Sanibel Island Reviews & Captiva Island Reviews

Paradise

★★★★★
5 5 1
Sanibel Island and Captiva is the most perfect place ever!!!! It's so peaceful yet lots to do and activities. The shopping is sooo fun and love the sea life jewelry is great. Sanibel and Captiva are my happiest place ever!!!!

1st timer

★★★★★
5 5 1
We had a great time in Sanibel! This was our first time on the island. The different types of shells are so fun. My favorite ones were the cockle shells? I love all of the colors especially the pinkish red ones! My husband was so fascinated by the coquinas shells, how fast they dug into the sand and how little they were!Of course the more rounded ones are really neat but you have to be fast sometimes because they roll right back into the waves easily!

Family Tradition

★★★★★
5 5 1
Paradise on Earth. Great beaches, the shells are great, food is amazing, drinks at any of the bars are great. Shopping, galleries, Ice cream shops, great place for families or couples and even if you want a getaway by yourself. Been going for years and will continue to do so.

Pat

★★★☆☆
3 5 1
Loved Sanibel and I'm sure the shelling must be wonderful; however, I went out early one morning to look for shells with my insect repellent covering me. Well, I no more got out of the car when I felt tiny stings all over me. Took a little bit to figure out that it was minute black bugs stinging me. I later was told that they are called Noseeums because they're hard to see and another name is Yankee Chasers. I'm sure there's something to repel them but I don't know what. They chased this Yankee back into the car.

PARADISE

★★★★★
5 5 1
South sea resort perfect! Must use AIRPORT,LIMO & RV transportation service. (239) 850-5466 Pam was very helpful on letting us know all the great things to see and do a cab won't do that and the price was almost the same. Limo was GREAT!

Sanibel/Captiva

★★★☆☆
3 5 1
Just came back from a Sanibel vacation with family. The island is beautiful with plenty of things to do and places to eat. On another note, the main attraction and reason people come to Sanibel is the ocean. This time the water was brown and we were not even sure if we wanted to get into it. After asking around the locals told us the sugar cane farms are dumping into river and they are dumping that into ocean. Not good. If you guys don't clear up the water people will go other places. We later saw a news crew at lighthouse beach doing a report about failed water quality tests? You folks need to realize the water is what brings people to Sanibel and can also be what sends them to other destinations. I sincerely hope you folks can fix what is causing this problem.

Amaziing Sanibel and Captiva

★★★★★
5 5 1
We have vacationed 3 times on Sanibel and stayed at the same place each time. We visit Captiva frequently for the water activities, food, and often sit and eat ice cream while watching one the amazing sunsets. The people of Sanibel do not treat tourists like many locations treat tourists. Here, you just fit in with everyone else and go through your day in such beautiful settings. We have been here 3 times and intend to bring our grandson during Christmas break so he can see the manatees. There is so much to do that it will take many more trips to see and take in all that Sanibel and Captiva have to offer. Love my Sanibel!

Best place ever!!!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Its great. I find a variety of shells and many of them.I hear that the islands also have shark teeth but I have never found even one. I also hear about how people find large shells there.I have personally never found a shell over 4 inches.If I were to get info on where to find the larger shells that would be amazing. Other the4n that I love it!!

Shelling

★★★★★
5 5 1
I'm spending a week here!! Iv noticed if you beat the beach crowd and low tide you'll find the best one waist high

For my grandma irene and Max

★★★★★
5 5 1
The first time 40 yrs ago! amazing how time flies, now my wife wants to go after hearing the stories of my grandparents "shell" life. they went there every yr as "snow birds" and i will never forget the shells after a xmas storm while there. in the seventies. enjoy!

★★★★★
5 5 1

★★★★★
5 5 1

★★★★★
5 5 1

★★★★★
5 5 1
what a wonderful way to spend a day..also a wonderful way to find a ''free''' hobby...its just so many varieties,your hobby can take on a life of its own and you will be thrilled with the finds..

