Perhaps the time has come to make scheduling a getaway vacation a priority. Is it time for a few days of rest and relaxation? Hence, the islands of Southwest Florida are the perfect location to unwind on vacation. Here’s how to plan a vacation trip to visit Sanibel Island to enjoy the white sand, sun and waves.
Sanibel Island Facts
Sanibel is one of Southwest Florida’s barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico near Fort Myers. Likewise, the island is a popular destination for tourists who want to enjoy a number of activities. The region is known for activities such as fishing, boating and shelling.
Sanibel Island, along with its northern neighbor Captiva Island, has a rich history to discover dating back to the days of explorer Ponce de Leon and earlier. Legend has it that the islands were a refuge for pirates. The area was known as the “Buccaneer Coast” with fascinating tales of buried treasure escapades on the high seas.
The historic Sanibel Lighthouse, built in 1884, sits on the island’s eastern tip and beacons everyone ashore. Visit the Lighthouse Beach Park to explore the area and get great photos with the lighthouse in the background.
Did you know: Sanibel Island is about 12 miles long, but only about 3 miles wide?
Sanibel Island Offers Visitors
Once visitors arrive on the island they can enjoy 15 miles of pristine beaches. Many visitors find it easier to get around the island's 22-mile bike path. There are no traffic lights on Sanibel. However, Periwinkle Way is the main thoroughfare on the island with access to the commercial districts. Running parallel to Periwinkle Way is Gulf Drive which allows access to many of the islands resorts and private homes.
Sanibel Island is home to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge with approximately 250 bird species, along with a host of other wildlife native to the area including manatees and alligators.
Sanibel is known for the spectacular 250 species of seashells found on local beaches. The area is referred to as the Shelling Capital of the country. Shelling attracts visitors to the island year round. In fact most visitors learn the “Sanibel stoop," the popular bent over position to search for shells on the beach. Learn more about the island’s icon at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum located on Sanibel Island.
Did you know: There is a National Seashell Day? Yes, National Seashell Day is usually the first day of summer. Come join in the “shellabration” for vacation here on the island.
Things to Do on the Island
Vacation time means relaxing and enjoying a little fun. While planning your vacation trip to Sanibel Island be sure to make time to make time to go fishing and boating. There are a number of available charter firms that can accommodate your plans to spend a day fishing the Gulf of Mexico or kayaking areas like Tarpon Bay.
Port Sanibel Marina is one of the preferred local vendors we send guests to for boat rentals and other vacation excursions while visiting. This part of Southwest Florida is popular for catching Snook and Tarpon fish in season.
The USS Mohawk CGC Veterans Memorial Reef is also an excursion to consider while enjoying a Sanibel vacation. The World War II Coast Guard cutter patrolled the Atlantic. In 2012 the Coast Guard sunk the ship 30 miles off the coast of Sanibel Island to become reef .
As you may have gathered by now, while Sanibel Island may be small, complete with a quaint and casual feel, there is plenty to do to keep everyone busy during a vacation trip. And don’t forget about shopping for island souvenirs, great places to dine and take in the stunning sights.
Where to Stay On Sanibel Island
Where will you call home during your Sanibel Island vacation trip? If it’s an adult-only trip or one for the entire family, Royal Shell Vacation Rentals can assist in reserving accommodations to fit your needs. Choose from a large selection of private, single family homes or condo units available for a week or two or up to a month. Many of the vacation rentals managed by Royal Shell enjoy beachfront access.
Reach out to us via the comment section below should you have questions about what it would take to plan a beachfront wedding on the islands of Southwest Florida. Do you have any good tips to pass along about planning a beach wedding? Share your experience here too.