Sanibel Island is a family-friendly island that is located about 25 miles from Fort Myers. You also get the little Captiva Island so that you can explore the rich and exotic ecosystem of these two amazing planets.
The sandy beaches are the main attraction of these islands. You get a long and beautiful coastline along with windy areas that are quite appealing to windsurfers and sailors. Along with all this, there is an abundance of seashells that you can found on these beaches. If you love collecting seashells then you are going to adore the shelling in Naples. There is Blind Pass beach there as well which is located between the Sanibel and Captiva Island. The current and low tide there brings in tons of seashells to the shore. But the currents are quite strong which is why these beaches are not that suitable for swimming. Although, there are several other beaches that you can head out of you want to swim.
All the seashell collectors should visit the Bailey Mathews museum that is located on the island that showcases some of the largest shells that are found on the island until now. Seashell collectors can even get to learn more about the different types of shells that are there on the island and what do they like the most among them. You can try to learn more about the tips and tricks that you can follow in order to get the best shells during your shell hunt.
If you are not that interested in beaches you can even try the natural habitats and wildlife parks that are there on the island. You get some of the most exotic and amazing ecosystems there. The J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a paradise for animal lovers. This wildlife refuge was founded by the editorial cartoonist from Iowa you get to see some of the most amazing and beautiful animals and birds that are there on the planet. You can watch hundreds of animals, crocodiles, endangered species of birds, and giant manatees in their natural habitat.
If you love kayaking and canoeing then you should head out on one of its serene kayaking trails that are surrounded with mangroves and is a really great and relaxing way for you to spend your afternoon chilling in your kayak. If you are with your family then you can even opt for driving through the wildlife park in a car with your family. There you can enjoy observing wild animals in their natural habitat. You can even rent a bike for this or if you prefer hiking that is also a viable option there.
For kids, there is a GPS treasure hunt that is organized by the officials at the visitor’s center. This way they teach kids about the importance of wildlife in a fun way. For beginner and advanced paddlers, there is Great Calusa Blueway a 190 mile long kayak and canoe trail.
Coming back to the island you have the Botanical Gardens that showcases a wide variety of native and non-native plants. Visitors can visit this amazing garden to learn about some of the exotic and rare plants and trees that are there. The garden is open for the public for most of the year as well.
There you find your accommodation at Casa Ybel one of the first resorts on Sanibel Island is a huge resort that has 114 condos. This is a really great option for people who want to live near the beach. You get big rooms with a full kitchen so that you can cook your meals there. For kids, you have outdoor pools, playgrounds, and a kids club that is exclusive for kids and is a perfect way for parents to keep their kids engaged as they enjoy the in-suite spa of the hotel.
For couples, there is the Island Inn, which is more inclined towards a romantic vacation for couples. You get beachfront cottages or rooms along the coastline. There are several other amenities that couples can enjoy such as bicycling, kayaking, paddleboarding, lawn games, and the famous shell hunting is always there.
Southwest Florida International Airport is one of the easiest ways to get to these islands. For people living in Florida or near Florida, they can even use the interstate 75 to get here. There are various other options that you can explore as you plan your trip.
There are some really good local restaurants that will serve you the best seafood. You have The Island Cow is a cheap and kid friendly restaurant that you can visit. Moreover, there are several other restaurants that you can visit to eat their local specialties and exotic seafood dishes. An interesting restaurant that you can visit if you love fishing is Lazy Flamingo that allows you to get your own fish and pass that to the cooks there. This way you get fresh seafood at a cheap price.
Traveling between the islands is really easy as there are just two roads connecting all the islands it is really easy and affordable to travel around the island. You can enjoy your ride at the Gulf drive as you visit most of the shopping and dining destinations there.
Just 20 minutes away from Sanibel Island you have Captiva Island that is equally good and appealing to the tourists. You get some really good beaches there that you can enjoy as you get yourself a refreshing drink and some coconut cake. There are lots of options for paddlers and snorkelers as well.