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Accommodation and day tripping

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Ireland
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Accommodation and day tripping

Hi, trying to plan a trip to FL from Ireland in July. We hope to spend a few days in Sanibel - maybe 2/3/4 days. How long would you suggest? If so, would it be a good idea to take some day trips by car from Sanibel and where to? We wouldn't like to be driving for longer than an hour each way for a day trip. And has anyone any feedback on the Anchor Inn in Sanibel? It looks very cute. Thanks!

Captiva Island...
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1. Re: Accommodation and day tripping

I read your other posts and would suggest since you are planning to travel all over Florida, staying on Sanibel for the entire 3 days. Sanibel is over 2/3 rds nature reserve and there are an abundant amount of things to do in a short stay!

Anchor Inn is one of the more economical budget minded places to stay. It's on Periwinkle Way, the main road through Sanibel. You'll have to bike or drive to the beach from here. The rooms are no frills very basic. There are daily rentals closer to the beach if that's what you are looking for. Other wise, Anchor Inn has a good location for restaurants and shops.

The Bakery
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2. Re: Accommodation and day tripping

I would also suggest considering Sunshine Island Inn, just across the street from a beach entrance. It's worth a look.

Taking day trips by car is kind of a pain, but the one I would suggest is spending a day at Lover's Key State Park. Beautiful spot and worth dealing with Ft Myers Beach town traffic to see it.

Otherwise, I would urge you to take a trip in Captiva Cruises. McCarthy's Marina is just on Captiva, about 20-30 minutes from Sanibel's east end where you'd be staying and they offer a lot of different cruises of various lengths to out island or just to watch the sunset from the water as dolphins play in the wake. I've taken on every visit for nearly 30 years and each time is great.

Do make sure to take a tram tour thru Tarpon Bay Explorers of Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. I'd try and book the last cruise of the day (a personal favorite as you usually see more birds then) and take time to poke around the other sedate, but interesting attractions, like the Bailey-Mathews Shell Museum.

Like fishing? Adventures in Paradise offers a group pontoon boat fishing trip in the sound for flats fishing, a hugely popular spot for dedicated fisherman and beginners alike. You can also book a private boat, but it is pricey. Fishing guides supply bait and equipment on request. Or rent poles and buy bait at The Bait Box and go fish off the Sanibel Pier up by the Lighthouse on the eastern tip of the island. Rent bikes and take a ride along some of Sanibel's 24 miles of bike paths. Or just spend a day on the beach and develop your shelling skills - see the long thread by Jane from Ottawa for tips.

There are also some great little shops scattered across several shopping centers for mementos of your trip.

You can be as busy or as quite as you like. It's a very nature oriented destination, no amusement areas, mini-golf, costumed characters, little night life, it's geared to those who enjoy laid back vacations away from the noise and crowds of Orlando and the east coast beaches. Three days is pretty much a minimum.

Edited: 10:43 pm, February 20, 2014
Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Accommodation and day tripping

You have been given great advice from bean and tourmaline. I ditto all they have said. However if you only have three days on Sanibel I would not do a day trip off the island. We did do Lovers key state park and it was lovely! but we are here for two weeks so did not mind taking a full day away.

Enjoy your stay

Boston...
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4. Re: Accommodation and day tripping

I will take the good advice too, Tour! And Jane, I will be there for one week, do you think Lovers Key is worth one of those precious days?

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Accommodation and day tripping

Well...as much as we enjoyed lovers key, if were only here for one week and only wanted to do one off island trip I personally would recommend that you go to to the Edison & Ford estate. I have to say that was one of the highlights of our trip. I honestly did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did. And we do want to go back next time we are here as we did not finish the actual museum or the laboratories.

That is my two cents worth :)

Captiva Island...
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6. Re: Accommodation and day tripping

Absolutely 100 percent worth it! We did a day trip in December and its one of the highlights of our trip. Still off season in December, so we hit no traffic what so ever. Gorgeous beach, beautiful trails, crystal clear water. We were the only ones on the beach the day we went, my kind of day!

Captiva Island...
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7. Re: Accommodation and day tripping

We've also done the Edison Tour, if you go you will be in awe of the massive mangroves! Both great choices!

Hell, Michigan
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8. Re: Accommodation and day tripping

I was on lovers key for three days very recently, while it was beautiful, not worth fighting ft myers traffic to get there.

I would just stay on the island, if you are here for three days.

Edited: 10:50 am, February 21, 2014
Troy, Ohio, United...
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9. Re: Accommodation and day tripping

several mentioned the Edison estate tour -a great (and new) option is to use Captiva Cruises for a boat trip to the estate (lunch is even included - wasn't available when we went in October - but its the top of our list for next time !!!!

Ottawa, Canada
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10. Re: Accommodation and day tripping

hey Karen..we thought we would take that lunch cruise to the estates, but in the end we opted to drive. I'd love to hear a review if you do it. We are definitely going back next year so this might be an option.

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