will thrill you as you learn all the processes from egg sack to the full-grown shell that you have just found at your doorstep at the Pelicans Roost. Not only will you learn about the shells from your last walk on the beach, but also about those you have yet to find. The Shell Museum is not only a wonderful resource for the shells of Sanibel but also serves up educational materials from the entire planet.

Your children will love the Shell Museum! With interesting interactive learning displays, they will find a new world of enjoyment and education. And then it’s back home to the Pelicans Roost to collect more!

Twice a day the staff Marine Biologists present to you free with admission a live demonstration of mollusks found in our waters here. Experience fighting conchs, lightning whelks, and scallops live and moving around as they would out in our Gulf of Mexico.

And after all that fantastic education that makes you appreciate our little piece of Paradise step into the Museum Gift Shop. Shell identification guides, shell books, puzzles, games, jewelry, and clothing are available along with china, hand-painted scarves, stationery, posters, and one hundred percent of the proceeds support the Museum. You can even stop by and shop anytime!

The Shell Museum is conveniently located at 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road about 10 minutes from Pelicans Roost. Open daily from 10am to 5pm. Phone: (239) 395-2233.

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