Love it!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Sanibel island shelling is the funnest, and easiest way to collect the shells you are looking for. Shells wash up onto the beach every day giving every sheller a chance to find what they are looking for. If I were to live anywhere in the world it probably would be sanibel island!

No place like SanCap!

★★★★★
5 5 1
My family's favorite place to vacation. Nothing beats San/Cap's beauty and laid back, friendly atmosphere. You truly feel disconnected from the rest of the world. Amazing flora and fauna abound. Plus great niche restaurants and gorgeous beaches.

Sanibel & Captiva

★★★★★
5 5 1
Like heaven on earth, quiet, laid back & the least tourist seeming trap in Florida. Beautiful beaches, great restaurants and the best shelling beach we have ever been to. Can't wait to go again this year!!

★★★★★
5 5 1

★★★★★
5 5 1

Good info

★★★★★
5 5 1
Love to go to sanibal for great beaches and clear water!

Beautiful Islands

★★★★★
5 5 1
My absolute favorite place to be. So many things to do and cool places to see. I look forward to going there year after year.

WONDERFUL!!!!

★★★★★
5 5 1
You need more stars, 5 is not enough!!!!! I LOVE LOVE Sanibel Captiva Island, I found a Junonia!! At first I thought it was an empty speckled crab shell, but to my surprise it was a beauty shell!! I have been to Sanibel several times and I am sure I will go again!!!

Excellent information

★★★★☆
4 5 1
This was a quick, user friendly site packed with information for the novice sheller!! Thanks.

shelling

★★★★★
5 5 1
Fantastic, great weather,beautiful shells.. Will return in Jan. for my 6th year.. For Christmas received all the shelling gear needed. See you all at Bowman.

Sanibel shelling

★★★★★
5 5 1
Excellent for its beautiful shells love it

"Enchanting!"

★★★★★
5 5 1
I am in LOVE with this marvelous hidden gem.It is more than wonderful,Captivating & Beautifully breathtaking.Being from a VERY "Non-Captivating" environment{FORT WAYNE} "INDIANA",I may have appreciated this little slice of Heaven a bit more than your average vacationer.To the point I did NOT even return home! I simply called a Realtor to sell my condo,followed by a family member to sell everything I owned.I LOVE it here!I will NEVER return to the MID WEST!This is truly PARADISE!

Retired teacher

★★★★★
5 5 1
I first visited as a 20 something and have been returning---40+ years later! Sanibel is very unique with an emphasis on nature, yet fun activities like boating, Ding Darling, shopping, varied dining, etc. prevail here. After travels to various countries and beaches, Sanibel is my all time favorite!

Awesome vaca!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Was in Sanibel 2 yrs ago, going back again this weekend! I'm so excited! Shopping, food and seashells galore!

★★★★★
5 5 1
I came to Sanibel at 6 years old. I'm now 57 and so want to come back. I want to bring my kids here. They would be astounded at the sheer amount of shells available. (We always go to their grandparents home on Perdido Key off Pensacola.) I only wish that my husband could be there with us. Together we found the great enjoyment of shelling on Perdido Key. He left this life 3 years ago so the kids and I will have to come by ourselves; but he would have truly loved it.

★★★★★
5 5 1
I so want to go

★★★★☆
4 5 1
I love Sanibel Island, love shelling. The biggest part of my shelling has been pectins. I have lots of pectins in my collection. I have been 2 times. The first time taking my granddaughter and she is hooked lol. We have gotten fighting conchs (I guess) as well lightening whelks. And many I do not know the name of. Few olives. Tellins (small) coquinas. I design mirrors, photo frames and anything else I can mange to get my hands on. But all this came before Sanibel. I started wit all my shell collecting from Panama City, FL and Tybee Island GA. Plan on making another trip to Sanibel and hopefully I can hit some of the islands I missed. We are learning the ropes and we truly enjoy our visits. Now if can manage to find bigger shells I will be delighted.

