When is the best time to visit Sanibel Island? (2023)

When is the best time to visit Sanibel Island? (1)

Sanibel Island Vacation Rentals

February 10, 2020

If you've decided you're going on a vacation to Sanibel Island but don't know the best time to visit, we're here to help. From sun, sea and sand to sports, extreme activities and stunning nature, you won't want to miss out on this incredible experience. Of course, it's not as simple as booking flights and accommodation because a lot of research is required. The last thing anyone wants is to show up in the off-season when Sanibel Island isn't living up to their expectations.

The best time to visit Sanibel Island will depend on what you are looking for. If you want to visit during the high season, this is usually between December and April. During this period, the weather is warmer than in most of the United States, with few days of rain and no threat of hurricanes. Even in the off-season, Sanibel Island has so much to offer that it's nearly impossible to pick a bad time to visit.

Since everyone has a different idea of ​​a dream vacation, it helps to know what Sanibel Island is like throughout the year. The full guide below gives you a complete overview of the island so you can decide when you want to visit.


Where is Sanibel Island?

Before visiting and understanding Sanibel Island, you must first know its location. While some of you probably already have an idea, others may not, so put Sanibel Island on your bucket list. Excellent! The more people see how awesome this hot spot is, the better, in our opinion. Like many popular vacation spots in the US, Sanibel Island is located in Florida. However, it is on the west coast of the 'Sunshine State' in the tropical waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The closest major city is Fort Myers, with the beach just steps away. On clear days, you can see Sanibel Island from mainland Florida. Still, you don't have to be anywhere near Fort Myers to access Sanibel. While you're on the west coast of Florida, whether it's in the Everglades or further north in Tampa, you'll be just a short drive from this stunning vacation spot. Even Miami and Fort Lauderdale on the east side of Florida are less than three hours away.

This makes Sanibel Island very accessible, regardless of the time of year. All you have to do is get in your car and be there in a few hours. Don't worry if you're not a Florida native becauseSarasota and Fort Myers Airportsthey are very close and offer fantastic travel options.

What is Sanibel Island known for?

While people know and love Sanibel Island for a variety of reasons, most argue that it's best known as a shelling destination. The barrier islands off the west coast of Florida are known for their "life span" due to their position in the Gulf of Mexico. Sanibel, however, runs differently, east-west instead of south-north, allowing it to catch multiple streams. Also, there is no shelf. As a result, thousands of tons of shells wash up on the beach, with travelers and locals alike doing the 'Sanibel lean', the hunched-over posture people adopt when searching for shells on the beach.

If the idea of ​​combing your hair for shells on the beach isn't your idea of ​​a dream vacation, that's okay. Sanibel Island has much more to offer its guests, regardless of the time of year. Probably the most iconic activity is visiting the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a conservation center that helps protect Sanibel's mangroves as well as the animals that live in the forests. Don't be surprised if you see crocodiles or alligators sunning themselves on the shore as you walk along Wildlife Drive and gaze out over the water. The cuckoo and the osprey stop to rest while migrating from south to north.

In addition to hanging out with the islanders and shelling, Sanibel is known for its beaches. A favorite is Bowman's Beach because it is open from 7 am to 7 pm every day and has all the amenities families and individuals need. In addition to picnic tables and grills that allow you to cook and prepare food year-round, there are bike racks.

Sanibel Island Climate

Sanibel Island is in Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, which means it's hot all year, right? While this is true for most of the US, thethe weather in sanibeI still change along with the seasons. Therefore, it is important to know what the weather is like throughout the year to choose the best time to go according to the climate you prefer.

Fall and Winter Weather on Sanibel Island

The fall and winter months run from October to March. During this period, you can expect:

  • Average temperatures will hit lows of 73°F
  • January will be the coldest month
  • November, December and February temperatures should not exceed 80°F
  • Temperatures should be as low as 54°F

Of course, an increase in73°Fin the coldest season of the year it is still very pleasant. There's no question that 54°F is cold, especially for this part of the country, but most places in America are lucky if it hits 34°F in January. Relatively, Sanibel is a great place for a winter stay, as the weather is cool and pleasant without being stifling or too cold.

