The Shell Factory Is So Much More Than That

public.jpeg

I knew that this place existed but I hadn’t ever been. Rick Kilby told me about it a couple of years ago and I just happened to be driving right by last Friday. Why not turn in. Ok, y’all. Don’t go here unless you want to be amazed. The World’s Largest Shell Factory (16554 N Cleveland Ave, North Fort Myers, FL 33903) is exactly that. Not only is it a shell factory, but the world’s largest gift store. Inside the main Quonset hut shaped building is the start of a new way of viewing the world. To your left and above you in the rafters, taxidermy animals posed in very realistic ways. Impressive to look up to see an entire ostrich in its cage, mountain goats, and a couple more wildcats hanging out up there.

To your right an endless display of shells. One kind after another and from every ocean and every sea. Themed gifts are displayed together in flamingo, unicorn, mermaid decor. The rooms go on and on and you’ll stumble on something else just around the corner. A pool table, arcade, pirate room, holiday room, military museum, coral room, rocks, and minerals. And this is all just in the main building!

public.jpeg
Cheetah going after lunch in a very realistic display.

Cheetah going after lunch in a very realistic display.

Take home a little light that reminds you of Florida

Take home a little light that reminds you of Florida

Florida shells have a section too!

Florida shells have a section too!

Found in the foyer.

Found in the foyer.

Walking into the main gift shop building is a good place to start if you’re not sure what to do first. You’ll see this replica of All Saints Church in Germany made entirely of seashells by Ann Rasmussen of Orlando who dedicated a year of her life and over a thousand hours to make it just right.

public.jpeg

There’s an area across from the animals where you can open your own oyster to find a pearl. What? WHAT? OK, check out this list of what you’ll find at The Shell Factory:

  • Four free museums

  • Year-round Christmas House

  • Fun Park

  • Fossil and Gemstone Mining

  • Game Room / Arcade

  • Dinosaur Exhibit

  • Actual US Post Office

  • Gulf Coast Homemade Fudge

  • Soaring Eagle Zip Line

  • Animal Park with over 400 animals and birds

  • Petting Farm

  • Ecological Laboratory

  • Cap’n Fishbones Restaurant

  • Overnight Night Camping Area

  • Bumper Boats and Paddle Boats

The Christmas house has rooms full of trees and don’t miss the photo op with Santa around the corner.

The Christmas house has rooms full of trees and don’t miss the photo op with Santa around the corner.

public.jpeg
The coral room leads to the military museum

The coral room leads to the military museum

If you’re searching for the best shells, you need the best equipment

If you’re searching for the best shells, you need the best equipment