Calendar of Events

Welcome to the Shell Museum!

The Museum Mission:

  • To educate about shells and mollusks, the shell-makers, through exhibits, educational programs, library services and publications;
  • To further awareness of nature and the natural environment;
  • To promote collection-based research on shells and mollusks with emphasis on Southwest Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.

Featured Events

Marine Naturalist Adventure

03/01/14 - 12/31/14

At Captiva Cruises South Seas Island Resort Captiva Island THIS CRUISE MUST BE BOOKED BY CALLING CAPTIVA CRUISES AT 239-472-5300.

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum and Captiva Cruises present a one-of-a-kind experience sure to excite marine enthusiasts of all ages. Join our Marine Naturalist for an unforgettable four hour cruise with a small group aboard the 40' sailing catamaran "Adventure". Cruise Pine Island Sound to North Captiva Island. Explore both the back bay and the gulf as you learn about shells, the mollusks that create them, and the environment they live in. Enjoy a gourmet lunch on board and sail home while enjoying the Florida wildlife around you. This unforgettable trip is perfect for active families and individuals. WATER SHOES REQUIRED, no flip flops. Prepare to get wet.

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Island Inn Beach Walks

03/18/14 - 12/31/14

At Island Inn 3111 W Gulf Drive Sanibel, FL 33957

Join our Marine Naturalist for a beach walk on the sand near Island Inn on Sanibel Island. Walks depart daily from the Island Inn lobby at 9 a.m. Learn about the shells, mollusks, and other marine life that has washed ashore. The cost is $10, and parking at Island Inn is free for beach walk participants. Space is limited so book online now by clicking Calendar of Events (top right) or call (239) 395-2233 to make a reservation. All participants receive a coupon for half-off Shell Museum admission.

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Bunche Beach Low Tide Excursion

10/10/14 - 11/24/14

At Bunche Beach 18201 John Morris Rd Fort Myers, FL 33931

Bunche Beach Low Tide Excursions: Dr. Leal leads a low tide beach walk at Bunche Beach in Ft. Myers. The cost is $10 for adults and $7 for children, and participants receive a coupon for half-off Museum admission. October 10 at 8:45 AM November 24 at 8:00 AM Book online or call (239) 395-2233 to make a reservation.

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Pearls and Chocolate for a Cause


At Museum

Create an elegant 78 inch freshwater pearl and Swarovski crystal necklace (or two smaller ones) while sipping wine, sampling hors d'oeuvres and chocolates. Artist Patty Lipka will unleash your inner artist and make creating fun and easy. You’ll have a great time and go home with a beautiful necklace to keep! Tickets: $100 per person. Very limited seating. Reserve your spot before they're gone!

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Open Daily from
10 AM to 5 PM

Closed on New Year Day,
Easter Sunday, Fourth of July,
Thanksgiving Day, & Christmas Day

3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road
Sanibel, Florida 33957 USA

Phone: (239) 395-2233
(888) 679-6450
(239) 395-6706

accredited by the maerican association of museums



Marine Naturalist Cruise


trip advisor

Sanibel Island

Shell photos courtesy of Henry Domke

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