Spring and Summer on Sanibel Island

Here's what you'll experience in terms of weather on Sanibel during the spring and summer months:

(Video) What is the best time to go to Sanibel Island?

  • Average highs above 90°F in June, July, and August
  • Highs of 91°F in July and August
  • Lows of 60°F in spring
  • Nearly 9 inches of rain during June, the most of the entire year

Although the weather is warmer during the spring and summer, Sanibel receives a lot of rain. This should not discourage visitors from visiting the island during the summer. there are still manythings to do on sanibel island when it rains🇧🇷 This is why visitors prefer spring over summer as the best time to visit Sanibel Island. April is the driest month, with just over an inch of rain, and the average low is just 63°F. Highs reach 84°F, just 7°F less than July and August, so It's not like spring is cold.

Remember to choose the best time to visit Sanibel based on your likes and dislikes. Some people love the sun, while others like the weather to be nice without being sticky. The great thing about Sanibel weather is that there is a season for everyone.

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What is there to do on Sanibel Island?When is the best time to visit Sanibel Island? (2)

Your trip should be filled with fun activities, so it's important to find out more about what you can do on Sanibel. Sometimes the idea of ​​an idyllic island is not enough. To keep the novelty from wearing off, you need to fill your time with fun and exciting activities. We've already covered the wildlife aspect of Sanibel, and then we'll get into the island bombing element. For now, let's cover a selection of things you may not know appeal to a wide range of people.

On Sanibel Island, you can:

  • Practice snorkeling or buceo.Sanibel is famous for its shipwrecks and artificial reefs. Yes, they are not natural, but they are practical as they help replenish fish stocks. In addition to anglers, divers and snorkelers can enjoy an eclectic mix of underwater creatures.
  • Go fishing.Charter boats head out into the gulf regularly, offering everyone from beginners to experienced anglers the chance to reel in a variety of fish. Florida is famous for its marlin, but there are also varieties of snapper, mackerel, and shark.
  • Embark on a cruise ship.A cruise not only gives you the chance to experience the islands, but Sanibel cruises are also eco-friendly to reduce pollution and preserve Sanibel's wildlife. This means that you have a better chance of seeing a pod of dolphins.
  • Look at the history of Sanibel.Whether it's the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum or the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, there's much to learn about this obscure island.
  • Go to the gym.Let's face it: the holidays can be too forgiving. If you feel like running on the treadmill, there are several spas and gyms to choose from. A yoga class is perfect if you want to improve your core without doing anything too strenuous. The Island Cinema is an alternative if you prefer to relax with a movie, popcorn and a drink.

The seasons can affect the activities offered, so plan ahead. For example, boat trips and cruise ships are not allowed to leave the bay in bad weather or bad weather. Fortunately, there are plenty of bars, restaurants, and day trips to keep you busy, whatever the weather on the island!

Peak season on Sanibel Island

Unlike most vacation destinations or vacation homes, peak season on Sanibel runs from December through April. Therefore, the island is an excellent option for vacationers or for those who need a break in the winter and spring months. From early December to mid-April, you can expect the island to be at its liveliest.

Compared to other popular tourist spots in Florida, Sanibel doesn't get overly crowded, even during peak season. However, if you are still concerned about vacationing during the peak season, you may choose to come during the off-season. Booking off-season vacations on Sanibel may result in lower rates than other parts of the year. Fortunately, this also works without sacrificing much of what makes Sanibel so great.

Fun all year long on Sanibel Island

Okay, so how about year-round fun on Sanibel? If you want to avoid peak season, the island should be fun and accessible no matter what time of year. Fortunately, the pleasure never ends.

Yes, cruising and fishing are weather dependent as adverse conditions may prevent boats from leaving the bay. However, the museums remain open throughout the year, although opening and closing times may vary. Another year-round attraction is the Botanical Gardens at the Sanibel Moorings Resort. Legend has it that a rebellious gardener took it upon himself to plant exotic varieties of plants and flowers, and other gardeners joined his collection. Now the variety of vegetation on display is vast, so much so that it has been declared officialBotanical Gardenin 2009. Sanibel Moorings Resort offers tours most of the year, which is perfect if you want to enjoy the rich colors and textures of rare plants.

