Having went to Sanibel just in August for the first time, I was somewhat acquainted with the island, restaurants, activities, etc, so I picked out my favorites of these. There was no red tide on the beaches we went to, a few old dead fish way up the beach, but the water was fine. I felt very lucky because the whole month or so I was reading about how bad it became there. The weather was great, very little rain (usually just at night) and it was hot and sunny, but not too hot and sunny. It was ding darling week which was pretty nice, and we took advantage of the tarpon bay kayaking and the tram tours. We also felt adventurous and took a canoe to the labeled put-in spot in ding darling and canoed all the way out to Pine island sound and back. I was a little scared of the alligators but we didn't see one while we were canoeing and the water stayed shallow the whole way. We tried the champagne cruise through adventures in paradise which was good. They pick you up in their trolley pretty much anywhere on the island. Also, we did a shelling cruise through captiva cruises which was fun too. We even saw the wild pigs that live on cayo costa- a family of three! It was shocking to see the damage Charley did to N Captiva and La costa. We ate all over the islands including Island Cow, Keylime bistro, Matzaluna, Lighthouse cafe, Jerry's, Lazy flamingo, Mermaid kitchen for a slice of cake, and Johnny's Pizza. Get the keylime ice cream at the little shop across from keylime bistro-very good.The weather was a little better for biking around the island than it was in August- the sun cooked us to a medium well versus a well-done that we were a couple of months ago on Sanibel. The shelling seemed pretty good too. We stayed at the West End Paradise near bowman's beach, and I found a few prizes on our beach including a decent alphabet cone, several nice pear figs, countless fighting conchs and giant cockles, and a large shark's eye. On the shelling trip we found many sand dollars, a few nice angel wings, a couple beautiful murexes, some larger sun venuses and many larger lightening welks along with a lot of others. I'm starting to feel all shelled out! My husband even started getting into the whole shelling thing. All in all a very good trip, can't wait to go back! By the way, is the seafood factory closed for the off season? We wanted to give it a try but it looked like it went out of business.