If you want to get away from the cold weather to enjoy a more sunny climate, you’re not alone. Every year, millions of Americans take a vacation from the wintertime weather in search of sunshine. Sunshine is good for both the body and spirit because it leaves you feeling relaxed and renewed. If you’re looking for beautiful sandy beaches, outdoor recreation, and the best in entertainment, there’s no place like Sanibel Island, Florida. This is why you need to visit Sanibel Island ASAP.
Image via Flickr by jthetzel
If you enjoy beach-combing, you’ll find plenty of treasures on Sanibel Island. In fact, it has won awards for its abundance of shells, and it is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in Florida. Sanibel Island is actually made of shells and is located only an hour away from Fort Myers. There are plenty of great places to stay on the mainland and on the island.
Sanibel’s unusual geography acts as sort of a shovel and gathers many of the seashells that the Gulf waters wash in from the Caribbean. Shell searchers often crowd the beaches during extreme low tide, hunching over and gazing at the sand in what has been nicknamed the “Sanibel Stoop.” Visitors often find up to 60 variety of shells, including conches, junonias, and cockle shells.
The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a popular refuge on the island that’s part of the biggest undisturbed mangrove ecosystem in the United States. It’s known throughout the globe for its incredible migratory bird population, which includes over 245 species of birds. The refuge includes about 6,400 acres of natural mangrove forest and lush cordgrass marshes to explore. Go early in the morning during low tide when the fish get stuck in shallow pools and make it easy for birds of prey to capture them. Have your camera charged and ready because you’re going to need it.
If you enjoy arts and culture, BIG ARTS (Barrier Island Groups for the Arts) is something you should check out while you’re in the area. The organization provides a performing arts hall in downtown Fort Myers that seats over 400 people. It’s the go-to place for world-renowned intimate live theater, all kinds of musical performances, speakers, art exhibits, and workshops taught by the most talented of artists. BIG ARTS is committed to providing outstanding cultural experiences to Sanibel and Captiva Island tourists and residents alike.
Sanibel Island also has a rich history. The famous explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon, discovered the Island in 1513 and named it “Santa Isybella,” after Queen Isabella. He was searching for the “Fountain of Youth” at the time but his expedition was interrupted by battles with the hostile Calusa natives. Juan Ponce de Leon eventually was shot with an arrow and died. The island is also renowned for lots of pirate activity during the 15th and 16th century.
Sanibel Island is a great place to get away from it all. From sandy beaches and warm sunny days to arts, entertainment, and scenic natural beauty, there is no shortage of fun activities. Plan your trip today.