If you don't like museums and gardens, you can always count on food. If you're not a foodie, you will be after your visit to Sanibel Island. Inspired by the Latin American and Caribbean cuisines that surround Florida, many of the local restaurants use fresh seafood as the focal point of their menus. Whether it's rice and snapper with spicy seasonings or fish tacos, it's hard to beat a day trying the dishes on and off the beaten path. Lazy Flamingo allows you to bring your own ingredients and the chefs will prepare them for you, so all you have to do is make sure you catch your dinner on your fishing trip!

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Sanibel Island in winter

Sanibel Island in winter is very popular and there is an eclectic mix of tourists. Because? It's mainly because of the weather. In winter it is:

  • Around 75°F so the weather is nice.
  • Is not raining. The rainy season doesn't start until summer, which means that the days and nights are dry but not excessively hot.

Some of these reasons make Sanibel Island an incredible getaway for Americans who no longer want to face the cold at home. Some vacationers who visit Sanibel Island in the winter fall in love and end up buying a house and becomingsnow birds.

Sanibel Island in SpringWhen is the best time to visit Sanibel Island? (3)

As far as tourist destinations go, spring on Sanibel Island is pretty special. If you go early in the season, you'll see the throngs of tourists and bird watchers who left the US to recover from the warm weather. The atmosphere on the island is electrifying thanks to the crowds at the bars, restaurants and the beach. Come the middle of spring, the crowds even out and you're left with a unique part of the island to yourself, something most visitors don't get to experience. It is for this reason, and the fact that the weather is perfect, that May is considered one of the best times to visit Sanibel Island. The last throes of spring still provide a fantastic buzz, while many tourists have left and the rain won't appear for a few more weeks.

Summer on Sanibel Island

Summer is the low season.🇧🇷 If you wonder why it's because of the rain and the threat of hurricanes. From June through September, you can expect an average drop of 7 inches over the four months. Temperatures can also be quite high, with an average high of over 90°F, making the weather too hot for some people's tastes. If you don't like being so hot, summer might not be the best option for you. Of course, there are benefits to visiting Sanibel and Captiva from July through August. They include:

  • Lower prices. The lower demand means that hotels, restaurants and tours sometimes lower their prices.
  • Breaks in time. The heat can be intense, but the rains that can occur on a daily basis are great for tourists to take a break from the heat.
  • Low tides. The tides are lowest in spring; however, they begin to decline in late summer. Therefore, the peeling quality can be excellent.
  • Less congestion. Since there are fewer visitors to the island during the summer months, there is more space for you to enjoy.

Summer on Sanibel Island is a fantastic opportunity if you are willing to put up with the high temperatures. Many people like tropical climates, so summer can be perfect, especially if you like low prices and less congestion during the holidays.

Fall on Sanibel Island

Fall on Sanibel Island is also known as the "shoulder season." In simple terms, it is the period between summer and autumn when there is a bit of a lull in tourism. For many people, it's the best time of year to visit Sanibel because it reflects May conditions. The weather is warm without being sticky, and peak season is still a few months away, which means prices aren't skyrocketing. Another factor to take into account is that the school year has returned and there are fewer families and children.

However, what makes the months of September to November attractive are the shelling. The tides are low during the fall, leaving a variety of shells on the beach to choose from. It's like taking candy from a baby for shelling enthusiasts! And you don't need a guide, since the beaches are accessible. Just head to Bowman's, or any nearby beach, and walk along the sand until you come to a section with shells on display. A word of warning: be careful. The tides can be unpredictable and you must return to shore if the water is too deep.

Best Time to Visit Sanibel Island: Know When to Book

With all this information about the weather and the best activities, it can be a bit daunting. There are so many reasons to go to Sanibel that it's hard to pick the perfect season. An excellent piece of advice is to try to understand the features that will make or break your trip. For example, it is not recommended to visit it in summer if you hate humidity. On the other hand, the high prices may prevent you from going in summer and spring if your budget is relatively modest.

