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Florida Guide > Other Florida

GLORIOUS SANIBEL ISLAND (and Captiva)

We enjoyed a really relaxing holiday on Sanibel a few years ago and since then, whenever we are in the area, we always ensure taht we make time to revisit this magical island

Sanibel is home to the Ding Darling National Wildlife Reserve which covers roughly a third of the island; at the other end is the charming Point Ybel Lighthouse.

Sanibel is famous for the amount and variety of sea shells on its glorious white beaches. The reason for the abundance of shells is that it lies east/west which means that it catches lots of shells from the Gulf coast tides

You will soon realise the reason behind people saing that tourists have the "Sanibel Stoop" caused by then walking the beaches with their eyes cast to the sand

If you are visiting in March, you may catch the Sanibel Fair and Show where shell collections and shell art are displayed

The best shelling is to be had at low tide and after a storm; you should soak your shells in a 50/50 mix of bleach and water (soak sand dollars in plain water first)

There are several wonderful beaches on Sanibel

TARPON BAY BEACH at the end of Tarpon Bay RD

CAUSEWAY BEACH where you can take your car right up to the sea and there are masses of trees to give some shade

BOWMAN BEACH locared on Bowman Boulevard. ; probably the quietest beach with outdoor showers and barbeques

GULFSIDE CITY PARK on Algiers Lane (off Casa Ybel Rd) take a packed luch as picnic tables are provided

Probably the best way to get around is by bike; you can hire cycles (and boats) at Billys Rentals (4725248) We enjoyed exploring this way immensly

There a couple of day cruise companies, a golf course and several tennis courts You will not find a Mc Donalds or the like on Sanibel, but you will find lots of great restaurants. The same with shops, no chain stores, but a wealth of individual shops that will delight the shopper

Captiva is a sister island to Sanibel and offers more of the same great beaches and shops and restaurants. Be warned that there are no toilets at Captiva Beach and the tides can be strong on Turner Beach

Sanibel is not far from Fort Myers on the Gulf Coast. Take the I-75 to exit 131, then west into Summerlin Rd to the most spectacular Sanibel Causeway (there is a toll)

I hope I have said enough to encourage you to visit this most magical island. . . see you there (I'm the one with the stoop! )

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Page added on: 23 March 2007
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