Sanibel and Captiva Islands are perfect for your next family vacation or romantic getaway. The unspoiled nature and white sand beaches offer the ideal backdrop for a casual and enjoyable family trip or nature adventure. Known for its relaxing pace, the island lifestyle is inviting, casual and tropical. Labeled the “shelling capital of the world,” travel writer Arthur Frommer recently named Sanibel Island the number one travel destination in the world!
Located just off the coast of Fort Myers on the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel Island, and her sister island Captiva, are the gems of Southwest Florida. Combined, Sanibel and Captiva islands are approximately 16 miles in length and offer 15 miles of shell covered beaches and 22 miles of bike paths. With an average temperature of 75 degrees and surrounded on all sides by water and extraordinary wildlife, the outdoor activities are endless and the scenery is pristine.
For added adventure, the islands to the north (North Captiva and Cayo Costa) are only accessible by boat, and are known for their blue-green waters, white sand beaches and world-class tarpon fishing.
For the adventuresome, the island offers outstanding outdoor activities, including world-class sport fishing (off-shore or backbay), boating, golf, all forms of surfing, sea and backwater kayaking, birding and so much more — there’s simply no shortage of ways to get out and enjoy paradise.
Sanibel Vacations can coordinate lessons in kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP), paragliding, or even fly fishing. With so many outdoor activities available, we can make biking, beach excursions, or water activities convenient by organizing and delivering your equipment rentals directly to your residence.
Besides being a destination on its own, Sanibel Island is an excellent base from which to experience all that Southwest Florida has to offer. Centrally located and only 30 minutes from the Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), other neighboring towns in Southwest Florida, including Fort Myers Beach, Naples, Estero, and Bonita Beach, offer shopping, eateries, and many cultural and outdoor activities. Regional attractions include the Everglades National Park, Lover’s Key State Park, the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, and The Great Calusa Blueway kayak and paddling trail. SBL Vacations can arrange your excursions to any of these destinations, or simply advise you on what to do.
Culturally alive, the island boasts the Herb Strauss Theatre, which is a year-round live theatre offering critically acclaimed plays and performances. BIG Arts, a community supported cultural art organization, is very active within the community and offers films, lectures, galleries and more.
In addition to the arts, there are several science and nature centers on island, including the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. As part of the largest undeveloped mangrove system in the US, the wildlife refuge is world famous for it spectacular migratory bird populations. Dating back to 1945, Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling, a political cartoonist with an eye toward conservation, was instrumental in the effort to block the sale of a parcel of environmentally valuable land to developers on Sanibel Island. At Darling’s urging, President Harry S. Truman signed an Executive Order creating the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge.
CROW, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, is a pioneer in the field of wildlife medicine, offering compassionate care to injured and ill animals throughout Southwest Florida. Finally, kids of all ages love the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and the Sanibel Sea School.