(Video) SANIBEL ISLAND 2023 - OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - Is it worth visiting after the storm?

With that in mind, here's a selection of things you can do to make sure your vacation is fun and affordable, whatever the season:

  • Book in advance.As obvious as it may seem, high season hotel and car rental rates are cheaper if you buy them months in advance. You may have to check prices already in summer for the following winter if you want to go in December.
  • Beware of last minute offers.This may seem counterproductive as we only recommend booking in advance. However, large properties can also be found this way. Last minute cancellations and vacant properties are not completely unheard of. This leads to properties being available at lower than normal prices. Many companies will have a special offers section or newsletter that travelers can sign up for.
  • Drive part of the way.One thing that will add to the cost of your vacation in high season or in the off season is flying. Flights may be affordable, but they are rarely cheap. Therefore, driving to Fort Myers will save you money that you could spend on other areas of your trip.
  • Travel us holidays.This advice may seem surprising because vacations are often expensive. However, the day of the vacation is not because most people are already at their destination. As a result, flying is usually pretty cheap, as long as you don't mind missing out on some of the action for a day.
  • Use your credit card.Specific cards often reward you with benefits for using them for everyday purchases. So shopping for groceries can earn you airline miles or car rental points, both of which you can use to make your vacation more affordable. The trick is to switch to acard companywhich focuses on travel. Many companies also offer special promotions where additional points and miles can be earned or redeemed, so be on the lookout.

Knowing the best conditions for you and your family, it is not as difficult to reduce the costs of your vacation as you might imagine. The above tricks work year-round—you just have to get organized to snag a bargain on Sanibel Island. You will also find that the types of properties can vary greatly in terms of offers. For example, there are moreSanibel Island Condo Rentalavailable than other types of property which, in many cases, leads to a cheaper rental price. this is differentSanibel Island Villa Rentals, which are few and far between, making them more exclusive and sought after.

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When is hurricane season on Sanibel Island?When is the best time to visit Sanibel Island? (4)

Technically, the Florida Gulf hurricane season runs from early June through late October. However, it is important to understand that this covers the entire Atlantic coast of America, which includes Sanibel. Of course, because Sanibel is on Florida's west coast, he's shielded from the worst of the action until the second half of the season. This means that September is often considered the peak time for hurricanes and storms on Sanibel Island.

Don't worry if you plan to visit Sanibel during the shoulder season and now you're scared. Yes, hurricanes are possible during this time, but you shouldn't let the thought of a storm get in your way.Your trip🇧🇷 These stats should clear things up:

  • Between 1960 and 2017, 12 major hurricanes struck mainland Florida (the largest is classified as Category 3 and higher).
  • Of the 12, only 4 were in the Sanibel area.
  • 'Fence' means 50 millas or less.
  • That means there have been 4 major hurricanes near Sanibel Island in almost 60 years.

As you can see, the shoulder season after summer is not much of a gamble. After all, the area averages one Category 3 hurricane every 15 years, which isn't bad. And the last big one to hit the southwest coast of Florida was Irma in 2017, and that was much further south.

What is the best month to shell on Sanibel Island?

There is no doubt that the answer to this question is from September to November. This period is when the tides are low enough to venture onto beaches that are often deep. Of course, affordability isn't the only thing that makes the bar for shelling so high in the fall. Autumn also means:

  • The sun sets earlier.Mollusks are nocturnal.and go out at night. Fewer daylight hours in the fall means there are more shells to spot.
  • The beaches are open. Bad weather in summer can force the beaches to close. Fortunately, the fall weather is less dramatic and places like Blind Pass, Turner Beach, and Lighthouse Beach should all be accessible.
  • The regulations are stricter. Shelling is fun, but the welfare of the animals should be everyone's top concern. Otherwise they won't last much longer.

November is the month that stands out the most. It is when the hurricane season comes to an end, but also when theturtle nestingthe period also ended. As a result, you can use artificial lights again and protect yourself late into the night.

That being said, there is no bad time or month to bomb Sanibel Island. Shells wash up on beaches every day, making Sanibel Island shelling a year-round favorite.

