10 Best Things to Do In Sanibel Island, Florida

Florida isn’t short of beautiful places for vacationers to venture off to. One such place is a small island known as Sanibel, which has a population amounting to 7500 people. The island is well-liked for its lush forests, sprawling wildlife, and magnificent beaches. Before the development of the Sanibel Causeway, it was quite difficult for travelers to reach the island. Ferries were the only mode of transportation. However, it is now very easy to reach Sanibel, making it a phenomenal tourist destination. Here’s a list of 10 things you can expect to do on your visit to Sanibel Island:


Best Things to Do In Sanibel Island, Florida


1. Enjoy Wildlife at J.N. (Ding) Darling National Wildlife Refuge

J.N. (Ding) Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Source googlemaps

Sanibel Island is home to a diverse selection of wildlife. It would be a shame to leave Sanibel Island without catching a glimpse of the fauna it has to offer. Thankfully, J.N. (Ding) Darling National Wildlife Refuge has you covered. This place is perfect for a day out with your family. The dense foliage of this refuge provides adequate nourishment to the many animals it houses. In the course of migration, visitors can observe roughly 245 bird species in the refuge. Moreover, the refuge is home to 30 types of mammals as well as some nearly extinct species such as Giant Manatees.


2. Venture off to Captiva Island

Captiva Island
Source: kidtripster

You might be unmoved by the thought of visiting another tropical island when you are already in one. What could make Captiva Island different from its twin? Although both islands share similar features, there are several differences. Both the islands have marvelous scenic views of the shoreline and provide a blissful atmosphere to its guests. However, the dining arrangement is far better at Captiva Island. Other than that, some tourists have also stated that the beaches in Captiva Island are less crowded.


3. Relax under the Sun in the Exquisite Bowman’s Beach

Bowman’s Beach
Source: Sanibel Buena Vista

Bowman’s beach is Sanibel Island’s most desirable beach, partly due to the vast number and variety of uncommon shells that you can find here. All you have to do is move deeper into the water and trace shells with your feet. If you are on the hunt for these little souvenirs, this beach is perfect for you. Moreover, Bowman’s beach provides a perfect atmosphere to relax under the sun. Even though this beach is a bit under-developed compared to the other parts of the island, you will still find resources such as barbeque grills, restrooms, and bike racks.


4. Learn About Shells At The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
Source: tripadvisor

If you have a keen interest in shells and learning about different types of shells that can be found in Sanibel Island, then you must visit The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Almost all tourists drop by this 20-year-old museum at least once after their arrival to this beautiful island. You will know about the distinctions between fig shells, goliath conch, banded tulip, ajunonia, horse conch, pan shells, and so on. This museum even displays some extremely rare fossils of shells such as the Ecphora.


5. Go On A Shopping Spree At Periwinkle Way

Periwinkle Way
Source: Must Do Visitor Guides

According to many, Periwinkle Way is Sanibel Island’s trading hub. This is where you will find all the refreshing restaurants, intricate shops and boutiques, and the finest hotels the island has to offer. You are bound to end up here on your visit to Sanibel Island. Grab some of the delicious hot dogs served at Schnapper’s Hots, or purchase a nice piece of beaded jewelry for your wife at Valhalla; there are countless things to see and do at Periwinkle Way.

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6. Watch Astonishing Plays At The BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theatre

The BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theatre
Source: cliftonchadick

If you have some spare time, do not forget to witness an amazing play at Sanibel’s well-liked BIG ARTS Herb Strauss Theatre. Established in 1896, it was previously known as the schoolhouse Theatre. At present, it has enough room to seat 90 guests. Broadway shows, concerts, and comedy acts are regularly held in this wonderful historic landmark. You will also be able to buy a present for your loved ones from the Theatre’s in-house gift shop.


7. Know About The Natives Of The Island At Sanibel Historical Museum And Village

Sanibel Historical Museum And Village
Source: gopherrental

The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, established in 1984, is a great place to visit if you want to learn about the island’s history. Here, you will gain extensive knowledge about the area’s early settlers and their way of life. These early settlers consisted of Spanish rulers, Calusa tribe, and foreigners who built homes on this island in the early 19th century. You can discover dated furniture, kitchenware, tools, and garments from that era. You will also notice historic monuments such as the Sanibel Packinghouse, Rutland House and Sanibel Schoolhouse.


8. Play A Game At The Dunes Golf And Tennis Club

The Dunes Golf And Tennis Club
Source: next-golf

Fancy a game of golf on your trip to Sanibel? The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club has a full-fledged 18-hole golf course that frequently holds tournaments for players of all calibers. The phenomenal golf course was planned by the renowned designer Mark McCumber. In addition to the golf course, the club also boasts an outstanding tennis court, swimming pool and a dining arrangement where you can experience a multitude of cuisines.


9.       Become Awestruck By The Beauty Of Sanibel Island Lighthouse

The Beauty Of Sanibel Island Lighthouse
Source: googlemaps

Built-in 1884, Sanibel Island’s 98-foot tall lighthouse is perhaps the most instantly recognizable landmark. It features a circular staircase in the middle, elevated nearly 10 feet above the ground. However, it is inaccessible due to its location inside the protected wildlife reserve. Whilst tourists can’t gain entry into the lighthouse, you will still be able to take some really good pictures at the adjacent beach.


10. Dine At The Exotic Bleu Rendezvous Restaurant

The Exotic Bleu Rendezvous Restaurant
Source: news-press

The Bleu Rendezvous restaurant, situated in the famous Periwinkle Way, is admired for its exotic french cuisine. It is frequented by couples on their romantic getaway to Sanibel Island. The interior of the restaurant is beautifully decorated with its blue and yellow textured walls and  French flags. To top this off, the restaurant also has put up a few Eiffel Tower duplicates. You should bring your significant other here on your visit to Sanibel Island!


If you are planning a vacation in Florida, you should keep Sanibel on your list. This Island is remarkable, and you can have a delightful time with your family or friends. There are numerous historical sites to visit, jaw-dropping beaches, live entertainment options, a luxurious golf and tennis club and much more.

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Taufiq is an award-winning copywriter and digital marketing consultant. He is also a passionate traveler and freelancer, teaching financial independence and professional development through working freelance projects: www.freelancerhelpbangladesh.com

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