Sanibel Island provides the perfect vacation spot… 15 Miles of Beaches, 25 Miles of Bike Paths, 50 Kinds of Fish, 230 Kinds of Birds, 250 Kinds of Shells & 0 Traffic Lights. Since 1884, Point Ybel Lighthouse has guided seafarers to Sanibel Island's shores. In fact, Sanibel Island just earned the US News and World Report Travel #2 spot in The Best Family Beach Vacations in the USA.
Located along the Gulf of Mexico, just a short drive from Fort Myers, Sanibel Island is justly famed for its sunsets, lighthouse and luxurious resorts. By far, the most popular activity here is shelling – you barely can walk a step on the beach without indulging in the so-called "Sanibel Stoop" to search for shells. But there is so much else – fine accommodations, luscious dining (seafood, of course!), fishing, boating, and just plain relaxation, a chance to get away from the hurly burly, a chance to draw closer to nature. Thanks to easy causeway access, Sanibel is a popular tourist destination known for its wildlife refuges. More than half of the island is made up of wildlife refuges, the largest being J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The Island also hosts the Sanibel Historical Village and a variety of other museums and theaters. Lighthouse Beach is named after the famous Sanibel Lighthouse, which includes a popular fishing pier and nature trails. The most secluded beach on the island is Bowman's Beach; there are no hotels in sight and the beach has a "pristine and quiet" atmosphere. Interesting fact: Parts of George A. Romero's 1985 film Day of the Dead were shot on Sanibel Island. Romero had a second home on Sanibel, from which he rewrote Day of the Dead in 1984.
World-renown for its shelling, one can score some serious "treasures" here. It's a relaxing, fun activity for the loners, the lovers, and families. Shelling along the surf and beaches of Sanibel Island is unique in that the island lies east and west, different than most islands, which lie north and south. This direction allows Sanibel Island to "catch" abundant sea shells brought to its shores by the Gulf of Mexico. People from all over the world come to collect and admire the colorful "Treasures from the Sea". You will find the young and the old, crouched over in the famous "Sanibel Stoop", armed with buckets, bags and nets as they relentlessly search for the next, perfect conch shell. TIP: Best time to shell is at low tide; even better after a storm. It is NOT legal to take "live shells". Please return those treasures back to the water:) Shell-obsessed? Click here for more galore!
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