The beaches of Sanibel Island are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state of Florida. Located 25 miles south of Fort Myers, this naturalized area attracts vacationers who want to explore the area's rich ecosystem. Sanibel is known for its beaches full of seashells and is home to a variety of wildlife, including dolphins, sea turtles, birds, and sea lions.
The driving force behind the preservation of the island is the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, which was established in 1967 to preserve the island's natural beauty, wildlife, and natural resources, as well as its history. Take a walk on Sanibel Island and get to know the island's ecosystem, and discover its wilder side.
Two of the best public places are Bowman Beach and Sanibel Beach State Park on the west side of the island. Sanibel Island offers a variety of walking trails leading to the beaches and a varied landscape that extends from the sea to the land.
Tourism is relatively new on Sanibel Island, as the causeway that connects the island to the mainland was only built in 1963. The countless shells washed ashore by the high tide attract thousands of tourists each year, who also come to enjoy the countless sea turtles, crabs, and other marine life. The island has earned it a well-deserved reputation as one of the best places in the world to find seashells.
While most travelers are drawn to beaches, wildlife, and especially shells, there is even more to see on the island than just these things. The drive from the Fort Meyers airport to Sanibel Island takes about 45 minutes.
The main road through the island is called Periwinkle Way and contains numerous bars, restaurants, and shopping areas. It passes most of Sanibel's natural attractions and is your main route for adventures. Bring a kayak or rent one and explore the tangle of Mangrove and Bayak islands as maritime explorers do.
The Sanibel Lighthouse, which is located on the east end of the island, was one of the first to be built on Florida's Gulf Coast. The 98-foot structure was first lit in 1884.
Back then, a town hall was set up to transport goods to and from the island, and a dock was built at its eastern end to allow ferry services to and from the mainland. The area was then redeveloped to accommodate more settlers, with the construction of a new town hall and the opening of the first hotel in the city.
The lighthouse was automated in 1949. Today, the Florida Coast Guard maintains the lighthouse, which is not open to the public but is probably the most emblematic building on Sanibel Island and a popular tourist attraction in itself.