A Sanibel museum is a “Thing to Do” while your are visiting Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
A Sanibel museum to visit
One Sanibel Museum is the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
Now in its 20th year, The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island is the only museum in the United States that is solely devoted to shells and the mollusks that make them.
Ours is a natural history museum that exhibits beautiful shells from around the globe. Our world-renowned malacologist and two Marine Biologists are joined by highly educated docents to offer a wealth of knowledge, surprising facts, and rare insights into the lesser-known complexities of shells. Yes, there’s science (and a lot of it!) and we also cover many cultural, historical and culinary facets of shells.
Still, 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 other Sanibel Museum is the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village
Sanibel Historical Museum and Village was founded in 1984 with a mission to preserve and share Sanibel history. The story of Sanibel is told from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on the island in the 1800s. It tells of warriors, adventures, fishermen, farmers and proprietors.
Seven historic buildings were moved from their original island sites to the Historical Village. Each building has been restored to its original state. Volunteer docents share the stories of Sanibel with almost 10,000 visitors a year. Join us as we follow the footsteps of the past.