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Best Time To Visit Sanibel Island

Are you planning the ultimate beach getaway to Sanibel Island or Captiva Island? Depending on what type of vacation you need, each season in Southwest Florida has something different and unique to offer. 

Whether you want to go shelling, view Florida manatees in the wild, go golfing, or just unwind on the pristine beaches, use our guide to determine the best time to visit Sanibel Island.

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From December until April, Sanibel Island boasts the perfect weather so it's no surprise this is the most popular time of the year for travelers. Temperatures range between highs in the mid-70s and mid-80s, to lows in the mid-50s and mid-60s. In other words, it's perfect. The peak season welcomes winter snowbirds, spring break travelers, and just those hoping to escape the cold, snowy winter. 

During the winter season, you can visit the Sanibel Island Farmers Market, celebrate New Year's Eve, or peruse the Annual Sanibel Shell Festival. January - March are the best months of the year to go shelling on Sanibel and Captiva. 

Keep in mind that when you travel during the winter peak season in Sanibel and Captiva Islands that you have to book in advance. 


Spring is a great time to travel to Sanibel Island if you're on a budget. While spring break can still be a bit crowded, later in springtime is off-season. You won't have to deal with a lot of other travelers, but you might have to deal with some rain. May is typically less rainy than June and most days hit highs in the mid-80s. 

Memorial Day weekend is a great time to visit and kick off your summer on the beach. This weekend is also your last chance to attend the Sanibel Island Farmers Market until it starts back up again in late fall. 


Summer is the hottest and rainiest time of the year on Sanibel, but most rain showers don't last all day. The summer is great for beach-going and lounging by the pool, but it can be too hot for some to do more active things. The crowds in the summer are typically smaller, although it can get pretty crowded during the 4th of July weekend. 

The hurricane season is June 1 - November 30, and the latter part of the season is the most common time to experience tropical storms and hurricanes. 


While fall is peak hurricane season in Southwest Florida, it is also known for its perfect weather in October and November once the storm threat dissolves. Temperatures average between 60 and 80, ideal for outdoor activities like biking, golfing, and exploring the area's many nature preserves and parks. 

Fall is host to some of the best events on Sanibel and Captiva, including the Annual CROW Taste of the Islands, Ding Darling Days, and the Island Hopper Songwriter Fest.

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