If you want to buy a shell lamp to remember your trip to Florida, The Shell Factory is the place to go. There are over 5 ... More
Shell Factory (The)
If you want to buy a shell lamp to remember your trip to Florida, The Shell Factory is the place to go. There are over 5 million shells, but that's a small part of this extensive entertainment complex. After a free tour of the shell warehouse, you can shop for souvenirs, jewelry, clothing, candles and more, plus visit a year-round Holiday Palace. The Waltzing Waters show is nightly. There are two restaurants, and the Corn Popper has 32 flavors of popcorn. There's even an African Art Gallery and exotic animals.
People stopping by the Shell Factory and expecting a Disney World or even a suburban shopping mall experience are bound to be disappointed. But those with a sense of discovery and adventure and a good amount of respect for for retro, vintage road side fun then this is a great place to visit.
The Shell Factory is like classic roadside attractions of yesteryear (The Nut Museum in Maine comes to mind) on steroids.
The Shell Factory is a rambling 18 acre piece of property with a 75 year history. There has been all kinds of changes to the place and it shows. The property contains a huge tourist trap kind of store with tons of shells that you won't find any other place plus unique exhibits like the largest collection of taxidermy in North America, an Arcade, Christmas store and pirate displays plus two shell museums. And that is just in the main building!
Elsewhere on the property are restaurants, a nature park, amusement rides, vintage fire truck, NASCAR cars and other things to explore and discover.
If you like kitchy attractions you'll love this place. If you want sterilized, you probably should stick to Disney type attractions. Sure its rough around the edges, the staff might not be the most cheerful, but the price is right.
every time i would go to visit my parents in cape coral, i would stop at the shell factory. the kids loved it, i loved it..TIL....we were getting ready to leave, i stopped in the restroom to change my daughter's diaper (she was 2)...no changing table so i had to put her on the floor... when i was done changing her i picked her up, then my purse that was next to her.....under my purse was the biggest roach i have ever seen! it wasn't there when i put my purse or my daughter down so i have no clue where it came from and don't care. all i know is...i will NEVER go back to that place. i cringe even thinking about going back.
Very disappointed.Ad in tourist magazine says 9-9pm ,7 days a week..We drove a hour plus,from Sarasota to see.Arrived at 5:15..At 5:30 told they were closing and everyone must be out by 6pm..more high priced junk than shells. Bought some t shirts,from only sales person who actually asked if I needed help. Shell sales person did not know type of shells or even some prices. Looked like a big garage sale.Daughter wanted to do a Pick A Pearl,but at 5:45 was told they were closing and to come back on another day.Wasted trip.Drunks outside hanging around a bar outside and cat called my under age 16 yr old,when we went to look at duckpond.
I'm shocked at the bad comments. They are obviously old. What a great surprise we had when we went. A whole day with the kids including meals was fraction of other attractions in Florida. You owe it to yourself to visit.
Don't go. If they charged money I would demand a refund. Better yet I wanted to ask for someone to pay me to go inside and look at all the crap. Yes they do have a ton of shells but they are overpriced. Go to the beaches in Florida and spend your money someplace else. They also have a great veriety of dead stuffed animals. What a great site to see...not! They tried to add snow but the place was so dirty that the snow what actually grey. Discusting!!! Anyway I guess if you don't have anything else to do and want a good laugh then by all means take the trip. Hope you have a wonderful vacation!
I've been visiting my grandparents in Port Charlotte since '89 and each year we would stop at the shell factory because the shell factory was the highlight on my trips there (besides the money grams gave me). They have every shell imaginable, plus the origins of each shell, a live alligator and turtle pond, reasonable prices, and immense amount of merchandise. From the outside it doesn't like that big, but when you step in, it's like the store that never ends. They have lots of arts and crafts as well. Great for souvineirs. I'm 21 years old, and I still love going! It never gets old and you never get too old for it! A must for any Florida traveler.