If you love seashells, you'll be amazed by tropical Sanibel Island's beaches, which are piled high with treasures from the sea. This barrier island's unusual east-west orientation helps it act like a giant "catcher's mitt," and shells are piled high on its beaches year-round. The shallow, tranquil Gulf of Mexico allows waders to wander from from shore in search of treasures others might not find!
Seashells on Sanibel Island Florida — Photo courtesy of NIkoRetro
The island's unique east-west orientation makes it act like a giant "catcher's mitt" and consequently a boggling amount of seashells from the Gulf of Mexico wind up on Sanibel beaches. In other places, you might have to hunt to find a seashell; on Sanibel, they are literally piled high in every direction you look.
There's no more exciting activity for kids than hanging out on Sanibel Island beaches and "treasure hunting." the sand is also very conducive to sand castle construction, while mom and dad relax in nearby beach chairs.
Best of all, the Gulf of Mexico is not only warm, it's shallow for over 100 yards, so kids can wade without parents worrying nearly as much. Sanibel Island is also an unequalled wildlife habitat. You'll see dolphins any day you're on the beach, as well as tons of shore birds and diving pelicans.
A few noteworthy local businesses: Sanibel Cafe for breakfast or lunch (you'll love the seashell-filled tables); for a fun happy hour or to watch sports in a locals' favorite bar, Sanibel Grill; and for a romantic dinner with live music, courtesy of the island's most innovate chef, Sweet Melissa's.
But for shelling . . . put on plenty of sunscreen, have plenty of water nearby, get out those polarized suglasses (the better to shell with!) and head for the beach . . . ANY beach on Sanibel is loaded. We think your family will likely return year after year. Most do!