Fodor's Expert Review Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
There have been big changes here at the museum and it all starts before you even enter, with giant shell photos on the exterior of the building by nature photographer Henry Domke. Once inside, there are more than 30 permanent and short-term exhibits. See a life-size display of native Calusa and how they used shells. From tiny to enormous, view local specimens and a variety from around the world. Play in the colorful kids' lab. Watch movies about how shells are formed and where to find them. Get a close-up look at mollusks in the 8-foot-long, live-viewing tank. The museum has also added two full-time marine biologists who lead daily tank talks (at 11:30 and 3), host daily guided beach walks, and lead a weekly marine naturalist cruise (Thursday). From colossal squids to Shelling 101, make this your first stop and you’ll be giving your own talks on the beach. Don't miss the museum store, filled with upscale nautical gifts.