What to do on Sanibel Island

If splurging and relaxing on the beach isn't enough, along with the other activities you'll find on Sanibel, you'll be glad to know there's more. Taking a ferry to nearby Captiva is a must, as it's just as beautiful as Sanibel itself. And don't forget that longer excursions are possible. From Sanibel, you can visit:

  • coast key
  • Big mouth
  • Pinheiro Island
  • Key West
  • everglades national park
  • tampa
  • miami

There are also many activities for children. Parents who bring their kids will be happy to know that dolphin and manatee watching, rowing, and biking are all possible. Are you looking for something more adult while the children have fun at Sea School? from sanibelfarmers marketIt is run by locals and sells fresh, organic produce every Sunday.

No matter what you decide to do, it is almost impossible to do without it.things to do on sanibel island.

Events on Sanibel Island

Events are varied, so there is always something to do every day on Sanibel Island. One of the biggest and most popular events on the calendar is the 4th of July fireworks. Best viewed from the Causeway or the Bay Side, the fireworks are loud and bright, and there's a party atmosphere. The holidays are very lively on Sanibel Island, making it a great time to visit.

Winter hosts the Sanibel Luminary Fest, a street fair that includes bike lanes lined with paper lanterns. It takes place in the first week of December. In autumn, in October the legendary festival 'Ding Darling Days' takes place. It is a celebration of the establishment of wildlife that lasts

Even better, new events are added every year!

Plan your Sanibel Island vacation with Royal Shell

All that's left to do is find the perfect one.Sanibel Island Vacation Rentalsand experience all that the island has to offer, be it high season or low season. Here at Royal Shell, we have more than extensive vacation rental experience – we have local knowledge. Our holiday specialists live and work locally and offer you the best possible regional advice. In addition to the quality amenities, it also has maintenance and cleaning teams to ensure that your stay is incredibly comfortable. With millions of visitors coming to Sanibel each year, it's essential that you choose a reputable vacation rental service that you can trust.

Property Opportunities on Sanibel Island

After more than two decades offering Sanibel and Captiva vacation homes, we see people fall in love with the area on a regular basis. If you do become one of them, it's important to know your options because making the change permanent could be on the cards. In addition to holiday rentals, our Royal Shell properties also include property sales. Your advisor will help you with everything from finding the homes you love to viewing and making an offer.

Whether you're looking to vacation, rent, or buy on Sanibel, there's no better choice than Royal Shell. With us, the best time to visit Sanibel Island is now!Contact Usnow to take your first steps toward your dream vacation or purchase your perfect home on Sanibel Island.

Need to check availability of the perfect Sanibel vacation rental?
Please take a minute to fill out a short form and submit it so we can check the availability of the property you want.

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(Video) Sanibel Island and Captiva Island, Florida - Things to Do and See When You Visit


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What is the off season on Sanibel Island? ›

Summer on Sanibel Island

Summer is the off-season. If you're wondering why it's due to the rain and threat of hurricanes. From June through September, you can expect an average of 7 inches to fall throughout the four months.

What is the best time of year for shelling on Sanibel Island? ›

Although January, February and March are some of the best months to go shelling on Sanibel and Captiva, Stefanie Wolf, a marine biologist at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, said that because of the high winds the islands have been experiencing this spring, now is an opportune time to go shelling.

What is the best time of day to go to Sanibel Island? ›

You want to get on the island before 10am and off before 3 in the afternoon. From personal experience and other reviews I've read, the time of year doesn't matter that much, except of course during the winter months/holidays... over a year ago.

Is Sanibel worth a visit? ›

On Sanibel Island, the beaches are the main attraction. With so many beautiful beaches to choose from, you can visit a different one every day. Many of the beaches have amenities, are handicap accessible, and are inexpensive to park at.

Is it better to stay on Sanibel Island or Fort Myers Beach? ›

Nights in Fort Myers Beach are best spent exploring Times Square, the city center and known as the heartbeat of Estero. During high season, this area has a happening night-life. Sanibel Island is a bit more low-key than Fort Myers Beach and perfect for those seeking a slightly less scheduled vacation.

