10Best Goes to Sanibel Island, Florida

  • Sanibel Island - Paradise Close to Home

    Sanibel Island, located off the coast of Southwest Florida near Fort Myers, offer an idyllic, lush subtropical getaway without having to leave the country. With a permanent population of only 6,500 and 15 square miles of unspoiled beach, you'll have no trouble finding your own quiet slide of paradise to relax in.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Meardon Photography

  • Sanibel Sea Shells

    The first thing you'll notice about the beaches of Sanibel Island is the abundance of shells – 250 varieties. The island's east-west orientation acts like a shovel collected shells carried in the Gulf currents, making Sanibel the "Sea Shell Capital of the World." Just remember to look up from time to time and enjoy the view.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Meardon Photography

  • A Naturalist's Dream

    More than two thirds of Sanibel's land mass comprise designated natural reserves, including the 5,000-acre J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Here and elsewhere on the island, you'll find 230 species of birds, 50 species of fish and many larger critters, like otters, alligators and tortoises.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Meardon Photography

  • Fisherman's Delight

    The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico attract about 50 varieties of fish, so if you're in the mood to catch your dinner, you just might net yourself some redfish, tarpon, speckled trout, snapper, mackerel or snook. Options are plentiful; surf cast from the beach or rent a boat from the marina for some deep-sea or light tackle fishing. New to the sport? Hire an experienced fishing guide to take you out.

    Photo courtesy of Milissa Sprecher Photography

  • Captiva Island from above

    Two Islands in One

    When you visit Sanibel Island, you get Captiva Island as a bonus. The smaller island – only four miles long – has more than 9 square miles of additional beach. That means even more peace and tranquility.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Meardon Photography

  • A Vacation for Everyone

    Whether you're taking the kids to the beach, getting away with the girls or planning a romantic weekend together, Sanibel Island fits the bill. Between Sanibel and Captiva, you'll find a wide range of accommodation options ranging from quaint and budget-friendly seaside inns to luxurious resorts. You might just decide to rent a vacation home and stay awhile.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Meardon Photography

  • Perfect, Winter or Summer

    From December through May, Sanibel Island draws in visitors with its mild winter climate. Temperatures hover in the 70s and 80s with very little rain, making it the perfect place to beat the winter blues and replenish your vitamin D. In summer, you'll have days in the 90s, but sea breezes, afternoon showers and a little gulf swimming will cool you off.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Meardon Photography

  • Back on Land

    When you're not in the water, there's a lot to do on Sanibel Island. Rent a bike to explore the island via 22 miles of roads and bike paths that will take you almost anywhere you want to go. The island is also home to two 18-hole championship courses where you can perfect your swing.

    Photo courtesy of Milissa Sprecher Photography

  • A Beach for Every Taste

    At the Causeway Beaches, you can drive your car right up to the water for a picnic on the shore. Find seclusion at the beaches of Gulfside City Park and a festive, boardwalk-style atmosphere at Lighthouse Beach and Fishing Pier. For a beach-side barbecue, head to Bowman's Beach, and for that perfect, romantic sunset, drive over to Captiva Beach on Captiva Island.

    Photo courtesy of Milissa Sprecher Photography

  • Everything You Need

    If the natural beauty isn't enough of a draw, Sanibel Island is home to more than 60 restaurants, many serving fresh seafood, as well as plentiful shopping opportunities. For an overview of the island, pick up a walking or biking tour map of Old Town from the Sanibel Historical Society when you arrive.

    Photo courtesy of Dave Meardon Photography

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