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The Top 4 Sanibel Island Attractions You Can’t Miss!

Added: Oct 10, 2021
Category: Island Info

Right off the southwest coast of Florida sits Sanibel Island, a vacation destination that stays sunny year-round.

In fact, from December-April, Sanibel has the best weather the entire year with temperatures in the mid-70s and little to no rain. To help you make the most of your getaway, Kingfisher Vacations rental properties are conveniently located from various beaches, places for shopping and dining, and other island activities.


The following five unique attractions are sure to inspire you to book your next beach vacation on Sanibel Island.


1. Bowman’s Beach


Sanibel Island is preceded by its reputation for being an excellent destination for shelling, and Bowman’s Beach is an attraction that showcases just that. If you’re an avid shell collector, then plan your trip around October-November when the tides are at the lowest and the shells are on full display. The island's east-west orientation, combined with its status as a barrier island, makes it the perfect spot to search for a variety of over 250 types of shells. In addition, visitors have found that the vast expanse of the beach keeps it from getting crowded, leading to better shelling prospects and a relaxing atmosphere. Additional amenities in the area include picnic tables, showers, and public restrooms. There are hiking and biking trails nearby, as well. The best part is Bowman’s beach is open to the public for free and is pet-friendly, so be sure to bring your furry friends along!


2. J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge


Along with its shelling, Sanibel Island is also known for its wildlife refuges. The “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a must-see on the island, with a diverse range of attractions within the sanctuary itself. The refuge is part of the largest mangrove ecosystem in the United States, making it the perfect location for over 245 species to feed, nest, and roost. You can go wildlife sightseeing on the Indigo Trail, which leads to the Wildlife Education Boardwalk, Shellmound Trail, and Wulfert Keys Trail. Explore the Tarpon Bay Area of the Refuge on a nature cruise hosted by a Coast Guard licensed captain and a naturalist. There are also sites for paddleboarding, hiking, boating, and saltwater fishing.


3. Sanibel Island Lighthouse


The Sanibel Island Lighthouse is a unique historical attraction. It was the first lighthouse on the state's Gulf Coast north of the Florida Keys and is still in operation today. While the structure itself is not open to visitors, its skeletal architecture makes for a beautiful backdrop to any beach activity like taking a walk along the shore or going sailing. It's even possible to spot a few dolphins swimming in the ocean nearby.


4. Farmer's Market

Sanibel Farmer's Market has something for everyone! Shop local produce, fresh bread, seafood, and flowers. You can also find meats, organics, cheese, prepared foods, honey, smoothies and so much more. On Sanibel Island, the Farmer's Market occurs every Sunday at City Hall from 8 A.M. to 1 P.M from October 3, 2021 - May 30, 2022. The market is also open on Easter Sunday. On Captiva Island, you can visit the Farmer's Market at the South Seas Resort on Tuesdays from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M. from November 2, 2021, to April 19, 2022.

5. The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum


After looking for seashells on Sanibel Island's beaches, you can visit the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum to get a glimpse into the world of the aquatic animals that leave them behind. As the only museum in the United States devoted solely to shells and mollusks, their exhibits display shells from worldwide.  You can even touch a live mollusk and see a Giant Pacific Octopus in its aquarium. Admission is $23.95 per adult, $14.95 per child ages 12-17, $8.95 per child ages 5-11, and children under 5 get in for free.


Book a Vacation Home from Kingfisher Vacations and Explore Sanibel Island’s Attractions


Let our staff at Kingfisher Vacations help you find the perfect vacation home for your stay on Sanibel Island. Many of our private properties have beachside views, fully-equipped kitchens, and heated pools, giving you the whole luxury experience of a beach vacation. In addition, you can experience all the natural beauty the island has to offer by biking or paddling your way around the island using our onsite equipment rentals.


Thinking about visiting Sanibel or Captiva Island for the holidays? Be sure to book early to get the best rates on airfare. To learn more about reserving a house or condo rental from Kingfisher Vacations, visit our website, email us at info@gokingfisher.com or give our friendly reservations team a call at 239-472-2100.

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11528 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva, Florida 33924

2402 Palm Ridge Rd Sanibel, Fl 33957

+ 239 472 2100


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