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Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island

Free admission

Sanibel Island is a tropical retreat known for its quiet shores and its warm, shallow water. Beach goers can enjoy local seafood restaurants, swaying palm trees, and an abundance of sea shells, while nature lovers flock to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge to see alligators, herons, and other wildlife.

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Sanibel Island, USA, 33957

The Basics

Sanibel Island is decidedly sleepier than many other Florida beach resorts. Take a stroll down Periwinkle Way, the island’s main street, for shopping and restaurants, or head to one of several public beaches on the island to take advantage of the sun and sand. Visitors can enjoy the island independently or explore Sanibel as part of a multi-day tour of Florida’s West Coast, which typically also include the Everglades and Fort Myers.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Sanibel Island is a favorite Florida destination for families, thanks to its relaxed vibe and calm waters.

  • Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and swimwear; many of the beaches have limited shade.

  • Bring insect repellent, as sand flies can bite.

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How to Get There

Sanibel Island is accessible via Florida Highway 867 and is approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Fort Myers, Florida. The easiest way to get there is by car, but be prepared to pay a toll to cross the Sanibel Causeway. The nearest airport is the Southwest Florida International Airport.

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When to Get There

While the weather is best between January and April, this is also the peak tourist season on the island; be sure to book ahead if you’re visiting during this time. September and October tend to be the quietest months.

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Shelling on Sanibel Island

Collecting seashells ranks among the most popular pastimes on Sanibel Island—so much so that the act of bending over to pick up a shell is known as the Sanibel Stoop. The practice is permitted on all public beaches, so bring a bucket or net bag to hold your treasures. Look for larger shells near the Captiva side of the island and smaller shells closer to the lighthouse.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Sanibel Island?