5 Things To Know About Sanibel Island

DATE: August 14, 2014

Here are 5 things to know about Sanibel Island before you take your next vacation!

 1. Tarpon Fishing Originated HERE

tarpon 1

Endless Summer Charters from Port Sanibel Marina Tarpon Fishing

The first tarpon reported to be caught was reeled in by William H. Wood in 1885, on the waters of Sanibel Island. This fish’s strength, stamina and fighting ability is why it’s known to be one of Florida’s premier game fish. Tarpon fishing is BEST between the months of May-June, as tarpon prefer water temperatures between 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit. To learn more about tarpon or other local game fish, contact Port Sanibel Marina at (239) 437-1660. The marina offers guided fishing with Endless Summer Charters, recognized as “The Best of the Gulfshore” by Gulfshore Life Magazine.

2. There are LOTS of Sea Shells HERE


Sanibel Island offers some of the BEST shelling in the world

Commonly known as the best place for shelling in the United States, as well as one of the best in the world, Sanibel Island is home to over 250 different kinds of sea shells. The island’s geographical location makes it a prime haven for sea shells to wash ashore. People are regularly spotted along the shores doing the “Sanibel Stoop,” dubbed from the movement of a person squatting down to collect sea shells. Come try it for yourself! Just pack a bucket or net and start “stooping.”

3. Life is SLOWER Here

island time

Life in Sanibel Island runs on Island Time

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live on “island time?”  You will QUICKLY find out, how SLOWLY life moves on the island when arriving to Sanibel.  The island is quiet, peaceful and the perfect escape for families and couples to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life.  As soon as you drive into the island, observe the Speed Limit. No one drives fast here. In fact, most automobiles travel under the speed limit, which offers increased safety for bikers and pedestrians exploring the island. Also, shops, restaurants and grocery stores close early before 9 p.m. to abide by the island’s seasonal “Lights Out Rule,” which is put into effect to protect the island’s treasured sea turtles, during mating season.

4. Wildlife Conservation is Serious HERE


Protecting nature and wildlife is a mission of the Sanibel Island community and city leaders.

Protecting nature and wildlife is a mission of the Sanibel Island community and city leaders. Part of the City of Sanibel’s mission statement describes Sanibel as the community’s sanctuary, “one in which a diverse population lives in harmony with the island’s wildlife and natural habitats.” Furthermore, the City strives to “be vigilant in the protection and enhancement of its sanctuary characteristics.” In fact, the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, located on Sanibel Island, is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the US. This wildlife refuge is known worldwide for its migratory bird populations. We suggest exploring the refuge via bicycle.

5. Biking > Driving HERE


Sundial Resort offers bikes for all ages included in the resort fee as an amenity for all of our guests.

Sanibel has tons of leisurely activities that are just a bike ride away, including the previously mentioned J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.  We also suggest biking to The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum where you will find the most enchanted collection of sea shells.

Overall, biking is better than driving even when heading to dinner or out for shopping at Shop on Sanibel. For your convenience,  Sundial Resort offers bikes for all ages included in the resort fee as an amenity for all of our guests. We also offer bikes for men and women, bikes with training wheels, bicycles built for two, surreys and towing carriages for babies. There are also wide bike paths to journey throughout the entire island for safe and enjoyable travels as you explore one destination to the next on Sanibel Island.

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