USA Beach Vacations - Sanibel Island





 Sanibel Island Travel Tips
Sanibel Island

Keep in Mind...

  • Food is a fine art Seafood is all the rage, particularly grouper and stone crabs. For dessert, order something with chocolate pudding fruit, a locally grown fruit that's filled with a sweet, chocolate-colored pulp. 
  • There's a knack to shelling For the best assortment of whelks, conchs and sand dollars, visit the beach an hour before low tide or right after a rain shower. Ask at your hotel's front desk for a guide to finding the best "catch."
This secluded Fort Myers offshoot is considered even more low-key, quiet and quaint than its Gulf Coast neighbor, and that's saying a lot. Casual is the order of the day on Sanibel Island; a shabby chic vibe permeates the Periwinkle Way galleries, restaurants and shops; seashells cover every sandy and linoleum surface. In fact, the abundant seashells have become this island's (and its smaller sister, Captiva's) claim to fame. You'll find plenty of beachcombers practicing the "Sanibel stoop" -- what locals call shelling -- on any lengthy stretch of sand. Plan on joining them for at least one afternoon of your stay; that is, if the mood strikes you. The residents of laid-back Sanibel wouldn't have it any other way.

 Sanibel Lighthouse

Best Times to Visit Sanibel Island

The best time to visit Sanibel Island is December to April, the peak season. Trips during these five months will be more expensive than at other times, so start planning early. Still, this is when you'll find idyllic beach weather. The late fall is a good time to secure a room deal and do a little shelling in the now chilly gulf water. Avoid the hurricane season altogether -- if you want to visit in summer, then plan your trip for May or June, before the threat of bad storms.
December-April Temperatures could fall to the mid 50s, but they will most likely stay in the mid 70s. And you might find the quiet island a little too quiet at other times of year. In other words, visiting during Sanibel's peak season might be worth the added expense. If you're interested in a winter trip, however, you should book a few months in advance. Last-minute room rates can start around $250 a night.
Key Events:
May-June
The price is right at Sanibel Island's best hotels, but you should shoot for May as opposed to June. The later month is the rainiest on the island. When the sun is shining, however, you'll experience mid 80s on most days.
July-September Sanibel summers are rainy with a chance of hurricanes. Those properties, which  are still open for business, will offer rooms for around $150 a night.
October-November Florida's late-fall weather is spectacular; on Sanibel Island you'll see lows in the 60s and highs in the 70s and 80s. You won't be able to get in the water every day, and you should certainly pack a sweater for the chilly evenings. But still, you'll find the tides are generally low (translation: good shelling conditions). Room rates are the same as the summer time (around $150 a night), but without the threat of a bad storm.

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