Blogs from Sanibel Island, Florida, United States, North America

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It's summer time in South Florida - the snowbirds have long gone back to points north, it's blazing hot outside, and I'm in need of a rest. This means its time for a beach break in Sanibel Island, one of my favorite places where all you need is a bike, bathing suit and tons of sunscreen. While Sanibel is super busy during the winter months, in the summer it has the feel of a sleepy beach town. The bike path lined streets and beautiful beaches are left for the locals to enjoy. We try to spend at least a few days here each summer. Small condominium complexes line the beaches of Sanibel, many of which are available for weekly rentals. We rented a nice two bedroom condo within a two minute walk to the beach. Four ... read more
Bike path through the preserves


Biking on Florida's Sanibel and Captiva Islands Bikes can be rented at Billy’s Rentals at 1509 Perriwinkle way (located not far from the Perriwinkle campground) near the Sanibel causeway Biking on Sanibel and Captiva islands (off the coast of Ft. Myers) is a real pleasure. The two boomarang shaped islands have one main road and a few parallel roads and most of them have a bike path running beside the streets. Even though parallel to roads there is usually a thick hedge and it actually appears rural On Captivia Island there is no path but there is very little road traffic. Paths also along the southern beach areas and through J N Ding Wildlife Refuge area. The paths are well used as many visitors (lots of condos) simply leave the car be... read more
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North America » United States » Florida » Sanibel Island October 2nd 2011

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A whole week of laying on the beach on Sanibel Island. Heaven! We got up each morning, grabbed the beach chairs and umbrellas and headed to the beach. It was 85 degrees each day, with low humidity and a light breeze, PERFECT! The Surf temperature was 83 degrees and there are sand bars so you walk out really far in the water. We saw several sting rays, tarpon, and lots of sea birds. Two thirds of Sanibel Island is a nature reserve with over 200 different species of birds. Most nights we went out to dinner. I love Florida seafood. And No, there was no evidence of the oil spill, anywhere. One day we went to the Edison and Ford Summer Estate Museum. This was our only day inland, and it was very hot and very ... read more
Ed on Beach in Sanibel
Sandpiper
Pool Time

North America » United States » Florida » Sanibel Island November 17th 2010

We are now on Pine Island, but there were some things about Sanibel Island that I hadn't mentioned. Periwinkle Park was a perfect spot for the RV for a week. Two ponds with tons of birds & ducks, an aviary with resident docent, Libby the Bird Lady, nice neighbors (for full season reservations people wait 10 years to get booked into this very popular park), good off-season availability (the seaon starts at Christmas and continues through April), proximity to beaches, restaurants, galleries, and more! I also forgot to mention that most of the places we go to in Florida have great off-road bike trails. They're mostly flat, scenic, and certainly on Sanibel where traffic can be an issue an efficient way to get to the beach. I've developed bikophobia. Combo of age, weight, and one little ... read more
Periwinkle Park
Libby, The Bird Lady of Periwinkly Park
Tropical Birds at Periwinkle Park

North America » United States » Florida » Sanibel Island November 13th 2010

During our week on Sanibel, we visited the JN "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge at least 6 times. The Visitors' Center has well-informed volunteers. We learned enough from Barry, our driver and narrator on the Tram ride through the preserve that we took the same route with the jeep the next day and spent more time "bird watching." We took a sunset cruise from the Tarpon Bay Facility where Brie, a marine biologist, did a fascinating pre-cruise talk around a salt water "table" and allowed us to hold many shell specimens. The cruise took us to several rookeries where hundreds of birds were returning to spend the night. Tarpon Bay is where we rented the kayaks for the Mangrove trail mentioned in a previous travel blog. The preserve was started when Ding Darling, a syndicated political ... read more
Rosate Spoonbills
Birds
Elevated Boardwalks

North America » United States » Florida » Sanibel Island November 11th 2010

On Friday, we disconnected from our site at Periwkle Park on Sanibel Island and headed to Pine Island, which is its own funky version of Paradise. This was our first stay (had always day tripped here) in the Sanibel/Captiva area. Our week was outstanding! Periwinkle RV Park folks are great - we met some 30 of them at their nightly sunset gathering the other evening. The garden setting, wild life ponds with native birds and ducks, tropical bird aviary, and proximity to beaches, restaurants, and attractions like the fab Ding Darling Nature Preserve put this camp ground on the five star list. Here's a little record of our last day here. Morning shelling at the Light House Beach. Breakfast at the Light House Cafe (they tout themselves as having the best breakfasts in the world! The ... read more
Breakfast at The Light House Grill
Shelling on the Sandbar
Shells

North America » United States » Florida » Sanibel Island November 5th 2010

We have visited Sanibel five or six times over the past few years. This is our first "stay!" We set up camp at Periwinkle Park - no credit cards; no pets; no Canadian checks. This park has its own quirky with a collection of quackers - native and exotic tropical birds; some free to swim in the pond beyond our site; and some in roomy cages. We learned that the "bird lady" has returned and gives "bird talks" at 10 am on weekdays; can't wait! First stop is the Sanibel Island Chamber Visitors Center. This source of information with well-informed staff, great maps, brochures, and coupons is well worth a visit. Next a drive for a walk on Lighthouse Beach (there is ample beach parking at $2/hour). Then a drive along Periwinkle Way to pick out ... read more
Clouds & Dunes
Sanibel Light House
The Sanibel Stoop


The truth is touring the J.N. ("Ding") Darling National Wildlife Refuge was not our first choice for the last day of our short trip to Sanibel Island. The main reason we decided to tour Wildlife Drive was because the Sanibel Thriller, which is touted as Sanibel and Captiva Islands' most exciting tour boat that circumnavigates both islands while luring acrobatic dolphins in its wake, was closed for the entire month of September. And as much as we wanted to be able to brag about having a Cheeseburger in Paradise on Cabbage Key, we decided to leave that for another day. So after being sold on the eco friendly tram that carts visitors through Sanibel Island's J.N. Darling National Wildlife Drive that we saw advertised in a brochure, Liz and I decided it would be worth shelling ... read more
Great Egret
Gathering on the Mud Flat
Towering Gumbo Limbo Tree

North America » United States » Florida » Sanibel Island September 7th 2010

I didn't feel too guilty yesterday about taking it easy on the beach knowing today we would be exploring as much as the island as possible on bicycle. With the ultra friendly locals, patient tourists behind the wheels of their motor vehicles (yes, even the northerners followed the rules to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists) and 22 miles of well paved and often shady bike paths spanning the entire island, we couldl not have chosen a better way to get to go exploring. And if we had been really on the ball, we would have worn our bathing suits so we could stop off for a swim when it got too hot. Sanibel Island is about 12 miles long and three miles at its widest point stretching more or less east to west. As we headed ... read more
Ospreys on the Lighthouse
Liz Taking a Breather
Gator Habitat




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