About Our Islands
Sanibel Island and Captiva Island offer you a unique vacation experience. Sanibel Island stretches seven miles, curving east to north, (click here for map view). Captiva Island is attached to the northern end of Sanibel Island by a short bridge over a pass that has been closed by Mother Nature since the bridge was constructed. Captiva Island is approximately three miles long with a road that hugs the shoreline for a portion of its journey to South Seas Resort at the tip of Captiva.
Sanibel Island features many condominiums and cottages on the beach front or near the beach that may be rented for a vacation as short one-week. Besides featuring condos, Captiva Island also offers private homes, some as large as five bedrooms, that may rented for a week or less, or more. (The City of Sanibel regulates home rentals on Sanibel Island. Private homes that are not in the "Tourist District" may not be rented for less than 28 days at a time.)
The beaches of Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are a major attraction. With a decidedly environmental attitude, the residents of Sanibel Island require that the beaches be left in a natural state. As a result shells that accumulate on the beaches – and Sanibel Island is widely regarded as the "Shelling Capital of the Western Hemisphere" – are allowed to stay until the Gulf of Mexico surf reclaims them. This makes a bountiful harvest for shell collectors and those who just want a souvenir from the sea to take home with them.
The beaches of Captiva Island are similarly generous in their offerings of shells from the Gulf Mexico. They also tend to be groomed more regularly for vacationers. As a result, whether you choose to stay in Sanibel Island vacation condo or a Captiva Island private rental home, you have access to all the beaches on both islands.
Besides the beaches, however, both Sanibel Island and Captiva Island have many more way to make your vacation both restful and memorable. Start with J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This pristine preserve occupies almost half of Sanibel Island’s land area and includes hiking, biking, driving and paddling trails. This is part of the pro-environment heritage of the islands where there are no traffic lights, no road wider than two lanes, no fast food formula restaurants and no high-rise buildings.
Bikers will enjoy some 21 miles of paved paths on Sanibel Island for cycling, walking and roller-skating. Diners will find restaurants from romantic, white tablecloth elegance to funky outdoor breakfast, burger and beverage places. Art lovers will discover live theater performances, concerts, festivals, exhibitions and nearly 20 galleries.
Fundamentally, though, Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are places to relax. The laid-back attitude of the residents is reflected in people who say "hello" with a smile, hold the door for you and pause to let you enter Periwinkle Way from driveways and side streets. So, bring your casual clothes and a casual attitude, both of which will suit you perfectly on Captiva Island and Sanibel Island.
Getting to Sanibel Island and Captiva Island is easy.
The local commercial airport is Southwest Florida International (also known as RSW), which also serves Fort Myers, Charlotte and Collier Counties. Depart the airport on Daniels Road and follow the signs to Sanibel and Captiva. (If you are driving on I-75, look for Exit 131 and head west.) You will travel approximately four miles to Summerlin Road. Turn left and continue to the Sanibel Island Causeway.
Lee County, which owns the causeway, charges a $6 round-trip toll for automobiles to use the causeway. The speed limit is strictly enforced at 30 MPH (20 MPH on bridges) for its three-mile ride to Sanibel Island. Thus begins the decompression process that prepares you for the relaxation and renewal you will experience from your vacation stay on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island.
Getting around Sanibel Island and Captiva Island is simple.
Click to our island maps to orient yourself.
Finding the best place to stay on
Sanibel and Captiva Islands also is easy.
Simply click through to our Vacation Rentals menu and select the island you want to visit and the length of time you want to stay. You will bring up a display of the condominium communities and private homes the Royal Shell Vacations offers on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. We have more than 300 choices in our inventory, all of which are managed and maintained by Royal Shell Vacations so that you are assured that they are clean, with fresh linens, fully equipped and have functioning air conditioning, and appliances. Our reputation depends on how well we serve you, our customers. That is our first priority. (For some references from previous guests, click here.)
An alternative search can be conducted at our Advanced Search site. You enter the things you are looking for in your vacation rental on Sanibel Island or Captiva Island and our search engine will return a selection of places managed by Royal Shell that meet your island vacation requirements. Clicking on any selection will take you to a full page devoted exclusively to that vacation rental, including availability, rates and booking instructions.