A city in Lee County on Sanibel Island. A barrier island. In late 2007, a new, higher bridge was completed with no drawbridge. There is a $6 toll. There needs to be that balance between preservation and development.
The easy causeway access makes Sanibel a popular tourist destination! Shell beaches and wildlife refuges. The largest wildlife refuge is J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
The main thoroughfare is Periwinkle Way (stores and restaurants). The Gulf Drives; East, Middle and West have most of the accommodations.
A short bridge over Blind Pass links Sanibel to the town of Captiva on Captiva Island. In 1926, a hurricane’s storm surge severed Captiva Island from Sanibel Island and created a new channel; Blind Pass.
Captiva & Captiva Island
Captiva is a barrier island to Pine Island. Captiva Island is north of Sanibel Island and located offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Roosevelt Channel on the east side of the island is named for Theodore Roosevelt who fished there.
Robert Rauschenberg was one of the largest landowners. His 35-acres with studio is intact on Captiva’s northern end.
Heading Over the Bridge
15 Miles of Beaches, 250 Kinds of Shells, 50 Kinds of Fish,
25 Miles of Bike Paths, 230 Kinds of Birds, & ZERO Traffic Lights.
aka the Sanibel Island Light or Point Ybel Light.
Located on the eastern end of the island and was built to mark the entrance to San Carlos Bay. The 98-foot tall lighthouse was first lit on August 20, 1884.
Interesting Fact: The ship bringing ironwork for the tower sank two miles from Sanibel Island. A crew of hard-hat divers from Key West recovered all but two of the pieces for the tower.
Punta Rassa became an important port in the 1830’s up to the Spanish-American War. The port was primarily used to ship cattle from Florida to Cuba.
Beautiful Blue Waters
Love This Sign
Can you imagine having to answer the phone throughout the day and state “She Sells Sea Shells” – ha! A true tongue twister and a great play on words!
The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum on Sanibel is the only museum in the world dedicated entirely to the study of shells.
- Sand Dollars
The Gulf side beaches on both Sanibel and Captiva have a variety of seashells as well as large quantities of seashells. This is due to Sanibel being a barrier island, which is part of a large plateau that extends out into the Gulf of Mexico. This plateau acts like a shelf for seashells to gather.
There is the Sanibel Shell Fair in early March.
The “Sanibel Stoop” is people bending down as they look for seashells!