We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Suggestions for what to do

Which Sanibel Island hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Royal Oak Michigan
Level Contributor
93 posts
77 reviews
Save Topic
Suggestions for what to do

My family will be visiting Sanibel Island during Easter week. We have never been there and would like to know what are some things we should see while there.

It will be my husband and I with our two married children. We like to walk, sightsee, eat at good and affordable restaurants, and see what the area is noted for.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Suggestions for what to do

I highly recommend the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. They have a very nice welcome center that is worth the visit, before driving through the refuge. I recommend going in the morning or at the end of the day. You will see more birds then. I don't know about Easter but in March they have a huge population of beautiful birds in the santuary. We even saw a couple alligators.

Another "field trip" is to go to the lighthouse beach. There is a fishing pier and it is fun to watch the fisherman as well as all the birds. Great shelling at that end of the island too. There is a parking lot in which you just drop a few bucks into box. Sometimes we take lawn chairs or a blanket to sit and enjoy the view.

Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Suggestions for what to do

My favorite restaurant is The Twilight Cafe. A bit pricely but the food is wonderful!! A small restaurant with a lively atmosphere. Others are The Timbers, Island Cow, and Doc Fords.

An off island field trip is the Edison - Ford Museum/Estates in Ft. Myers. A bit of a drive but very interesting. (even for my 9 year old) Look up their website for details.

Have fun!!

Southern New Jersey
Level Contributor
60 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Suggestions for what to do

Visit the Lighthouse Cafe for an excellent breakfast

http://www.lighthousecafe.com

Go to Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar & Grille for laid back atmosphere and great food too !

http://www.docfordssanibel.com

I like Ellington's for the music. The food is very good but a little pricey

http://ellingtonsjazz.com

Don't miss a Captiva Sunset and while your at it have dinner at the mucky duck

http://www.muckyduck.com/dinner.htm

Get out on the beach and let go of everything and relax. (Sanibel is noted for this)

Since you like to walk, walk the beach. There is plenty of beach and you will find so many great shells you won't be able to carry them all. (Sanibel is also noted for this)

Take a cruise to the outer islands, only accessible by boat.

www.captivacruises.com/sched_cruises.html

For me fishing is a must. If it is for you bring some gear and stop at the bait box for a license and bait.

http://www.thebaitbox.com/default.htm

Enjoy :-)

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2,185 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Suggestions for what to do

You don't mention water activities, however, if that holds interest for you, visitors from 5 to 75 years (and, perhaps, older!) can get another "view" of Sanibel and environs by taking either a kayak or canoe trip out of Tarpon Bay Outfitters. The first time we did this, a naturalist escorted our group and he did a wonderful job of holding our attention and educating us about the fascinating balance between natural plant growth, sea life, and so forth.

We have also made the journey independently with a family group and saw many intersting birds while enjoying a bit of invigorating exercise that was not too taxing! Just a pleasant way to spend a morning or afternoon.

Royal Oak Michigan
Level Contributor
93 posts
77 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Suggestions for what to do

Thank you for all of the great ideas. I can't wait to get there!

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2,185 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Suggestions for what to do

For information on the canoeing / kayaking, as well as other interesting activities, check out:

www.tarponbayexplorers.com

Lake St. Louis...
Level Contributor
1,112 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Suggestions for what to do

There are trips to Ding Darling, CROW animal shelter, you can rent a small boat & fish in Tarpon bay and hopefully a manatee will swim by. You can go to Jensens marina & see manatees depending if they have migrated yet.

The island is known for their shelling, bring water shoes if your feet are sensitive.

Kayaking (which you can take a guided tour), gulf fishing, 26 miles of flat paved paths on Sanibel for bike riding or roller bladeing. Bike rental is available from Billy's and Finmores...they will bring to your condo and pickup for extended retals.

Parasailing & Jet Ski's are available from Yolo.

Captiva cruises has day trips to outer island, and guided tours. You will usually have dolphin follow the boat some.

You can go to Tween waters for the Monday night crab races. First session has more kids.

Save for a rainy day shell museum, the library has a shell display that is free and nice. Go see the parrots at Jerry's shopping center....they talk more when it's not real hot. Go to She Sells Sea Shells to look at different types of shells

Periwinkle Park near causeway has a little zoo that is a must see. It is on my things to do this year. You can buy food out of a machine they say and feed.

For the evening, there is one small movie theater, and 2 video store rentals on Sanibel. Plenty of ice-cream places. There is also a playhouse theater.

Everyone can join in on their opinions. Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, Island Cow etc.

have reasonable food, many people take their kids there.

Doc Fords is reasonable, I think over rated. Fish Tacos are a favorite for many people.

Bubble room for tasty deserts

Mucky Duck for Sunsets and a cold beer.

Grandma dots is known for Coconut shrimp and keylime pie.....

Lazy Flamingo has reasonable prices for the island and will prepare your catch for you.

Bait Box has rod rental, we buy a rod at Walmart on the way from the airport. I think Baileys also rents rods. Gulf fishing is fun. For reasonable prices go to Ft. Myers beach for charters. Of course there are locals who give nice private trips as well.

Visit chamber of commerce, it is the first driveway on your right just over the causeway. There will be free newspapers, literature and coupons. Also go online

http://www.sanibel-captiva.org/index.asp

My husband likes golfing at Beachview and Dunes. I know he has rented from Beachview. Dunes has more critters to see. Beachview has a website that he gets specials E-mailed to him. The rates change depending on the time and season.

This is a long note.....sorry!

Have a Great time!

Get answers to your questions about Sanibel Island