Tourists seeking a paradise on the island that is relaxed and has all the amenities that come with city centers will find it in Sanibel. The island is located on Lee County, Florida, the tiny barrier island that lies located in the Gulf of Mexico is removed from the throngs of tourists which are common in other regions and is just 25 miles away from Fort Myers, the Fort Myers city. Fort Myers.
No matter if you’re travelling in a group or with family, Sanibel is the perfect location to relax. Sanibel is a place where the cell phone signal is weak and there aren’t signs of traffic or tall buildings. Tourists are also attracted by the tropical climate, beautiful sandy beaches, the top-of-the-line resorts and restaurants, as well as stunning sunsets.
Although a portion of the island is designed for tourism, a substantial portion is dedicated to the protection of an unique eco-system which can be explored through the wildlife refuges that cover part all of the island.
Popular activities include a variety of water sports as well as shelling which is the practice of collecting shells from beaches.
Here are 15 of the most popular activities to enjoy in and within Sanibel Island, Florida
1. Sanibel Historical Museum and Village
The best way to begin your trip at Sanibel Island is with a historical lesson. Visitors can discover everything there is in the world about residents who settled on the island throughout the decades and how the island began to form.
Beginning with the indigenous Calusa people and progressing to the Spanish pioneers and conquerors that settled the region the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village will take you back to the past.
Seven restored buildings and staff dressed in traditional attire will make your visit authentic while you stroll through the old homes and offices that are filled with antique furniture, garden instruments, household objects. A restoration of a 1927 Model T truck is on-site as well as various informational panels on the grounds provide the history of each building and artifact.
See also: Sanibel Island, Florida Retro Sunset – Sanibel Island T-Shirt
2. Bowman’s Beach
There’s no shortage in beautiful beaches in Sanibel Island, but if you’re seeking one that’s less crowded, but equipped with facilities, Bowman’s Beach is the ideal choice. This stretch of soft white sand is perfect for kids and is it is a favorite for those looking for distinctive shells.
Other activities that are popular include windsurfing, swimming and sailing. On-site amenities include picnic areas that have BBQ grills and bathrooms with showers and a play area.
3. Pinocchio’s original Italian Ice Cream
Ice cream is a refreshing pleasure on a hot summer day. Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream has various cold treat options offered in a warm and lively setting.
This homemade frozen treat that this long-running business is known for comes in various distinct flavors, including Sanibel Crunch and Dirty Sand Dollar. Other sweet treats available include gelatoand freezer yogurt, frozen sorbet pastries, sherbet, along with gluten-free and dairy-free cookie.
4. J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Sanibel Island may be small It’s not huge, but it’s home the biggest mangrove ecosystem that isn’t developed in the United States that covers more than 50 percent on the entire island. The J.N. “Ding” National Wildlife Refuge serves a variety of goals – to preserve this mangrove ecosystem and to safeguard a diverse range of birds and animals and to inform people about the natural beauty of Florida.
Visitors have three options for exploring the sanctuary and its surroundings: they can walk or cycle along a variety of trails that include Wildlife Drive and Indigo Trail and take a 90-minute trip with a professional naturalist , on an un-covered tram, or drive themselves along the same route.
The animals that are frequently encountered during a trip through the tropical, lush area include crocodilesand alligators manatees, as well as over 200 bird species. There’s also a visitor center located on site.
5. The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club
Take in the stunning views of the nature preserve as you take the tee off or play tennis in The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. This immaculately-maintained 18-hole course, designed by Mark McCumber, is suitable for both amateur and skilled golfers who like a challenge on the greens.
6. Big Arts Center Big Arts Center
Since 1979, a group made up of artists from the area has been organizing and hosting a variety of occasions on the premises of The Big Arts Center via three different venues.
Schein Performance Hall Schein Performance Hall, which can accommodate 409 people, is home to music performances from a variety of genres, including classical folk and jazz.
The Herb Strauss Theater, which can accommodate 139 guests, also hosts professional theatre and Broadway shows.
The Phillips and Founders Galleries showcase both national and local visual artists with a variety exhibitions.
7. the Bailey-Matthews Memorial Shell Museum
Because Sanibel Island is home to many seashells and collecting them is a common pastime among people who visit and even locals It is it only natural to have an ocean-themed museum.
The Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum is the only museum that’s of its kind in the nation. It’s the perfect spot for all people to get to know about the various kinds of shells, their creatures that produce them, as well as the history that shells have played in this region. The exhibit features shells of that of the Sanibel Island area and from all over the world which include The Goliath Conch and the Lightning Whelk.
A classification wheel for shells along with shell art and fossil shells are the many things you can see within the exhibitions. Live animals in a tank is available on site visitors are able to participate in an interactive encounter with naturalists working on these animals.
