Located on the southwest coast of Florida, Sanibel Island has an international reputation as a year-round resort. In 2012, travel guru Arthur Frommer named Sanibel Island as his number one travel destination in the world! Mr. Frommer ranked his ten favorite places to visit and listed Sanibel first above destinations like Bali and Paris.

In addition to the beautiful beaches and warm breezes of the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel offers an array of other pleasures:

  • Unspoiled surroundings, unmarred by traffic lights, franchise stores and billboards. There are also no high-rises allowed on Sanibel- all buildings must be less than tree height - four floors maximum. Wide setbacks from the beach preserve the natural coastline atmosphere.
  • Famous wildlife sanctuaries and nature preserves covering 70% of the island provide glimpses of rare migratory birds and the many types of fauna that call Sanibel home.
  • Dozens of outdoor activities--such as swimming, boating, biking, fishing, hiking, shelling, windsurfing, and kayaking--available all year round.
  • Lively arts scene, featuring professional theatrical productions and a wide range of art galleries.
  • Great dining and shopping options along beautiful Periwinkle Way.
The fact that Sanibel has retained much of her natural heritage is no accident. Since the early 1970's it is the goal of the city government to protect the environment while at the same time provide a wonderful place for residents and visitors alike.

Among the many notable wildlife sanctuaries and preserves on Sanibel is the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, cited by USA Today as one of the top spots for bird-watching in the United States. The surrounding waters are also one of the top three places in North America to view dolphin in the wild. And of course Sanibel is world famous for its incredible abundance of seashells that come ashore with each tide.

Also located on Sanibel are the world-famous Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, the Care and Rehabilitation of Wildlife (C.R.O.W.) Facility, dedicated to healing injured, ill, and orphaned wildlife, and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and Nature Center, dedicated to preserving natural resources and wildlife of Sanibel and Captiva.


Sanibel has many beaches to enjoy, including:
Lighthouse Beach, with its famous historic lighthouse and nature walk...the Causeway Beaches, perfect for swimming, fishing, and picnicking...Gulfside City Park, where you can picnic and hike a nature trail...Tarpon Bay Beach, ideal for swimming...Bowman's Beach, world-famous for shelling and for the beautiful wildlife that abounds there...and Captiva Beach, a wonderful place to watch the sunset! All of these can be accessed by the miles of scenic bike paths that criss-cross the island and preservation lands.
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