Green Cup Cafe (Fort Myers): It was a challenge for us to find healthy, organic cuisine in Fort Myers - so stumbling upon this place was like striking gold! They have delicious coffee, kombucha on tap, smoothies, juices, vegetarian and vegan options, and more! (@greencupcafe)

The Sanibel Bean (Sanibel): It’s nothing fancy, but this little coffee shop makes a great cup of coffee - and awesome cappuccinos too! (The Sanibel Bean on Instagram)

MoJoe’s Coffee Bar (Fort Myers Beach): We love MoJoe’s for the coffee, the friendly service, and the cozy outdoor patio. Oh, and their cold brew. They have really tasty (and strong) cold brew. (MoJoe’s on Instagram)


Lighthouse Cafe (Sanibel): This little cafe claims to have the “World’s Best Breakfast” - and while we’re not sure if we’d go that far, it’s pretty darn good. (And definitely the best in Sanibel!) Their menu is extensive, hearty, and affordable - and we’re still dreaming about their Blueberry Whole Wheat Hot Cakes. Go hungry. (@lighthouse_cafe_sanibel)

  • Bobby’s pick: Eggs Benedict “Lighthouse Style”

  • Alli’s pick: Blueberry Whole Wheat Hot Cakes

Sanibel Cafe (Sanibel): Lighthouse Cafe may have the best breakfast in Sanibel, but the Sanibel Cafe has them beat on the best French toast! This homey little cafe serves breakfast all day, and their “French Toast Trio” (one coated in coconut, one coated in corn flakes, and one coated with almonds) is not to be missed. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even order sauteed gator with eggs! (@sanibel_cafe)

  • Bobby’s pick: French Toast Trio

  • Alli’s pick: Cafe Sampler

The Island Cow (Sanibel): It’s not a trip to Sanibel without a trip to The Island Cow! This quirky and colorful restaurant is a favorite for visitors and locals alike, and whether you come for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’re sure to enjoy “Udderly Great Food” and friendly service! (The Island Cow on Instagram)

  • Bobby’s pick: Bonita Breakfast Burrito

  • Alli’s pick: The Juan-Bo Combo

Heavenly Biscuit (Fort Myers Beach): Located in a quaint old house with a wooden porch, Heavenly Biscuit serves up the most heavenly baked goods we’ve ever had. Their cinnamon and pecan rolls are to die for - don’t even get Bobby started on their biscuits and gravy! (Heavenly Biscuit on Instagram)


Coconut Jack’s Waterfront Grill (Bonita Springs): This waterfront bar and eatery has the tropical vibes down - and their seafood isn’t bad either! Make sure to save room for their famous key lime pie! (@coconutjackswaterfrontgrill)

  • Bobby’s pick: Grouper Sandwich

  • Alli’s pick: Mambo Mahi Tacos

Cabbage Key: Accessible only by boat, this casual cafe and bar is a must visit, and it’s supposedly the inspiration for Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger In Paradise”! The ambiance is awesome - sit underneath thousands of signed dollar bills inside, or outside on their picturesque patio! (@cabbage_key)

  • Bobby’s pick: Cabbage Key Hamburger

  • Alli’s pick: Cabbage Key Hamburger (it’s iconic!)

Barnacles (North Captiva Island): Also accessible by boat, this waterfront cafe serves island style cuisine with a twist. Try their famous black beans and yellow rice (sounds basic, we know - but it’s delicious), and Alli’s obsessed with their homemade sangria! And make sure you get a scoop of ice cream from Barnacle’s Ice Cream shop upstairs!

Keylime Bistro (Captiva Island): This brightly colored bistro serves tasty seafood and cocktails - but the real winners here are their famous key lime pie and live music! You’ll be dancing and singing their praises in no time! (@keylimebistrocaptiva)

The Bubble Room (Captiva): Definitely the most eccentric dining experience on the island, every inch of the Bubble Room is decorated with memorabilia and quirky decorations. The portions are huge, the “bubble bread” is amazing, and the experience is something you’ll never forget. (The Bubble Room on Instagram)

  • Bobby’s pick: The Tiny Bubble

  • Alli’s pick: Flaming Socra Cheese

Traders Sanibel): This is definitely one of the more elevated restaurants on Sanibel - and perfect for a date night! Try their stuffed lobster ravioli - it’s always a hit! (@tradersonsanibel)

Gramma Dot’s Restaurant (Sanibel): Probably the best coconut shrimp we’ve ever had was at Gramma Dot’s - and for that reason alone, we’ll keep coming back! Oh, and for the picture-perfect dockside views, and for a slice of the Captain’s Key Lime Pie! (Gramma Dot’s on Instagram)

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille (Sanibel): Grab a seat at the bar and a Mighty Mojito (or maybe a rum tasting?), and you’ve got the makings of a great night! It’s the spot to be on the weekends - and they have an extensive dinner menu if you’re hungry! (@docfords)

Lazy Flamingo: There’s nothing fancy about this little hole-in-the-wall locals spot, and that’s exactly why we like it! They have happy hour everyday, from 9:30pm-midnight - so it’s the perfect place to grab a beer (or two) after dinner! (@lazyflamingousa)

Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa: We won’t say this Marriott blew us away, but it is dependable and in a great location. The rooms can definitely use an upgrade, but they’re clean and have beautiful views of the water! (@sanibelharbourmarriott)

South Seas Island Resort (Captiva): This resort village has it all - everything from traditional guest rooms, to one to three bedroom villas, private homes, lagoon style pools, endless dining options, golf, tennis, water sports, and more! You could spend your entire time at South Seas and never get bored - it’s a destination in and of itself! (Their private beaches are also great for shelling, too!) (@ssislandresort)

Beachview Cottages (Sanibel): These bright and cheery cottages are steps from the beach, and each one has a full kitchen, living area, screened porch and an outside grill! It’s perfect for families, or if you’re traveling with pets. (@beachviewcottagessanibel)

Go shelling! Travel & Leisure has ranked Sanibel Island #1 of the Top 10 Best U.S. Shelling Beaches - kinda ransom, right? Sure, we all love hunting for seashells every now and then, but the shells at Sanibel are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Sanibel is home to approximately 250 shell species - that’s a lot of seashells!! Get the scoop on shelling in Sanibel here.

Kayak with Estero River Outfitters (Estero): Manatees, gators, and kayaks - oh my! One of the highlights of our time in Sanibel was kayaking down the Estero River, the people are friendly, the vegetation is lush, and you’re sure to spot some wildlife! (Just don’t get too close to the gators!) (@esteroriveroutfitters)

Rent Bikes at Billy’s Bike Shop (Sanibel): Biking around Sanibel island is the way to go! Sanibel has over 25 miles of shaded, picturesque bike trails - and it’s a really fun and leisurely way to explore. Plus, it’s only $15 to have a bike for the whole day! (@billysbikeshop)

ALL of Sanibel Island’s beaches are dog-friendly, and so is J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge - as long as you bring a leash! Keylime Bistro and RC Otters Island Eats are two fun restaurants that allow dogs, and the charming Beachview Cottages happily welcome four-footed friends!