Sanibel Island fixes everything

★★★★☆
4 5 1
I have been going to Sanibel for over 35 years. Its very captivating and addictive. To me, there is no other place like it in Florida. I will be introducing Sanibel to someone this summer who has never been there. Have I got a big plate to fill! When you go across the bridges to Sanibel, you get a feeling that just takes your breath away..like nothing matters but now. If you have not been there....go.

This was the Best Ever

★★★★★
5 5 1
We had the greatest time on Sanibel Island.The Sanibel Beach Club II was the best we have seen,ever.Each AM we rode bicycles to Breakfast and Lunch,all of them were very close.The Beach was so clean and long.We sat on the beach most times at 7-8 pm and had our wine.There are many,many Restaurants,all very good.This is our special place from now on.

Sandpiper Inn

★★★★★
5 5 1
The Sandpiper is a great place to stay. Very clean and comfortable.Great location.

★★★★★
5 5 1

Best place on earth.

★★★★★
5 5 1
I love Sanibel-Captiva, it has the greatest food ever! I love to just chill on the beach or tan by the pool. Everything about it is great, the people are very nice, and there is so much to do and see!

Time Well Spent

★★★★★
5 5 1
My family and I decided to visit Sanibel and Captiva after coming back from the keys. Sanibel was thrilling and everything we did was absolutely fantastic. Seeing dolphins, sea turtles, and other sealife so close-up was breathtaking. I cannot wait to come back to Sanibel this summer!!

i want to move to Sanibel island now lol

★★★★★
5 5 1
Beautiful beach, with beautiful shells. The sun set is almost magical. And the people are so nice!!

Best vacation ever!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Dec 16, 2014, we came to Captiva for for days, then down to Sanibel to stay at the Sanibel Arms Condos for 3 weeks. These are truly special islands to vacation on. Kudos to the early residents who put into place means to preserve Sanibel from over development. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the wildlife and pristine beaches. We will be back in two years.

shelling sanibel

★★★★★
5 5 1
loved sanibel!

A Piece of Heaven

★★★★★
5 5 1
An unspoiled place where nature and Heaven meets. Quiet and relaxing with just the right amount of activity to keep you going. Thank You Sanibel and Captiva for sharing with all of us.

The Twin Islands

★★★★☆
4 5 1
Sanibel and Captiva are like twin islands with Captiva being the quieter of the two. We stayed on Captiva but really the two islands go hand in hand. 11 family members rented a house that had the beach across the street and a canal in the backyard. Both bodies of water were exquisite and incredible to witness. Although there are shops and restaurants on Captiva, the main urban street, Periwinkle Way, is on Sanibel. We loved the shops and restaurants on both islands, however, while there is more civilization on Sanibel, there is more traffic as well. We learned to leave extra time to reach our destinations. On Captiva, the abundance of wildlife (I personally witnessed dolphins, tree climbing crabs, geckos, a couple of varmints, an alligator, and too many fish, birds and insects to name) was exciting and captivating to my children and I, but perhaps unnerving to others in my party. We never saw one, but we heard growls in the woods, and verified with a naturalist that there are bobcats living on the islands. Again, awesome to my kids and I, but not to everybody. Just something to consider. I loved the long bike rides on the paths, and watching the excitement on my kids faces as they caught fish. Overall, the islands encouraged much needed time with my family, and I will always cherish that time.

Speed and blinkers

★★★★★
5 5 1
Love love the island. Just think 35mph is to fast for such a busy place. Also noticed people don't like using blinkers when turning. I think they are important to use.

Sanibel Island is Addicting

★★★★★
5 5 1
After 16 annual visits to Sanibel, the operative word that describes the island is RENEWAL. No matter how long your visit to the island is, you will appreciate stepping back in time when you didn't have to worry about walking or riding a bike. Here, you are free to enjoy the island's peaceful and beautiful things that nature provides.rnrnMay this "renewal" carry you through the year until your next visit to Sanibel.

