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!
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.
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
Fossil and Gemstone Mining
Game Room / Arcade
Actual US Post Office
Gulf Coast Homemade Fudge
Soaring Eagle Zip Line
Animal Park with over 400 animals and birds
Cap’n Fishbones Restaurant
Overnight Night Camping Area
Bumper Boats and Paddle Boats