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The tropical Sanibel Island is just a hop and a jump away after flying into Fort Myers, Florida. A 45-minute drive ties the mainland to this paradise of the island. Southwest International Airport (RSW) at Fort Myers is the nearest air connection.
Sanibel is a popular tourist destination known for its shell beaches and wildlife refuges due to its convenient causeway entry. The biggest is J. N. 'Ding' Darling National Wildlife Sanctuary, taking more than two-thirds of the island's number. You can ride, walk, bike, canoe, or kayak through it.
But there is so much else to do on Sanibel Island. Fine accommodations, delicious cooking, sailing, boating, and just pure relaxation, an opportunity to get away from the hurly-burly, an opportunity to bring nature near.
With proud Calusa Indians, pirates, Spanish explorers, and hidden treasures all playing their parts, this remote barrier reef island of fewer than 7,000 people has a colorful history.
Sanibel is the best spot to unwind whether you are traveling as a couple or family. It's a spot where mobile reception is spotty, and no traffic lights or skyscrapers are visible. The warm tropical atmosphere, the gorgeous sandy beaches, the world-class resorts and restaurants, and the breathtaking sunsets also attract tourists. Visitors will enjoy exclusive restaurants, wedding venues, and more on their day trip or weekend getaway.
In these wealthy neighborhoods, there's plenty of fine dining, ranging from Ellington's Jazz Bar & Restaurant, where music accompanies your arrival, to the kitschy Bubble Room, to fresh seafood at the sometimes star-studded and casual Cabbage Key Restaurant hangout.
Popular activities include an array of water sports and shelling, which is the act of collecting shells from the beaches. Some of the most popular beaches are at Sanibel Lighthouse, which has a fishing pier, and Turner Beach, popular at sunset because it faces due west.
While part of the island has been developed for tourism, a large portion of it is reserved for the preservation of a unique ecosystem that can be explored.
Birdwatchers flock to the island to see some of the more than 230 species of birds, such as bald eagles, ospreys, pileated woodpeckers, mangrove cuckoos, rose spoonbills, and thousands of migratory bird species in the winter months.
Contact Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island, Florida, Miami, 33957View Larger Map
- Moderately Priced
Best For Whom
- Mature Travellers
- Families With Teenagers
- Families With Children
- Leisure Travellers
Best For What
- A View To Die For
- Lively Atmosphere
- Outdoor Area