Captiva Island

★★★★★
5 5 1
We love Captiva and "The Green Flash" restaurant's oysters and shrimp!

Paradise

★★★★★
5 5 1
I love this island so much I have packed everything up and moving there Sunday!

I LOVE SANIBEL!

★★★★★
5 5 1
If you are looking for a beautiful spot to relax, Sanibel is it! The people there are so friendly & happy all the time. It almost seems to good to be true. The entire island is very quaint, calm, and the beaches are beautiful with something new to see everyday. The shelling is amazing and its like being a kid on a constant treasure hunt to find the prettiest most unique shell. I would move here if I could!

Relaxing

★★★★☆
4 5 1
These islands are outstanding. The beaches quiet. My wife and I came here for our honeymoon 30 years ago and returned this year in celebration. A great place, we love it. Thank you.

What's not to love?

★★★★★
5 5 1
We fell in love with Sanibel a few years ago when we first visited. It was love at first sight as soon as we hit the causeway. I like a laid back vacation and enjoy spending time outdoors, enjoying nature. That's exactly what you get at Sanibel! I could spend all afternoon strolling the beach for shells. Ding Darling is a must and definitely sign up for an evening cruise with Tarpon Bay Explorers if you're an avid birder! Don't forget all of the amazing restaurants. Doc Ford's and Island Cow are personal favorites. Make sure you hit Pinocchio's for dessert. If you're looking for night life, I'd go elsewhere. If you want to take some time to forget about life and have some peace and quiet, pick Sanibel!

Perfect get-away destination

★★★★★
5 5 1
We have been going to the island for several years now from the far off destination of..Fort Lauderdale. My partner and I went on a day trip and spent the day at Gulf View beach and toured the island; discovering the rest of Sanibel and then venturing further on to Captiva. It was perfect! Hot summer sun, top down, felt like we were miles from the mainland and in "old Florida". We came back later and stayed on the mainland, but after that we have always stayed at the Holiday Inn, although we would like to be able to stay at Tween Waters sometime (always booked!). There's a great variety of places to eat: Cheeburger Cheeburger is a "first night" tradition, we enjoy Jerry's and Baileys, sundown at the Mucky Duck is great, and we need to spend some happy hour time at Doc Fords. We have rode bikes, snorkeled on just about every beach, visited the lighthouse, Bowman's Beach, shelled at Captiva Pass, and walked around "downtown" Captiva. We've dreamed about the homes on the beach and have entertained the idea of moving over there eventually. Overall, 10 out of 10 for us!

We really miss Sanibel.

★★★★★
5 5 1
We miss Sanibel Island. So much. Now we have to go back to NY? But... ok, we go paddleboarding - which was fun. Then the beach, the sandcastles we built, and the Gulf of Mexico which I just like hanging out in the water. I hope to come back to Sanibel soon! And by *soon* I mean like in literally 1 second.

Captiva Island

★★★★★
5 5 1
Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are gorgeous. We hope to make it a sister/cousin tradition!

Love Love Love Sanibel

★★★★★
5 5 1
We first visited Sanibel in 2008 to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and fell madly in love with the island. We have visited many times since and have brought family with us to experience the beauty and serenity. We love finding new shells each visit as well as experiencing new foods at all the fabulous restaurants on the island. We love that Sanibel has stayed true to the natural habitat which keeps the island feeling like you are going back in time before all the glitz & glamour of so many vacation spots nowadays. We love all the fantastic (and safe) bike paths all over the island that allow you to experience the nature of this beautiful place. There is just no place we would rather go to unwind from the daily grinds of life. Can't wait for our next visit!

Sannbel

★★★★★
5 5 1
Amazing!

