Where in the world can you go for the one of the best shelling beaches on earth? The Hill Team loves Sanibel island in southwest Florida. We like finding these precious “Gifts from the Sea” We also enjoy the abundance of fresh sea food. The pristine sugar white sands draws me back to Sanibel when I long for a quick stay-cation. Did you know that anywhere you are in Florida is only 60 miles away, at most, from a beach? Back to Sanibel. Your choice of what to do…go fishing, shelling, boat to Cabbage Key from Captiva, or lay in a hammock all day.
I am told that there is good shopping on Sanibel if you happen to hit a rare rainy day. For me, walking and shelling in the solitude of the warm rain is bliss. Our team’s first choice of island activities is to head to the adjoining island of Captiva. This island also captivates us.
We stop at the j. n. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, named for Pulizter Prize – winning political cartoonist. Darling, an avid conservationalist. He created this 6,000 acre santuary as a refuge for hundreds of species of birds. It is half on Cativa and half on Sanibel. You do not want to miss this natural treasure trove of mangroves and wild life. Visitors to this natural park can drive, hike, bike or paddle the trails and streams. Call the Visitor’s Center (941-472-1100) for times and directions.
Hill TeamTips: These southwest islands or keys in Florida are lovely all year, but off-season in summer, late spring and early autumn is the best time to visit. Call or email the Chamber of Commerce in the village or Island you plan to visit. They know of small B&B’s, as well as any festivals in the area. Maralyn has found Sanibel to be an excellent spot for business meetings. Several full service hotels have good meeting facilities, top chefs, spas, golf and safe, sandy beaches. One of the cafe’s will pack you a basket lunch for a picnic table in the park, beach, or sail boat feast. If on Captiva, watch the golden sunset and sip British beer and ale on tap at The Mucky Duck. The food is good too, especially the “catch of the day.”
Here is the website for Sanibel Island and it has a wealth of information.