Can you swim in the ocean at Sanibel Island? ›

Whether you're looking to do some shelling, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, or just work on your tan, Sanibel and Captiva Island offer some of the best beaches in the world, and with over 15 miles of unspoiled beaches, there's a beach for everyone!

Can you walk on Sanibel beach at night? ›

Enjoy a Moonlit Stroll on a Sanibel Island Beach

With so much to do on Sanibel Island, it can be easy to forget that sometimes the simplest evening activities are some of the most enjoyable, such as taking a moonlit stroll on one of its beaches.

Can I take shells from Sanibel Island? ›

Sanibel Shelling Regulations | City of Sanibel. All Sanibel beaches and nearshore waters to one-half mile from shore are protected by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Rule 46-26. This rule prohibits the harvest and possession of live shellfish.

Which beach on Sanibel Island has the best shells? ›

Turner Beach is the best shelling beach on Sanibel and the Captiva islands. Its relatively low number of visitors and rare variety of seashells make it a haven for all shellers. Whether you are starting your collection or adding to your current one, make the trip past all the other astounding beaches.

Why is Sanibel Island so popular? ›

Sanibel is one of the unique barrier islands of the world, having an east-west orientation when most islands are north-south. Hence, the island is gifted with great sandy beaches and an abundance of shells, winning awards for being the best shelling beach and one of the best beaches in Florida.

Which is nicer Captiva or Sanibel? ›

Overall, the options you'll find on Captiva are a little more upscale than Sanibel, but both are very laid back islands without much major development. Captiva has more super high end vacation homes that sit on the beach whereas Sanibel is where you'll find more of the condo units.

Which is better to visit Sanibel or Captiva? ›

If you're on the hunt for shells, Sanibel of your spot as it's the top shelling destination in North America. Captiva is the more “chill” sister. Here you can enjoy both the Gulf and Pine Island Sound as well as access to a number of beaches. Captiva's beaches are rarely crowded and are less shelly and a bit softer.

Which is nicer Sanibel or Marco Island? ›

Both Sanibel Island and Marco Island offer distinctive experiences in terms of activities, beaches, dining options, and more. Sanibel Island is known by many as a shelling and wildlife destination, while Marco Island's reputation is often tied to the nearby Ten Thousand Islands and its tourist offerings.

Can you drive a car on Sanibel Island? ›

The island is bike friendly and has plenty of paths to help you get around. Cars are also an option, though parking is limited and expensive in most cases. If you'd rather not rent a car or a bike, there are a few taxi companies that can take you around. There is no public transportation on Sanibel Island.

Are there alligators around Sanibel Island? ›

Sanibel contains over 2,200 acres of freshwater wetlands that provide habitat for a sizable population of alligators. Since many of the residential neighborhoods on the Island contain lakes or interface with conservation lands containing wetlands, interaction between humans and alligators is likely.

What part of Sanibel is best? ›

East End and Mid Island are the most popular Sanibel areas with many great Sanibel Island hotels. The Far West is further from the mainland and the island's main strip but also a good option for where to stay on Sanibel Island if you look for seclusion.

Where is the clearest water on Sanibel Island? ›

Sanibel Island

While there are many beaches to choose from, we think Blind Pass Beach on Sanibel Island is the best of the bunch.

Can you drink alcohol on Sanibel Island? ›

There are a few rules that keep our beaches pristine. Pets on Sanibel Island beaches must be leashed, and should be cleaned up after. Captiva beaches do not allow pets. * Alcoholic beverages are prohibited November through May.

Do you have to pay to get on Sanibel Island? ›

The current Sanibel Causeway toll is $6.00 for automobiles and motorcycles traveling from Punta Rassa to the island. This toll is enforced through use of an electronic license plate recognition system on Bridge A, the first bridge.

Why are there no street lights on Sanibel Island? ›

The strict limits on street lighting on Sanibel Island aim to remedy the imbalance between the unnatural brightness of the shoreline and the natural bioluminescence of the sea.

Are Sanibel Island beaches free? ›

Luckily, we're here to help you find your beach destiny. Sanibel Island and Captiva Island both offer public beaches that are free to use, and we know all about them.

