Last updated: 11/30/2021
Sanibel, Florida
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
Sam Ankerson, Executive Director
Dr. José H. Leal, Curator
Stephanie Muddell, Communications Director
Ryann Powell, Director of Finance and Operations

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
  • ADA

    Wheelchair Accessible


    Gift Shop

    Group Tours

    This information, including business hours, addresses and contact information is provided for general reference purposes only. No representation is made or warranty is given as to its content or the reliability thereof. User assumes all risk of use. Stories USA, Inc. and its content suppliers assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. Please call ahead to verify the dates, the location and directions.
    West Grove, Pennsylvania

    Creators of custom / personalized made-in-USA products for museum stores. Your products are unique and exclusive to your store. Free setup and design. Free samples. Interactive design tools available on our website for buyers to mock up ideas. Products include bookmarks, magnets, mugs, glass paperweights, coasters, mousepads, aprons, puzzles, postcards, holiday ornaments, rulers, t-shirts tote bags, more

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