Island Things To Do/Captiva Island Attractions
Sanibel Island is famous for the seashells that line its beaches year-round. Captiva also has good shelling, but sunset is the climax of the day on this west-facing island. Both islands have unlimited watersports: parasailing, backbay- surf- and offshore-fishing, sailing, paddling, and summer waverunners.
Both islands have miles of private beaches for you to enjoy, and pools galore. Sanibel has 26 miles of bike paths to explore. Both islands are filled with terrific, casual restaurants and shopping is fantastic at the many boutiques, galleries and shops. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and several other spots are fantastic for birding. And if you’ve never been to a place without the glare of streetlights, stargazing our night skies will utterly amaze you. We also have the world’s only seashell museum, an historic village, live theater and musicals, a small cinema, touring musical performances, and arts and crafts fairs. When it comes to nightlife, visitors can dine outdoors to live music, perform karoake, play pool, go to crab races, or dance the night away. But the best thing to do might just be falling asleep underneath a swaying palm, to the sound of the Gulf. You decide !
Local attractions of Sanibel and Captiva Islands:
Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum – 3075 San-Cap Road. Hours: 10am-4pm Tues-Sun; Closed Mondays. The Shell Museum is the only one of its kind in the United States. Exhibits are devoted to shells in art and history, shell habitats, rare specimens, fossil shells and local Sanibel-Captiva shells. Museum members and children 7 & under are free, youths 8 to 16
Captiva Cruises – Cruise to the famous island destinations of Useppa Island, Cabbage Key, Cayo Costa and Boca Grande or select the Photo Safari Cruise. On board you’ll enjoy interesting commentary and unforgettable scenery.
Dolphins jumping in the wake of the boat is a favorite attraction. Yachtsmen, young and old enjoy first class service aboard our spacious and comfortable vessels.
Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (C.R.O.W.) – 3883 San-Cap Road. Non-profit veterinary hospital dedicated to rehabilitation and return to the wild of ill, injured and orphaned native wildlife. Thousands of patients – from all over Southwest Florida – are received annually. C.R.O.W. also participates in wildlife studies and sponsors educational programs. Tours 11am Mon-Fri, 1pm Sunday, no tours on Saturday. $5 requested donation
Everglades Day Safari – An Everglades eco-tour of bird watching and wildlife photography of alligators, panthers, manatees, reptiles and other zoological and botanical interests in southwest Florida’s Big Cypress preserve and Everglades outback . A full day of nature by riverboat, hiking, airboats and van exploration with highly trained guides. Let us do the driving. Departs daily from Sanibel, Ft. Myers Beach and Naples/Marco Island area.
J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge – Open Sun-Thursday (closed Fridays), the Wildlife Drive opens daily beginning 1/2 hour after sunrise and closes 1/2 before sunset. The Visitor Center is open daily from 9-4 during summer months, and from 9-5 during the months of Nov-Apr.
Also visit the Tarpon Bay Marina Center for canoe and kayak rentals, bike rentals and independent or guided canoe and kayak tours around Tarpon Bay.
Old Town Sanibel – Just footsteps to Gulf & Bay world famous shelling beaches, stroll to quaint village shops, grocery, deli and one of the island’s best breakfast and lunch cafes. Visit nearby the historic Lighthouse, fishing pier, marina and nature walks. All just a short walk or bike ride from one of the four quaint inns and cottages in Old Town Sanibel.
What to do on Sanibel Island
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Center – Mile Marker 1, San-Cap Road. Hours: 8:30am-3pm Mon-Fri during the summer, 8:30am-4pm Mon-Sat during winter months. A not-for-profit organization dedicated to conserving the island’s natural resources. Several miles of walking trails, exhibits, marine touch tank, native plant nursery and nature store.
Sanibel Lighthouse – East end of Sanibel, public parking at the beach at east end of Periwinkle Way. First lit in August 1884. Since 1950, the U.S. Coast Guard property at the lighthouse has been a wildlife refuge.
Sanibel Historic Village & Museum is located at 950 Dunlop Road next to City Hall. The Village and Museum is closed until November