How can I spend a day on Sanibel Island? ›

24-Hour Guide To Things To Do On Sanibel Island
  1. BREAKFAST AT Lighthouse Café
  6. YUCATAN SHRIMP AT Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille.
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Can you find sand dollars on Sanibel Island? ›

Sand dollars can be found on most all the beaches of Sanibel Island. They are loved by shell collectors for their intricate designs, symmetrical shape and beautiful colors. Sand dollars most favorable living habitat is the shallow waters of beaches or shallow muddy estuaries.

Is anything left on Sanibel Island? ›

Still standing on Sanibel Island after the hurricane is the iconic lighthouse and its keeper's quarters. Along with the lighthouse, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford's winter homes remain intact.

Can you keep sand dollars in Florida? ›

It's illegal in the state of Florida to take a living sand dollar out of its natural habitat and home with you (just like any other living organisms you may find in shells). If you find a live one, gently place it back in the water near where you found it.

Is shelling better at Sanibel or Marco Island? ›

Best Shelling: Sanibel or Marco Island

Sanibel by far has the reputation for being the best shelling in Florida, but I'm here to tell you that it's actually Marco Island. Trust me, I've done both. Sanibel gets good shells (the area around Blind Pass is best), but there's also a LOT of competition to find them.

What happened to the shells on Sanibel Island? ›

In the late 20th-century, locals started worrying that out-of-towners were pillaging too many shells. As a conservation measure, Sanibel banned the collection of any shells with their original mollusks living inside, as well as any sand dollars, starfish and sea urchins.

What is the best time to find beach shells? ›

The best time, in general, is at low tide especially when the tides are low early in the morning. Finding seashells is often a matter of being on the beach at the right time. It is especially good after strong winds or storms. Low spring tides during full moon or new moon periods can be even better than usual.

Is Fort Myers close to Sanibel Island? ›

Sanibel Island & Captiva Island are located off the coast of southwest Florida, just west of Fort Myers, Florida. Fort Myers is situated between Naples, FL and Tampa, Fl. The Fort Myers Airport, Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW airport code), is located approximately 20 miles away from Sanibel Island.

How long does it take to walk Sanibel Island? ›

Check out this 10.1-mile loop trail near Sanibel, Florida. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 2 h 53 min to complete.

Why is Sanibel Island water brown? ›

SANIBEL — The water in the Caloosahatchee River is turning brown. The color is coming from water releases from Lake Okeechobee, but it's got people concerned about the effect on the environment in southwest Florida.

Does Sanibel Island have blue water? ›

Sanibel Island has breathtaking white sand beaches, clear blue water and an abundance of colorful shells that have been dubbed "Treasures From the Sea." So that our beaches keep pristine we have a few rules: Pets must be leashed and owners must cleanup after their pets.

How long is the ferry ride to Captiva Island? ›

Ferry service is direct to North Captiva Island Club Dock and the ride is approximately 20 minutes. Watch for Dolphins and other local wildlife. Enjoy open-air ferry boat accommodations.

What is the best way to get shells on Sanibel Island? ›

Tips for Shelling on Sanibel Island!
  1. Look in the water! Honestly, I find the best shells when I get into the water and position myself where the waves break. ...
  2. Go shelling right after a storm! ...
  3. Low tide! ...
  4. Try different beaches! ...
  5. Go on a shelling excursion!
Jul 12, 2019

What is the bluest beach in Florida? ›

Destin is commonly awarded as having the best blue water in Florida however the entire Emerald Coast has similar coloring. Destin has the clearest water due to its proximity to Choctawhatchee Bay.

Does Sanibel Island have turquoise water? ›

Basking in the sun on Captiva and Sanibel Island's white-sand beaches is a must. Located in Southwest Florida, Sanibel and Captiva Island feature turquoise warm waters with some of the best shelling in the United States.

Does Sanibel Island have a nightlife? ›

Live Music and Dancing on Sanibel and Captiva

Traditions on the Beach located at the historic Island Inn has a good variety of live music, dancing, and nightlife on Sanibel's West Gulf Drive. Check their Events Calendar and enjoy vocalists such as Woody Brubaker, Barbara Smith, and many others.

