Sanibel Island is a quiet and laid-back beach destination that is the perfect escape from the daily grind. The small islands of Sanibel and Captiva boast rich wildlife and untamed nature that is hard to find elsewhere. Being outside is a way of life here, and there are so many ways to explore the land and water of Southwest Florida. Recently named one of Southern Living's Best Beach Towns in 2021, Sanibel Island has so much to offer in such a small space.
Sanibel Island is small, just 12 miles in length, and nearly 70 percent of the land here is protected. Plus, the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Pine Island Sound offer abundant opportunities for water activities, including boating, fishing, kayaking, and more. On the island, you'll find opportunities for shelling, hiking, biking, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing.
If you're looking for a destination this summer where you can get out in nature and enjoy the fresh air without crowds of people, consider a stay on Sanibel Island or Captiva Island.
J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
The J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit while you're on Sanibel Island. This refuge covers 6,400 acres and is home to more than 30 species of mammals, 50 types of reptiles, and roughly 250 species of birds. The diverse range of wildlife here is due to the rich ecosystems that cover the area. The refuge boasts the largest mangrove ecosystem in the U.S., as well as swamps, tidal flats, mudflats, freshwater marshes, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and more. Animals that you might see here include alligators, manatees, river otters, turtles, frogs, and more.
At the park, you can go birdwatching, biking, and hiking. There is a four-mile scenic drive as well if you'd prefer to stay in your car, but we recommend getting out and enjoying the fresh air here when you can.
Tarpon Bay Explorers
If you need to rent a kayak, canoe, boat, fishing gear, standup paddleboards, or bikes, Tarpon Bay Explorers is the place to go. In addition to rentals, you can go on a guided tour of Tarpon Bay, which has received numerous accolades and praises for its beauty. Go fishing, visit the best sites, or just cruise the calm waters with Tarpon Bay Explorers.
Things to Do in Sanibel During the Summer
Being out on the water is just as great as exploring the land. There are several spots on Sanibel Island where you can rent a boat, kayak, or canoe, or you can book a boat charter or tour so you can learn from the locals.
Kayaking in Sanibel Island Florida is a great way to get in touch with the natural beauty and view some of the most pristine mangroves and gentle waterways in the region.
If you're planning on doing some Sanibel Island fishing while you're here, you have plenty of options. Fishing is great year-round along the Gulf of Mexico, Tarpon Bay, Pine Island South, and beyond. You can catch a wide variety of fish here, including Tarpon, Cobia, Grouper, Snapper, and more. Going on a fishing charter is the perfect way to experience the best fishing possible.
Plan Your Summer Vacation 2021 to Sanibel Island
Summer is great on Sanibel Island for a lot of reasons. While mid-day temperatures can be hot and humid, it offers the perfect excuse to relax by the pool or wade in the water at our beaches. If you're looking for a laid-back beach destination for your summer travel this year, consider a place where you can roam and explore the abundant natural resources. Sanibel and Captiva Islands are truly like no other place.