The Sunshine State is blessed with so many islands, drifting at varying distances from the sandy white shores. They remind me of planets circling a brilliant star, each one part of the celestial family but with its own unique atmosphere and geological features. Like the crew of the Enterprise, my mission is to explore these “strange new worlds,” with the obvious difference that other people have gone there before. But that matters little. Sanibel Island is one place that I could never tire of visiting!
Of course there is everything that you would expect from a world-class tropical vacation spot, and having been to over 40 countries, I speak from experience. But Sanibel Island is not a carbon copy of any other Southwest Florida locale. Shaped like a cradle, it curls northwestward, tapering into Captiva Island. Farther north takes you to North Captiva Island, then on to Cayo Costa and points beyond.
Visit Sanibel Island!
One of the simpler pleasures, and most popular pastimes, on Sanibel Island is gathering the bright, beautiful seashells that wash up on the beaches. Brilliant white sand dollars and striped scallops lie scattered among pastel-colored specimens of cobalt blue, margarine yellow and twilight pink. Natural works of art, these brine-borne treasures of every shape and kind bring thousands of visitors to Sanibel Island every year. The act of gathering seashells, while holding a bucket in one hand and sifting through the sand with the other, has become known as “the Sanibel Stoop.” There is even a shell museum on the island.
History and architecture buffs will want to visit Sanibel Island’s Point Ybel Lighthouse, a 98-foot tall structure, complete with a spiral staircase, erected in 1884. Not exactly an artistic wonder, the lighthouse has nevertheless found a permanent place in the hearts of island residents and tourists. Despite this, the structure was in danger of being demolished in 1972. Granted a reprieve, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places two years later, and to this day, is used by the United States Coast Guard.
Sanibel Island has miles of blissful beaches, perfect for every type of outdoor activity that you can imagine (except perhaps skiing)! But of all the recreational and educational pursuits that could cram a vacation full of fun and exciting stuff, sometimes my favorite thing to do . . . is nothing!
Visit Sanibel Island and you will not be disappointed.