When you book one of our Sanibel vacation rentals, you sign up for laid-back island living and adventures on sugar-sand shores, including some of the world’s best seashell hunting. The towns of Sanibel and Captiva, which collectively make up Sanibel Island, have long attracted families, retirees, couples, and honeymooners who come for the island’s beautiful beaches and natural preserves.
Now you can experience the best of this friendly Florida town in one of our exceptional beachside rentals!
Where is Sanibel, FL?
Tucked between beachy Fort Myers and Captiva, Sanibel sits on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, 20 miles off the mainland in southwestern Florida. With 12 miles of coastline, much of which is designated as wildlife refuge, it’s an especially popular area for outdoor enthusiasts and “shellers” on the hunt for rare shells that wash up onto its shores throughout the year.
Things to Do in Sanibel
Because more than half of Sanibel Island is made up of wildlife refuges, visitors can expect to spend plenty of time exploring its beautiful coastal wilderness, which is home to 230 native bird species and 50 native fish species. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready for a day of outdoor immersion at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, a 5,200-acre coastal mangrove preserve established in 1976. Bring binoculars or a camera to snap photos of its incredible diversity of wildlife, which includes brown pelicans, roseate spoonbills, river otters, manatees, softshell turtles, fiddler crabs, American alligators, black racer snakes, and many more animal species.
Grab a bucket and continue your outdoor exploration at Blind Pass Beach, renowned for its tranquil shores where millions of seashells are deposited. A day of shelling is all ages fun for the whole family – and you might even come across a rare and highly-prized Junonia shell, a discovery that could land you on the front page of the local newspaper.
History buffs will appreciate a visit to Sanibel’s Historical Museum & Village, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the past with guided tours through the village’s seven carefully preserved pioneer buildings from the 1800s. Even more history can be uncovered at the Sanibel Lighthouse, located on the east end of the island, or on a scuba diving trip to explore the underwater wreckage and reef surrounding the U.S.S. Mohawk.
Rent a beach cruiser bike and finish out your day with an evening ride along the pedestrian path that winds along Sanibel’s beachfront. Feel the warm breeze as you peer out over a stunning pink and purple-hued sunset, then head home for maximum comfort and a great night’s sleep in your vacation rental.
Day Trips from Sanibel
Our selection of Sanibel vacation rentals are conveniently situated for fun day trips to explore the coastal communities and tropical towns of Southwest Florida. Head north to Captiva for dolphin watching tours and an abundance of fishing charters that will help you land a trophy tarpon and many more oversized fish. Twenty miles east, you’ll find vibrant nightlife, boutique shopping, and eclectic dining in Fort Myers’ River District, while Fort Myers Beach and other coastal communities lie just south of the city’s downtown area. Lush state parks, a great zoo, a notable museum of art, and many more attractions are just 20 miles south in Naples.
“A Barrier Island Sanctuary” is wonderful Sanibel Island's motto, and you can explore it all from the luxurious sanctuary of your very own vacation rental!
Photo Credit: Sasha Vasko via Flickr