Everything You Need to Know about Sanibel Island Shells

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

In Sanibel, Florida, just a short distance from Blind Pass Condominiums, is the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on the Sanibel-Captiva Road. For more than 20 years they’ve been teaching everything there is to know about seashells of Sanibel – the many different types of shells, the best season to collect shells and the best time of day to go out. You won’t want to miss the Marine biologists who give daily Live Tank Talks throughout the day.

As the only sea shell museum in the nation, Bailey-Matthews displays shells from all over the world. In addition to displaying shell specimens, they also share insights into the various roles shells have played in the past, today, and in the future.

seashells of Sanibel

The museum takes great care to be accurate, which means their information evolves as new scientific discoveries are made. They have a world-renowned malacologist and two Marine Biologists that are joined by highly educated docents to offer knowledge, surprising facts, and rare insights into the lesser-known complexities of shells. Come learn all about the science as well as the cultural, historical and culinary facets of shells.

Collecting Sanibel Island shells

In their own words, “…our greatest asset is an innate sense of curiosity and wonder about shells. We have a lot of fun here at the Museum; we thankfully never stop learning and sometimes even get a little goofy about new discoveries — whether brought to our attention by a guest, gleaned from our own research, or found within the larger scientific world. Come see us — you’ll be glad you did!”

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $11 adults, $5 for children 5-17. Children 4 and under are admitted free. Phone: (239) 395-2233. Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel, Florida.