Sanibel Island and Captiva Island have received many awards over the past several years from some of the most respected national organizations in the country. From shelling and beaches to bird watching and overall a great place for family vacations. As you will see in the list below Sanibel & Captiva Islands have stood the test of time as a great place to visit for many many reasons.
Here is a compendium of our awards for the past 10+ years.
Sanibel Island & Captiva Island Awards
- 2017 – Expedia – 5th on the list of ’25 Friendliest Cities in America’
- 2017 – Trips to Discover – Sanibel Island was featured in the article “17 of the Best Beaches In Florida.”
- 2017 – National Geographic Travel – Sanibel listed 7th in their 21 Best Beaches in the World
- 2016 – The Culture Trip – Sanibel topped the list of – The 12 Most Beautiful Spots in Florida.
- 2016 – The Culture Trip – Sanibel was listed in –The 10 Most Beautiful Coastal Towns in the USA
- 2016 – VacationIdea Dream Vacation Magazine – Sanibel Island ranked in the top 25 Best Family Beach Vacation Ideas in Florida
- 2015 – US News Travel – Sanibel Island ranked #3 for Best Family Beach Vacations
- 2015 – FamilyFun Travel Awards – Sanibel Island ranked #1 family travel destination
- 2014 – US News Travel – Sanibel Island ranked #4 for Best Family Beach Vacations
- 2014 – Coastal Living – Captiva Island voted #2 happiest seaside town
- 2014 – CNN Travel – 10 Best Budget Vacations for spring – Sanibel Island
- 2014 – USA Today 10Best – Sanibel & Captiva ranked 6th best Birdwatching
- 2014 – Men’s Journal – Sanibel named ‘Best for Shell Hunting’
- 2014 – FlipKey by TripAdvisor – Top Beach Vacations
- 2014 – SmarterTravel – Sanibel Island Makes Smarter Travel’s 1 of 10 Best Beach Towns in Florida
- 2013 – Condé Nast Traveler Magazine – Sanibel & Captiva islands – chosen by Traveler Magazine for one of 5 Perfect Weekends in Florida
- 2013 – Coastal Living – 2013 annual America’s Happiest Seaside Towns – and also Sanibel was voted one of the best places to live on the coast
- 2013 – USA Today – voted part of the 10 best attractions in Florida – Seashells on Sanibel Island – voted in December 2013 by USA Today Readers’ Choice awards
- 2013 – TripAdvisor – Travelers Choice Awards – TripAdvisor choice awards voted Sanibel Island as one of the top 10 islands to visitin the US
- 2013 – Travel & Leisure Magazine – listed Captiva Island as one of the most Romantic Beach Getawaysin their August 2013 feature
- 2013 – Travel Channel – Top 10 Beaches in Florida– both Sanibel island and Captiva island make the top 10 list
- 2013 – Peter Greenberg – Best Bird-watching – Peter Greenberg, America’s foremost travel expert, listed the J.N. Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge among his top five recommended spots for a bird-watching spring break vacation
- 2013 – Smarter Travel – Sanibel Island Makes Smarter Travel’s 1 of 10 Best Beach Towns in Florida
- 2012 – USA Today – Sanibel – 10 Great Places for Families to Escape the Snow and Best Beach Towns in Florida
- 2012 – U.S. News & World Report – Best Florida Beaches – ranked Sanibel Island’s beach at the top of the magazine’s list of the 8 Best Florida Beaches
- 2012 – Dr. Beach – Most Romantic Beaches – Captiva Island has been ranked one of the country’s most romantic beaches for two consecutive years by Stephen Leatherman, Ph.D., (a.k.a. Dr. Beach) Florida International University, recognized as the nation’s foremost beach authority
- 2011 – Frommer’s – Arthur Frommer’s 10 Favorite Travel Destinations – Arthur Frommer named Sanibel Island one of the “Top Ten Favorite Places to Travel” in the world
- 2011 – Condé Nast Traveler Magazine – Sanibel and Captiva earned top spots in the Top-10 North America Islands list: Sanibel Island ranked fourth, while Captiva Island came in at number six
- 2011 – Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice award – Best Beaches in the United States voted Sanibel (#5) and Captiva (#8) and 16th in the world by Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award
- 2011 – Condé Nast Traveler Magazine – Best Kayaking 2011
Older Notable Awards
- 2010 – Condé Nast Traveler – Top 10 North American Islands voted Sanibel and Captiva in the top 10
- 2010 – The Travel Channel – selected Sanibel as “Best Shelling Beach.” Among the rare shells collected here are the brown speckled junonia, sculpted lion’s paw, coveted golden olive, golden tulip and Scotch bonnet. Live shelling is prohibited on our beaches.
- 2010 – Travel Channel – Top 10 Beaches in Florida – Sanibel Island has been named one of the “the best in the world” in Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards
- 2005 – Condé Nast Traveler magazine – 2005 Readers’ Choice Awards have acknowledged Sanibel and Captiva islands as among “destinations approaching perfection.”
- J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, occupying more than half of Sanibel Island, was named for Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jay Norwood Darling, who was also the first environmentalist to hold a presidential cabinet post (in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration).
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife of America’s famous aviator, wrote her best-selling book, “A Gift From the Sea,” without ever identifying it as Captiva Island
- Dr. Beach – Florida International University professor and coastal expert – says Sanibel Island is one of Florida’s top ten beaches with the country’s number 1 shelling area and 0 stoplights.
Sanibel and Captiva Islands are widely recognized and consistently ranked over the past 10 years as one of the nation’s top destinations for beach combing, shelling, kayaking and bird watching