Man Killer Clam.

Man Killing Clam!

Field review by the editors.

Cheboygan, Michigan

Sea Shell City has been in this spot since 1957, before the interstate was built, and has reportedly remained unchanged in all that time. It's a tropical nautical gift shop -- something that is is way out of place in a town that's on roughly the same latitude as Montreal and Minneapolis. But its incongruity only makes it more beloved by its fans, who appreciate a touch of the tropics here in the Michigan Mitten.

Of the thousands of shells for sale at Sea Shell City, none are local. In fact, none of them are even from America.

Man Killer Clam.

The big draw here, advertised on attention-grabbing billboards, is the "Man Killing Giant Clam," a crusty white bivalve (long-dead) festooned with plastic seaweed. The owner tells us that she did not name it; it was called that by the Filipinos who sold it. She also points out that it's a "man killer" clam, not a "man eating" clam. "The clam doesn't eat men. It closes on their feet and then they drown." Thus Sea Shell City is not guilty of sensationalism. It is simply telling the truth.

The clam sits on a table outside the men's bathroom, which, the owner tells us with a smile, is not accidental.

Man Killing Clam!

Sea Shell City

7075 Levering Rd, Cheboygan, MI
Sea Shell City. I-75 exit 326 (Levering), just off of the interstate on the east side.
May-Oct. daily 9-8 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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