Is Sanibel Island a Good Vacation Spot?

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Many wonder all the time: “Is Sanibel Island a good vacation spot?” We are here to tell you it’s the perfect location for a Florida vacation with wonderful boating and watersports activities. 

How is Sanibel Island a good vacation spot? It has the following: 

  • The best beach in Florida
  • The best opportunities for shelling
  • Wildlife refuge opportunities
  • Bike trails
  • The Sanibel Lighthouse

Sanibel Island is a treasure to discover time and time again. The sun, the water, the sunsets and the wildlife keep visitors coming back year after year. If you’re new to the area or a returning visitor, we’ve put together a list of six treasure spots to put on your Sanibel Island itinerary map during your next visit.

Sanibel Island Beach

This is the No. 1 treasure spot on Sanibel Island. Everyone who has been to Sanibel Island knows the beaches are the true treasure. Known for their white powdery sand, they are full of wonderful shelling opportunities for beachgoers on an island known as the shelling capital of the world.

Some beachgoers like to look for hidden treasure too. Sunken treasure lost hundreds of years ago still sits at the bottom of the oceans surrounding Florida. The occasional beachgoer is fortunate enough to find a valuable coin or a piece of a valuable necklace that’s worth money.

When looking for both shells and treasure, stay on the beach beyond the wave line and look for treasures on the high tide line where the sand is softest. Use this tide chart to plan your adventure. Another great time to look for treasures and shells is after a storm because heavy waves churn up and toss shells and treasures onto the shoreline.

Check out our blog on the best beach area spots to find a sunset. Also read up on our blog on how to become a shelling expert too.

Sanibel Island sunset

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot to capture wildlife sunsets.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a spot full of wildlife, including several species of birds. In the summer, early morning walks on the trails are preferred. You can also drive a nature trail from your car. It’s a popular place for nature photographers so make sure you bring your camera. Read our blog on the best places to take pictures on Sanibel Island.

Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)

Speaking of wildlife, Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is the must stop place to see wildlife in a different setting. There is also a rehabilitation hospital where volunteers work to nurse sick and injured animals back to health. The clinic cares for more than 3,500 wildlife patients and is labeled as one of the nation’s leading rehabilitation facilities for native and migratory wildlife. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children. There are tours and presentations where visitors get to view the animals up close and personal. A list of CROW’s upcoming events can help you map your trip.

Port Sanibel Treasure Spots Pinterest Pin

The Sanibel Island Lighthouse is a treasure you can visit while enjoying the beach.

Sanibel Lighthouse

The Sanibel Lighthouse sits on a wildlife refuge and is an historic part of this quaint little island. It’s a great place to get sunset photos with the lighthouse as the backdrop. While the lighthouse itself isn’t open to the public, there is a small public beach to enjoy shelling. You can park in a nearby parking lot for $2 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Sanibel Fishing Pier

Are you a fisher in search of a good fishing pier? The Sanibel Island Fishing Pier is another iconic part of Sanibel Island. Fishers enjoy catching fish here at both sunrise and sunset. Start up a conversation with local anglers to get a feel for the best time and place to catch fish in the area.

Captiva Chapel By the Sea

We realize the Captiva Chapel By the Sea isn’t technically on Sanibel Island. But the chapel, built in 1903 as a school house, is too cool of a place not to add to our treasure list. Rent a kayak or a canoe and head to Captiva Island to explore the grounds of a historic church that’s still being used today for weddings, baptisms, and local non-denominational church services. The site also includes one of the area’s oldest cemeteries and gives visitors a feel for what life was like on the local island more than 100 years ago.

Couple enjoying Sanibel Island sunset

Enjoy the natural beauty of Sanibel Island sunsets.

Is Fort Myers Beach or Sanibel Island Better? 

Sanibel Island is our choice for a visit to Southwest Florida to experience all that the area has to experience on an island! There are restaurant locations, biking trails and plenty of places to rent a boat at Port Sanibel Marina. Sanibel also has the best sand and wonderful shelling opportunities.

What Side of Sanibel is the Best? 

All of Sanibel Island is great to explore! The far end of the island near Captiva Island is known as Santiva and is a great place for shelling. All of the island’s beaches are great places to look for shells.

What is the Best Part of Sanibel Island to Rent a Boat?

Your itinerary and your location map of treasures to explore on Sanibel Island are all set. Now it’s time to book all of your water sport activities for your trip to Sanibel Island.

Many of these spots are accessible by watercraft, so rent a boat or schedule a boat cruise or a tour at Port Sanibel Marina. Book a fully furnished condo at Royal Shell Vacation Rentals too so you have time to explore this beautiful island.

Plan a Boating and Fishing Adventure

What are you waiting for? It’s time to go exploring, especially on the water. Rent a boat or book a fishing charter at Port Sanibel Marina.

Port Sanibel Marina offers:

  • Boat rentals that include a 24’ SouthWind Deck Boat, a 20’ Tidewater, a 21.5’ Scout, a 24’ Regal and a 23’ Scout Center Console

Port Sanibel also offers dry boat storage and wet slips and a variety of fishing charters to choose from while you are on vacation. Make a reservation today at 239-437-1660 to plan your trip.