In July, following our family vacation to Walt Disney World, we extended our stay and traveled from Orlando, Florida to Sanibel Island, Florida. Having visited Fort Myers and Sanibel briefly last year, we were eager to go back and experience Sanibel for a longer stay.
Sanibel Island, Florida Travel Guide
Where We Stayed
Last year, we stayed in Fort Myers and drove to Sanibel Island, so we were really excited to find a place to stay on the island. We chose an Airbnb located at Sanibel Siesta — a condo located just a brief walk to the beach.
After the fun-filled Disney portion of our trip, we wanted to really soak up the beach, be in nature, and look for shells! This location ended up being perfect, not only because of its close proximity to the beach, but also because the condo offered bicycle rentals — and we were able to explore and enjoy Sanibel by trail, too!
Places We Visited
Sanibel Island is small — with many shops and restaurants located on Periwinkle Way. The walking and biking trail runs along Periwinkle Way, so it’s really easy and fun to hop and and off the trail to visit different places. During our visit, the weather was humid and in the 90s, so we biked mainly to grab food and water! The places we visited on Sanibel Island included:
- Mudbugs Cajun Kitchen. While we primarily brought food and snacks to the beach so we could enjoy the outdoors, we did stop by Mudbugs for our first dinner on the island. The environment was really fun and lively — with a really good and varied menu, and live music!
- Tarpon Bay Beach. While our Airbnb was located near the beach, we biked to Tarpon Bay Beach for more shelling. I don’t think it’s possible for there to be a bad beach on Sanibel Island!
- J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Center. This was our second visit to the National Wildlife Center, and what I love about visiting is that, it will be a unique experience every time! In preparation for our visit, I purchased a Birds and Wildlife of Sanibel Island guide — a laminated pamphlet of all of the different wildlife we might see on Sanibel — and it makes driving through the National Wildlife Center even more exciting. The Wildlife Center has an education center, but otherwise, you can simply drive through, pull over, and spot wildlife as you go. This trip, we saw really big spiders, manatees, and tons of birds!
- Sanibel Sprout. For healthy vegan food and fresh smoothies, we loved Sanibel Sprout. We ate there twice during our stay on the island, because the menu offered such a big variety of plant-based options.
I’m so grateful we had another opportunity to visit Sanibel Island. I love the island so, so much and hope we can go back again in the future!