How much does it cost to rent a house on Sanibel Island? ›

Users who are looking for house rental in Sanibel can find many alternatives, as they are the most prevalent accommodation type there. Additionally, the average nightly cost of house rental in Sanibel is $472, and the average size is 180 m².

How much does it cost to stay at Sanibel Island? ›

Sanibel hotels range from $111 to $507 per night with an average of $198, while most vacation rentals will cost $240 to $560 per night for the entire home.

What airport do you fly into to go to Sanibel Island in Florida? ›

Southwest Florida International Airport

The Southwest Florida International Airport located in Fort Myers is the closest one to Sanibel Island in the region. Aside from being located 28 miles from Sanibel, it's also the cheapest one in the region.

How much does it cost to cross the bridge to Sanibel Island? ›

For passenger cars, trucks and motorcycles, the charge to get over the bridge, which is the sole roadway access to both Sanibel and Captiva islands, is $6 for vehicles with transponders or $9 without one. Toll collection resumed Nov.

Is there a shuttle from Fort Myers to Sanibel? ›

Our Fort Myers Airport transfers to Sanibel Island are an affordable, hassle-free option for reaching your destination quickly and comfortably. We also offer many low cost service options, from shared shuttles and wheelchair-accessible vehicles to luxury limousines.

What is considered off season in Florida? ›

Low season runs October to December or January, and is perfect for outdoor activities. Beach towns are quiet until the winter snowbirds arrive. Hotel prices can drop from peak season by 50%. Beware, though, that rates will spike around public holidays.

What is off season at the beach? ›

While you might think that the best time to vacation at the beach would be during peak season, you may be surprised to learn that the off-season – early fall and late spring – is actually an excellent time to visit, and can save you money and improve your vacation experience in several ways.

What is the cheapest month to go to Florida? ›

The cheapest times to visit

The cheapest months to fly to Florida are September, May (except for Memorial Day weekend) and early June before schools let out. You can find terrific values on hotels and activities in the fall (Sept.

What is the best month to vacation in Florida? ›

Based on average weather, crowds, and rates, the best times to visit Florida are March-April or September-October.

What month is cheapest to fly to Florida? ›

High season is considered to be May and June. The cheapest month to fly to Florida is January.

What is the best month to go to the beach? ›

Summer: July and August

You know the drill: everyone wants to hit the beach in the summer, when school's out and the sun is high. But not all beaches are created equal and many people prefer tropical beaches, like those found in the Caribbean in the winter, when it's also less likely to rain.

What day is the beach least crowded? ›

At many resorts, Friday is the busiest day of the week with guests checking out mid-morning and new ones not arriving until mid-afternoon. Schedule your stay to depart on any other day of the week and you can almost guarantee yourself a quiet beach midday on Friday. Saturday is obviously the most popular beach day.

What is prime season at the beach? ›

Beach destinations hit peak season in the summer, for instance, while high season for ski resorts is winter. Extreme weather conditions—like searing heat, blizzards, storms—usually mean off season. Temperate conditions often mean peak season.

Is the ocean water clear in Sanibel Island? ›

Sanibel Island

The island is known for its beautiful shells and stunning Florida sunsets, but the clear water is definitely a highlight. You can find plenty of secluded spots to relax on the beach or go for a swim.

Is it easy to walk around Sanibel Island? ›

Walking is a low-cost and easy way to navigate the island for short trips (such as to the beach or to dinner from your hotel). In addition, shops and restaurants are walking distance of one another along Periwinkle Way.


1. Sanibel Reopens To The Public! Narrated Tour Part 2
(The Sanibel Captiva Guide )
2. Sanibel Island and Captiva Island Now and Then 2023
(A Canadian RVer eh)
3. Sanibel Island and Captiva re-opens for visitors since Hurricane Ian
(Eduardo Osorio)
4. Best Things to Do on Sanibel Island Florida
5. Sanibel Island Mayor Holly Smith, Updates, looking to the Future, When Can You Visit?
(The Sanibel Captiva Guide )
6. Sanibel Island 100 Days after hurricane Ian
(Ballantine Drone Services)


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