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Just over the Causeway from Fort Myers, Southwest Florida visitors will find the beautiful island of Sanibel. The town features prominently on lists of weekend getaways in the south. Sanibel Island’s best beaches are what attracts visitors. But if you need to escape the sun, or if you’re looking for what to do in Sanibel if it rains, this list will inspire you to get out there. So after you’ve collected seashells on beautiful Bowman’s Beach and Lighthouse Beach Park, gather yourself and your group and explore what to see in Sanibel Island Fl other than beaches!
Best Things to See in Sanibel Island
112 Periwinkle Way
Located on the easternmost point of Sanibel Island, this iron skeleton tower is worth a stop. Surrounded by Lighthouse Beach, most people bike their way to the lighthouse. Pay-by-the-hour parking spots are available for those driving.
1 Wildlife Drive
The Visitor and Education Center is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm and is FREE.
Most people enjoy exploring the Wildlife Drive, open every day except Friday, from 7 am until about sunset. Cost is $5 per vehicle or $1 per pedestrian or bicycle.
Take a 90-minute tram ride to explore the Wildlife Trail.
3075 Sanibel Captiva Road
Hours: 10 am – 5 pm (check holiday hours)
Admission: Adults $23.95; 12-17 $14.95; 5-11 $8.95
950 Dunlop Road, #4017
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm
Admission: Adults $10; under 18 free
Tours: Included in admission, 10:30 am and 1:30 pm
3333 Sanibel Captiva Road
Hours: Daily, dawn to dusk
Admission: Free (donations accepted)
3833 Sanibel Captiva Road
Hours: Monday – Friday, 10 am – 4 pm (January 1 – April 30 also open Saturday) – Closed Holidays
Admission: 13 and over $12; 4-12 $7
900 Dunlop Road
Check their calendar for special events including all forms of performing arts and exhibits. For those staying a little longer, look at their calendar of classes as well.
Where to Eat in Sanibel Island
A visit to Sanibel Island wouldn’t be complete without stopping by one of Sanibel’s many eateries. While there are too many to be included here, this list of where to eat in Sanibel Island covers a variety of establishments.
6467 Sanibel Captiva Road
If you’re on Sanibel Island, you might as well eat with a view of the beach, right? Expect a constantly varied menu with an upscale feel. Time your reservation to watch a magnificent sunset!
2163 Periwinkle Way
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this casual eating establishment is well known for its at-mooo-sphere. With a family-friendly atmosphere, expect udderly great food from burgers to a raw bar. Pets permitted in outside eating areas.
2500 Island Inn Road
Looking for the best island mojitos? Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille claims that title. Open for lunch and dinner, Doc Ford’s serves great food with a Caribbean flair. Fans of writer Randy Wayne White may also spot him here a few times a week.
4. Blue Giraffe
2075 Periwinkle Way #14
Looking for a casual restaurant to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Blue Giraffe hits the spot if you’re looking for good food without a fussy atmosphere. Pets permitted on the patio.
5. Cip’s Place
2055 Periwinkle Way
For lunch or dinner, if you’re looking for a place with a twist on old favorites, Cip’s Place is the place to go if you’re looking for delicious wings, chips, veggie burgers, you name it. Don’t leave without trying the whiskey-pecan pie!
Where to Stay in Sanibel Island
Wish to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Sanibel for a longer stay? Sanibel Island features some fabulous Airbnb vacation rentals, perfect for families. Prefer a hotel? These three places have great reputations as wonderful locations if you’re looking where to stay in Sanibel.
1. Casa Ybel
2255 West Gulf Drive
2. Sanibel Inn
937 East Gulf Drive
3. Island Inn
3111 West Gulf Drive
The Island Inn offers complimentary beach walks for its guests led by Marine Biologists from the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.
If you’re in the area and looking to explore even more, you should read these:
- 5 Best Spots in SW Florida to See the Sunset
- Best Things to do in Fort Myers
- Best Things to do in Naples
- Fort Myers Brewing
- Momentum Brewhouse
I hope that you enjoy exploring Southwest Florida and all it has to offer, beaches and more!
Annick, The Common Traveler