Greetings, nature lovers! I am excited to be back to writing about adventure again for you all. The past month has been wacky to say the least. First, I got fully vaccinated! I rewarded myself with a honey cinnamon latte from Jubilee Coffee Roasters (A+ coffee), then I flew to Montana for my friend’s wedding. I came back home to work before my school district went on spring break. Then on the first day of break, Colorado got FEET of snow in 48 hours causing me to spend 8+ hours shoveling in a day! There was so much!! But it allowed me to clean a little bit and get excited for a trip to Sanibel Island, FL!
Sanibel has always had a special place in my heart. My family has been vacationing there every year for as long as I can remember. I have biked my way through its preserves, swam in the Gulf, ate my weight in wings, and much, much more. This blog post is going to be me sharing some of my favorite things about this unique island with you all.
To begin, Sanibel Island is found on the west side of Florida off the coast of Fort Meyers. Right in the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel Island offers plenty of Florida’s best in terms of flora, fauna, wildlife, and beaches. Below is a little map of Sanibel and Captiva Island.
Alright, now that we’ve covered the geography, let’s get to the fun stuff!
10 MUST DO’s in Sanibel, FL
10 – Rent a Bike!
Biking is THE way to get around the island. There are plenty of bike paths that will take you just about anywhere you’d like to go! The two hottest spots to rent bikes are Finnhmores’s and Billy’s Bikes.
9 – Hunt for Shells!
Sanibel is known for its world class shelling. In fact, it’s been called “Sea Shell Capital of the World.” The reason for this is because the island runs perpendicular to Florida which causes the currents to flush water downward. Simply taking a stroll down any beach side will allow you to find some of gems of the sea!
Bonus! If you’re interested in learning more about shells, you simply must check out the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum.
8 – Visit Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge!
Take a drive or bike ride through a national treasure. For only $1 you can bike through this National Wildlife Refuge to see if you’ll be lucky enough to see exotic birds or alligators!
7 – Get Coffee at The Bean!
Honestly, I just feel like I have to throw this coffee spot on my list. I mean, if you’re not a coffee drinker, I get it. BUT The Bean also has breakfast and lunch, along with other non-coffee drinks. I would bike there every morning, wait in a long line (it’s popular for sure…cause it’s the best) and order a medium iced vanilla latte. I’d sit under a palm tree, sip this magic, and journal. It was a great way to start the morning. Also, it’s right by the library, a park, the historical village of Sanibel, and a lot of different shopping areas! The Bean is a gem.
6 – Visit the Sunday Farmers Market!
Each Sunday morning, local artisans from Sanibel, Captiva, and Ft. Meyers gather to show their best! You can find this fun farmers market by the library. We always get the guacamole! They make it fresh right there and it is so fun to watch! Also, make sure you bike there! Parking is tight, but when you bike you can zip in and zip out!
5 – Take a Sunset Cruise!
There are a few different companies that will take you on a sunset cruise whether it’s from Sanibel of Ft. Meyers, it’s definitely worth it. Bonus points if you see dolphins playing alongside the wake of the boat!
4 – Kayak or Paddle Tarpon Bay!
What’s better than a little paddle through a Floria wetland? Tarpon Bay is a great place to spend the morning or afternoon with your family (depending on high tides, and trust me you want to go during the high tide). Bring some snacks, wear uncomfortable life vests, and see what fun birds and wildlife you can find.
3 – Eat Breakfast at Lighthouse Cafe & Check out the Lighthouse!
A tried and true classic. Check out the beach by the lighthouse before or after having the world’s best breakfast at Lighthouse Cafe! I had their Blueberry Hot Cakes when I was there this trip and all I can say is…YUMMMM. I would eat those every day if I could.
2 – Eat Chicken Wings at Lazy Flamingo!
You’ll just have to trust me on this. Teriyaki, terra-hot, and hot wings are the best. Also, Lazy Flamingo has amazing Caesar salad and the best garlic bread! GO THERE.
1 – Watch Sunsets and Sunrises (Obviously)!
I mean, you’re on an island. You’re shelling, strolling, swimming, eating, and now you want to either see a new day begin or a beautiful day end. Obviously, you’ll want to see a beautiful sunrise or sunset! The lighthouse beach in the morning is always good, and any of the public beaches on the west side of the island is great for sunset!
Thank you all for reading along! I hope that if you ever do go to Sanibel you take some of these recommendations. There’s more to do while you’re there, but I think you’ll be happy with doing these things on this list!