Florida’s Sanibel Island is a vacation paradise for both pet-owners and their pets. Visitors will enjoy pet-friendly activities, accommodations and dining across the island. Here are a few of our favorite pet-friendly spots and activities that both you and your pet can enjoy!
Go for a sunset stroll, morning jog or play fetch with shells along the island’s shell smothered shorelines, but make sure to bring a leash! You and your pup are in luck because ALL of the island’s beaches are pet-friendly! Your dog will love grazing along the beach’s vegetated sand dunes and sea grass. Remember to keep the shorelines clean by carrying along “accident” bags. The salt water is not for drinking and the sand can get a tad messy, so we suggest packing pet shampoo, a puppy towel, bottled water and a water bowl.
You may also enjoy taking your pup to Gulfside Beach, also known as Algiers Beach, located adjacent to the nature preserve along Algiers Lane and Casa Ybel Road. Pack a picnic and eat lunch at the picnic area. Remember, visitors must pay for parking by the hour from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Read our blog on how to find the perfect shells so you find good ones for your collection.
J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Get into the wild at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, a dog-friendly park that loops through natural wetlands and mangroves. The park is also home to other furry and feathery friends, including otters, raccoons, night herons and other water wildlife such as manatees and alligators. The park’s Wildlife Drive offers pull off areas for the jolted moment your pup gets the urge to explore.
- Hours: Hours vary by month. Call or see website for specific hours.
- Cost: $5 per vehicle; $1 per hiker or biker
Accommodations in Sanibel
Coming from out of town? You can find plenty of privately-owned vacation homes in Sanibel that are “pet suitable” on websites including VRBO and Home Away. Many of these vacation homes even have luxury amenities like private pools, hot tubs, beach access, fully loaded kitchens and multiple bedrooms. For practical or last-minute options, check-in at one of these condo/resort-style accommodations:
- Signal Inn Beach And Racquetball Club
- Beachview Cottages
- Caribe Beach Resort
- Sanibel Holiday
- Castaways at Blind Pass
- Sunshine Island Inn
- Driftwood Inn
- Tween Waters Inn
Dining in Sanibel
Sanibel even welcomes you to feast with your furry friend. You can wine and dine with your dog at a variety of local restaurants. Here are our “5 Favorite Pet-Friendly Places to Eat”:
- George & Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grille
- Keylime Bistro
- RC Otters Island Eats
- Green Flash Captiva
- Blue Giraffe
Read our blog on some of the best waterfront restaurants in the area to get you started.
Can you believe how much there is to do with your pup here in Sanibel? Do it all—the beaches, the wildlife park, waterfront dining and accommodations. There is no better way to experience the island than on the water, so be sure to include renting a boat at Port Sanibel Marina as part of your trip. Most of the dining and accommodations mentioned above are also waterfront accessible, so leave your car parked and get out on the water! You can also book your water sport activities too.