Street Address
3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road
Sanibel, FL 33957
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1580
Sanibel, FL 33957
phone: 239-395-2233
fax: 239-395-6706
Daily10 AM - 5 PM
Adults $9
Youth 5-16 $5
Children 4 & under free
Seniors: $10
AAA: $10
AARP: $10
Museum Type(s)
Gift Shop
Group Tours
Dr. José H. Leal, Interim Director and Curator
Melanie Moraga, Assistant Executive Director
Stephanie Muddell, Communications Director


More than thirty-five exhibits display world-wide shells, with special focus on Southwest Florida shells. Acclaimed video Mollusks in Action is shown five times daily. Store offers books and shell-motif gift items. Daily programming and demonstrations. See website for details.


The dissemination of information on Mollusks through exhibits, educational programs, library and publications.

Research Collections

The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, a specialized natural history museum, is a collecting museum. Its collection of shells and preserved specimens represents a large fraction of the global biodiversity of mollusks. The Museum houses a collection of worldwide and local mollusks that encompasses about 150,000 lots. The collection is expanding, with a growing focus on mollusks from the coast of southwest Florida, its barrier islands, and the Gulf of Mexico. The increasingly regional nature of the collection has attracted a large number of national and international students and scientists who visit the Museum to examine specimens in their fields of expertise. Records of our holdings are managed through a database management system and searches of the collection may be performed online.

Educational Programs

Volunteer docents assist museum visitors on their self-guided tours. The museum offers special programs and tours to groups of all ages from schoolchildren to Elderhostels. The Museum offers a discounted admission price for tours by groups of ten or more persons. The unique guided tour consists of a slide presentation on the lifestyles of mollusks, and a hands-on display of Southwest Florida shells. Also highlighted are certain exhibits in the Great Hall of Shells, including live mollusks. Reservations are required.

  • Daily Beach Walks with Museum Master Marine Bioglist
  • Daily Programming at 2pm - See website for schedule
  • Twice-Daily Live Tank demonstrations featuring local mollusks in an 8-foot long clear tank.
  • Weekly Adventure Cruise with Master Marine Biologist aboard a 24 passenger catamaran.


Private Non-Profit


Access: General Public, Students, Scholars

Appointment required: Yes


Scientific journal, "The Nautilus", published quarterly.
Newsletter "Shell Museum News", published quarterly.

  • The Nautilus
  • Shell Museum News


Wheelchair Accessible


Gift Shop

Group Tours