The Sanibel and Captiva Island Experience
People travel from all over the world to vacation on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, barrier islands off the Southwest Florida coast.
Sanibel Island stretches seven miles from the historic Sanibel Lighthouse to popular Bowman’s Beach. Widely regarded as the “Shelling Capital of the Western Hemisphere” due to the lovely, natural curve of the island, Sanibel Island awaits you for the vacation of your dreams.
On the northern tip of Sanibel is a short bridge that connects to Captiva Island. Approximately three miles long with a road that hugs the gorgeous shoreline for a portion of your journey, Captiva Island ends at the popular South Seas Island Resort. Whether you want to walk on the beach or try parasailing, Captiva has it all!
Beachfront luxury homes, condominiums overlooking the beach or quaint cottages can be your vacation home.
Sanibel Island features many condominiums and cottages located on or near the beach. Captiva Island offers many private homes – some as large as five bedrooms – that you can rent for a week or more. Most private homes on Sanibel must be rented for 28 days or more due to City of Sanibel regulations. However, there are a few that may be rented by the week. Condominiums on Sanibel and Captiva have minimum stays from a few days to a month or more.
The beaches of Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are a major attraction for everyone. With a decidedly environmental attitude, the city of Sanibel requires that the beaches be left in a natural state. As a result, shells that accumulate on the beaches are allowed to stay until the Gulf of Mexico surf reclaims them. This makes a bountiful harvest for shell collectors or those who just want a souvenir from the sea. The beaches of Captiva Island are similarly generous in their offerings of shells from the Gulf of Mexico. However, some of the Captiva beaches may be groomed for vacationers.
Whether you choose to stay in a Sanibel Island vacation condo or a Captiva Island private vacation home, you have access to all the beaches on both islands.
Sanibel and Captiva Islands teem with wildlife.
In addition to the wonderful array of wildlife enjoyed on the beaches – including dolphins, coastal birds and live sand dollars – Sanibel and Captiva Islands offer abundant opportunities to connect with nature.
You will notice there are no traffic lights, no roads wider than two lanes, no fast food formula restaurants, no high-rise buildings and no billboards! The island’s pro-environment heritage is a product of the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This pristine preserve includes birding, fishing, hiking, biking, driving and paddling trails. There is also an Education Center that provides something for everyone.
Sanibel and Captiva are truly a world away.
Although they are just off the coast of Fort Myers and easily accessible, Sanibel and Captiva Islands are truly a world away. You can enjoy more than 21 miles of paved paths on Sanibel Island designed for cycling, walking and roller-skating. Diners enjoy a variety of restaurants including sophisticated choices with romantic ambiance to funky casual dining spots that welcome you straight from the beach. Art lovers experience a uniquely rich island culture that includes live theater performances, concerts, festivals, exhibitions and nearly 20 galleries.
Fundamentally, the islands are places for you to relax. The laid-back attitude of the residents is reflected in the people who say “hello” with a smile, hold the door for you or pause to let you enter Periwinkle Way from driveways and side streets. Bring your casual clothes and a casual attitude both of which will suit you perfectly here on the islands of Sanibel and Captiva.
Royal Shell Vacations is just a short trip from the airport.
The local commercial airport is Southwest Florida International Airport (also known as RSW). When coming from the airport, take Treeline Road to Daniels Road then follow the signs to Sanibel and Captiva. (If you are driving on I-75, look for Exit 131 and head west.) From Daniels Road, turn left on to Six Mile Cypress which becomes Gladiolus. Look for the Summerlin Road exit. Summerlin takes you directly to the Sanibel Island Causeway.
Lee County, which owns the causeway, charges a $6 round-trip toll for automobiles to access the causeway, so plan ahead with cash or credit card at the ready. The speed limit is strictly enforced at 30 MPH (20 MPH on bridges) for the three-mile ride to Sanibel Island but you won’t be in a hurry. The view is amazing! Here you begin the decompression process that prepares you for the relaxation and renewal you will experience on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
Finding the best place to stay on Sanibel and Captiva Islands is easy.
Simply click through to our vacation rental property search menu and enter the particulars you are looking for in your vacation rental on Sanibel Island or Captiva Island. Our search engine will return a selection of places managed by Royal Shell that meet your island vacation requirements. Click on any selection to take you to a full page devoted exclusively to that vacation rental including availability, rates and booking instructions.
We have more than 600 choices in our inventory. We manage and maintain our properties to assure that they are clean (including fresh linens), fully equipped and have functioning air conditioning and appliances. Our reputation depends on how well we serve you, our customers. You are our first priority.