The Shell Factory is an old-school roadside attraction that has been tucked away on the outskirts of North Fort Myers, Florida, for nearly 80 years. While it has a lake with bumper boats, a couple of restaurants, a nature park, botanical gardens, and a zipline, its two big claims to fame are being the largest seashell retailer in the world, and having the largest taxidermy collection in North America.
Despite its location away from the beaten path of tourist attractions along the beaches, the Shell Factory has a certain charm, and a surprising number of attractions. The Nature Park has hundreds of exotic and domestic animals (many are rescues), restaurants and bars, a dog park, and mini golf, all squeezed together around their massive shell store and year-round Christmas shop.
What is truly odd is the enormous collection of taxidermy, with examples from all over the world, which got grafted onto a shell retailer. The Shell Factory claims there are 193 different animals that, together, are worth $7 million.
Know Before You Go
The Shell Factory is in North Fort Myers, on Hwy. 41. They are open 7 days a week, mostly from 10:00 to 5:00, but some areas have slightly different hours so check the website for specifics. It's all mostly free, except for the Nature Park and what you spend in the shops and restaurants.