8. The Big Calusa Blueway
The most effective method for those who love nature to explore the natural beauty of Sanibel Island area is with an excursion on the Great Calusa Blueway. This long, 190-mile paddling route is a must for kayakers and canoeists along an easily marked marine trail that begins from Estero and continuing up to Matlacha Pass, Pine Island and Caloosahatchee.
This tour is appropriate for both experienced and beginner paddlers. On the route you will enjoy stunning mangrove creeks and bays as well as bird habitats, as well as wildlife including manatees and dolphins.
9. Tahitian Gardens
If you’re looking for an experience that is unique in Sanibel Island, Tahitian Gardens is the ideal location to search for that perfect gift for yourself or someone who is back home. It’s impossible to know what items you’ll discover while exploring the 16 boutiques that offer everything from designer clothes as well as toys and jewelry to interior decor. Food establishments, including an exquisite Italian bakery are available on the premises.
10. Sanibel Moorings Botanical Gardens
It is the Sanibel Moorings Botanical Gardens are comprised of six acres of gorgeous gardens with a variety of tropical plants and flowers. Visitors can choose between two options to visiting the gardens. You can choose to take the 90-minute walk with an expert guide, or go on an unguided tour that lasts the time you need to stroll through.
As you take in the lush, vibrant greenery, remember the many bird, insect and butterfly species all throughout. The rabbit and turtle are both common sightings too.
11. Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park
At the eastern tip at the east end Sanibel Island is a historical lighthouse, 98 feet tall, that was constructed in 1884. While Sanibel Lighthouse is not open to the public, Sanibel Lighthouse is not open to the public, guests are able to walk around the grounds and take photos of it rising across Sanibel Beach Park. Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park in the background.
The park, located in a protected natural area, is located near an incredible beach with stunning panoramic views of Sanibel Causeway. Sanibel Causeway. The park amenities include a picnic spot and restrooms with showers and the fishing pier.
12. Periwinkle Place
The main street of Sanibel Island, also known as Periwinkle Place, is where people from all walks of life gather to shop or pampering, dining, and socializing.
The largest shopping center There are over 25 distinct shops selling everything from unique souvenirs to handmade jewelry to designer clothes. In this area, you’ll also discover Sanibel Day Spa, the Sanibel Day Spa, world-class eateries, as well as some of the most luxurious hotels in the region.
13. Tarpon Bay Explorers
Visitors can spend a green day out in the natural by joining Tarpon Bay Explorers, which provides guided kayaking tours as well as rentals for kayaks to explore an expansive, natural landscape.
Natural landscapes and wildlife are the primary focus of the tours. These are comprised of one of them, the Mangrove Forest tour, with the chance to see alligators as well as a wide range of birds, as well as an excursion called the Sunset Rookery Paddle with the opportunity to observe local birds as the sun sets.
14. Bleu Rendezvous
There are plenty of places to eat a gourmet dining experience at Sanibel Island, but if authentic French food in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere is what you’re looking for, Bleu Rendezvous has just what you’re looking for.
Traditional French recipes, such as Escargot or Boeuf Bourguignon, are carefully cooked with contemporary twists, and mouthwatering desserts make the perfect way to end the delicious dinner.
15. Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife
More than 3500 injured and sick animals of at least 200 species are treated in the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife every year.
The veterinary hospital, which is not for profit, is a pioneer in the rehabilitation of these animals in the hope of reintroducing them back to their natural surroundings.
To have the best experience, participate in an ongoing presentation led by a specialist in the field , who will demonstrate the work they perform with an actual animal. The Wildlife Walk tour is a guided tour through the hospital and takes you inside the workings of the facility and you’ll have to sign up prior to the time.
One of the main goals that the facility has is to inform the general public about their work and their facilities. The visitor’s center offers a range of exhibits that include live animal exhibits.
15 Best Things to Do in Sanibel (FL):
- Sanibel Historical Museum and Village
- Bowman’s Beach
- Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream
- J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge
- The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club
- The Big Arts Center
- The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
- The Great Calusa Blueway
- Tahitian Gardens
- Sanibel Moorings Botanical Gardens
- Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park
- Periwinkle Place
- Tarpon Bay Explorers
- Bleu Rendezvous
- Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife
Totally Baked on Sanibel
This place has become a must-stop for me whenever I’m on the island. I go for the house-baked breads, the hand-crafted sandwiches and, of course, the doughnuts, which are massive, yeasty and totally addicting. But is it possible for a doughnut to be too big? I wondered that as I powered through a second of these doughnuts, only to kick myself for being greedy when I was a solid five bites in. Did I finish that second doughnut? Of course. Did I regret it? Maybe just a little.
(2407 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel; 239-395-8600; totallybakedonsanibel.com)
BEST STORES TO SHOP FOR SOUVENIRS IN SANIBEL