Sanibel Island Things to Do

Find out the things to do on Sanibel Island. We spent a week on Sanibel Island and found lots of fun things to do. Find accommodations and restaurants for yourself on the interactive maps. Make sure you check out the valuable resources at the end of the page. 

Sanibel Island is one of the top places to visit in the world
Sanibel City Pier

A Week on Sanibel Island

We have been to this area of Florida on three different occasions. It is referred to as the ‘Old Florida’ because it is not as developed as the Atlantic side of Florida.

There are still many small communities that seem to be a throwback to the 1950s. We spent a week on Sanibel Island with friends that have a two week timeshare at one of the condo resorts on the beach at the southern tip of Sanibel Island. They have been going there for years and a whole group of Canadians that they introduced us to have been going to the same resort for over 30 years.

The island is small and is reached by a toll bridge from the mainland south of Fort Myers. You can fly into Fort Myers and either rent a car, take a shuttle or take an Uber to the island. Once on the island, you don’t really need a car. We had the use of bikes in the condo where we were staying and I biked all over the island.

The first morning we headed to the beach for our daily walk. It didn’t take us long to discover the Sanibel Shuffle as we shuffled along with our heads down looking for precious shells on the beach. The beach is made of billions of shells from the Gulf of Mexico.

The sand is firm and great for walking. There were a lot of people doing their daily walk along the beach and past the iconic steel lighthouse. Around the corner is the Sanibel City Pier. It seems to be the local meeting place. People walk to it, stand on the pier for a while looking out at the ocean and Fort Myers in the distance before taking off to finish their walk.

We had a pretty laid back week on Sanibel Island using the condo pool, sitting on the beach, going for bike rides and doing a little sightseeing. One day we drove up Periwinkle Drive to check out the stores that are found mostly in small strip malls. There are no fast food or tacky stores allowed on Sanibel Island. There are no buildings higher than the trees and there are no traffic lights.

There is a busy intersection at the bridge entrance where Sanibel has a traffic policeman directing traffic during the busy part of the day. At night the intersection is a 4-way stop.

At the north end of Sanibel is a bridge over to Captiva Island. We stopped at Mucky Duck’s, a local favourite, to have a drink and sit on the beach to watch the waves.  Further up the road is the small Captiva cemetery. It is interesting to see the graves decorated with shells from the beaches. There is a small church on the property along with the local library/museum.

The museum has been recently redone and they did a great job of it. It is located in a small room. The displays are great and they have used technology to enhance the exhibit. The attached library is very inviting with lots of quiet areas to read. I know I would be spending a lot of time there if I was staying on the island for a month or two.

Sanibel Island is a great place to spend a week or a month. In November the weather was warm. It was not crowded. We really enjoyed our time on the island and look forward to going back again.

Things to Do on Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island things to do, walk the beach
Aerial view of Sanibel Island beach
Sanibel Island things to do, see the historic lighthouse
Sanibel Lighthouse
Sanibel Island things to do, check out the marina
Marina Dock
Sanibel Island things to do, go Manatee spotting
Manatee Sign
Sanibel Island things to do, go fishing and shrimping
Jensen's Marina skeleton
Sanibel Island things to do, charter a boat
Sanibel Boat
Sanibel Island things to do, visit the graveyard
Captiva Cemetery Sign
Sanibel Island things to do, see the unique grave coverings
Captiva Grave

Sanibel Island Accommodations

Sanibel Island Eats

There is good food shopping on Sanibel Island with two main supermarkets; Jerry’s Food and Bailey’s General Store. I liked Jerry’s Food the best as it had a good selection of produce, meat, seafood and wine. 

We bought most of our food at Jerry’s and cooked each night except one. We picked up beautiful ribeye steaks one day at Bailey’s. The other days we bought great seafood at Jerry’s and cooked up delicious crab cakes, shrimp scampi, seafood boil, and panned fried fish. 

The only restaurant we went to was Mudbugs Cajun Kitchen on Periwinkle Drive. It is a bi-level restaurant and we sat on the second floor balcony. We got there at the end of Happy Hour (everyday from 11-5) and were able to have two drinks and two appetizers at half price. 

The food was great and the service was wonderful. I had Étouffée for my main for $18. It was delicious. There was a one man band playing Cajun music the entire time we were there. 

I would go back to Mudbugs. Good food, good service, good atmosphere and good value. Click here for the menu.   

Sanibel Island Resources

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