Our favorite kinds of trips are the ones that surprise us. Being the intense planners and researchers that we are, it’s few and far between that a destination takes us off guard. When we heard we were going to the Fort Myers area of Florida, we really had no idea what to expect. We figured it would be warm and tropical, we figured there’d be palm trees, and we figured we might get to try some good seafood. But we had NO idea how truly spectacular (and wonderfully under the radar) this little slice of heaven is.
Today we’re going to give you FIVE REASONS why Sanibel Island should be your next vaycay. So pour yourself some rum punch, put on a little Jimmy Buffett, and enjoy!
1. It’s TROPICAL.
You’re probably thinking “Duh!” But when it comes to travel destinations, this place is tropical gold. It’s easy to get to, it’s affordable, and it feels very undiscovered.
We stayed at the dreamiest South Seas Island Resort, where palm trees line every street, little blue trolleys take you from one location to the next, employees know you by name, and the sunsets are some of the best we’ve ever seen. (Especially when you’re watching them from the ocean-front pool, holding an ice-cold mojito!)
The ocean views from our room were incredible. We felt like we were in a Nicholas Sparks novel - as the bright blue ocean and lush green grass didn’t seem real! Not to mention the wildlife - we saw dolphins, beautiful birds, manatees, and monkeys!
2. It’s SECLUDED
As we get older, we appreciate locations that feel a little more “off the beaten path”. Sanibel Island is peaceful, quiet, and the very definition of relaxed. Not once did we ever have to wait in line or drive in traffic. We were able to truly enjoy our day, and not have to worry about rushing to get a table for dinner or bypassing the crowds. Whether we were at the resort's Harbourside Bar & Grill, or Gramma Dot's for a hearty lunch in town, we never felt like we were in an overcrowded tourist hub. This is an extremely rare experience these days (and we loved it)!
3. It’s ROMANTIC
Trolly rides to dinner, sunsets on the beach, drinks by the pool, live music… The South Seas Island Resort is every couple’s dream! While they definitely cater to families, don’t let that sway you from booking a trip. Our stay on Sanibel Island was easily one of the most romantic getaways we’ve had in awhile - and we can't wait to go back! Maybe even with kids! ;)
4. It’s THRILLING
You can easily spend a week in Sanibel and do nothing but chill. (Which if that is how you vacation, we affirm it!!) But if you’re adventure-seekers like us, the options are ENDLESS. In the short weekend that we were there, we went parasailing with Sunny Island Adventures, kayaking in J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, ocean swimming, seashell hunting, and SO much more. We also had some wild weather, which for Californians (in a perpetual drought) is a real treat!
5. It’s BURSTING with SEASHELLS!!!
We know. That’s not something you hear every day. Which is exactly what makes this destination AWESOME. The beaches are FILLED with seashells!
They’re unique. They’re intriguing. And they’re SO beautifully complex! Make sure you plan to explore the island with a guide, as learning and hunting for seashells was definitely the highlight of our trip. (Bobby could’ve spent ALL DAY collecting seashells!) Check out our blog from last month to learn more about seashells!
***BONUS*** There is SO much to see in the surrounding area
Whether you hop on a boat and head to a surrounding island (for more amazing shelling), or head into Fort Myers for more beautiful beaches, there is SO much to see in this part of Southwest Florida. We spent one day exploring the surrounding islands and enjoyed an AMAZING lunch at the restaurant & inn on Cabbage Key. Our favorite part is that there is more than $70,000 on the walls taped up by guests, and the restaurant donates whatever falls off to charity (which ends up being more than $10,000 a year... AWESOME). We had another day where we toured Fort Myers and saw the amazing shopping, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates (Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were buds), and the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. All that to say... we needed more time!
There you have it. The five reasons (+ Bonus) why you should adventure to Sanibel Island. We’re pretty sure we could come up with about 500 more reasons, so feel free to shoot us an email if you have any questions - and let us know when you do make it out to the South Seas Island Resort! Chances are we’ll drop what we’re doing and come meet you. ;)
Thank you to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel for sponsoring this post!