Southeast · Travel · United States

Beach Getaways: Sanibel & Captiva Islands

While I absolutely love the beach, I am not one of those people who can sit on the beach for hours on end and not get bored. That’s why I was so excited when my friend invited a few of us to her parent’s house on Sanibel Island two years ago. After some quick research, I discovered that Sanibel & Captiva have a ton to offer despite their small size. You can find everything from kayaking to golf to extremely unique restaurants between the two islands. Here are a few of things that I enjoyed most during my visit.


Top 5 Things to do on Sanibel & Captiva Islands 

  1. Try out the Sanibel Stoop – There is a reason that Sanibel has been ranked #1 for best US Shelling Beaches and why they’ve even given a name to the stance people take when looking for shells, the Sanibel Stoop. I had a great time collecting all different types of shells and with 250 kinds of shells to choose from, you’re sure to get a great variety.  
  2. Take a Guided Kayak Tour of Tarpon Bay – I’m a huge fan of all water sports, especially kayaking. Throwing in a guide who can point out all the wildlife and help you learn more about the ecosystem is just icing on the cake. If your lucky, you may even run into a manatee (unfortunately we did not though)! If you can’t fit the tour in on your trip definitely rent kayaks or paddle boards on your own for a fun afternoon.
  3. Eat at the Bubble Room – While I’ve been to tons of restaurants over the years, the Bubble Room is easily the most kitschy I’ve seen. While the food is good, especially the desserts, the ambiance is definitely the main event.  
  4. Rent Bicycles or Mopeds – We did both while we were there. It’s a great way to explore both Islands at a more leisurely pace.
  5. Get Drinks at the Mucky Duck – One of the best parts of being on the Gulf Coast is watching the sunset over the water. The only thing that can be better is watching the sunset with a drink in hand. Mucky Duck has great outdoor seating and delicious drinks. Remember to bring bug spray though in case it is a buggy night.

While it didn’t make it onto my list, Sanibel is also well known for it’s golf courses. Although we didn’t play, my friend’s parents do live on The Dunes golf course and it’s absolutely gorgeous. If you plan to visit in Sanibel in December, you should try to plan your stay so that you are there for the Luminary Festival.It’s the island’s way of kicking off the holiday season and has tons of activities for the whole family.

Have you visited Sanibel & Captiva? Did your favorite activities make it onto our list?