I love barrier islands

★★★★★
5 5 1
Love Sanibel captiva for natural beauty, serene and peaceful. Good food, pretty shops with unusual things

Shells found on Sanibel and captiva islands

★★★★★
5 5 1
Love the barrier islands- paradise

Awesome real estate agent

★★★★★
5 5 1
We have been Sanibel visitors for 55 years, enjoying vacation rentals and timeshares on the island. Our love for Sanibel, led us to start looking for a place of our own on the island a few years ago and we met Deb Stone of ReMax of the Islands at an open house. Deb systematically helped us identify properties that would be a good fit for us and patiently guided us through the proposal and purchase process when we found our future Sanibel home. But Deb did not end contact with us at the completion of the sale- she has continued to provide invaluable contacts, resources and assistance in the months that followed. I highly recommend Deb to anyone looking for a real estate agent on Sanibel. She is a full-time island resident herself, is an extremely adept real estate agent, personally knows all of the ins and outs of Sanibel, and goes above and beyond for her clients. We could not be happier with our choice of Deb Stone in our search for our Sanibel home.

Five Stars

★★★★★
5 5 1
Fun place for family.

Sanibel/Captiva is a little piece of heaven on earth

★★★★★
5 5 1
We began vacationing on Sanibel Island back in 1963 after the first bridge was built. 50 years later and a second bridge, I still vacation on Sanibel. Going for yearly vacation there next week and I can't wait. It's also my "happy" place when life becomes too much....If you've never been take it from me. Sanibel/Captiva are truly special.

Fabulous!

★★★★★
5 5 1
My extended family and friends have come here 1 mon. a yr. for more yrs. than I can count. My husband and I honeymooned here 40 yrs. ago. We return again and again because the shelling is fabulous! We live up the coast about 3 hrs' drive, 5 min. from beautiful Indian Rocks Beach. There is no comparison in terms of shelling---Sanibel is unique and the best. Especially after mod-high winds or a storm. We've found super mini-shells and foot long horse conchs. Whelks all sizes with the largest about 8-10 in. But the beauty and variety of all the shells is unbeatable. The shells must be unoccupied by anything or you throw it back. Sea cucumbers swimming are very graceful. Little octopi are there, but you might need a storm or low tide to see them. Varieties of jellyfish that don't sting and possibly some that do---hasn't happened to us yet. And of course, there are lots of seabirds & land birds, including pileated woodpeckers (the Woody the Woodpecker variety). There's just too much to tell about. We keep finding new shells every visit. As with most beaches, every day is different. You never know what you might find. We definitely have our favorite locations and times and techniques for finding fantastic shells. #1 tip: GET IN THE WATER and use your eyes & feet to see/feel for shells!!! You'll soon learn what general kind of shell you are feeling. Too many people come for years and find little because they are walking the beach only. Boogie-boarding is often possible & fun. Often good waves for body-surfing or jumping into or over. Double sandbars common along with tidal pools great for toddlers. I also enjoy the sea life I find mostly inside pen shells--shrimp, small fish & crayfish and many crabs with multiple varieties of patterned shells, along with seashells. The traffic can be heavy and frustrating, but if you stay anywhere close to the Gulf side with beach access, you can mostly avoid having to drive in the main traffic areas. Make any reservations early, especially if you need 4+ bedrooms or baths like we do. We need to consider reserving about 1 yr. ahead. For smaller places, not so early. Please, for your own safety, use sunscreen frequently and shuffle your feet in 0 ft. to at least 3 ft. of warm water in spring & summer to avoid stepping directly onto a stingray that then will fend off your "attack" by stinging. By just bumping into them by shuffling, which you rarely feel, they move out of your way. Shuffling also helps you find shells and keeps you from stepping directly on a pen shell which hurts. Penshells can be exciting to open if dead due to the treasures inside, but they have pointy exterior pieces on the outside. Love the place! It's incomparable!

Just Love It

★★★★★
5 5 1
Have visited your breathtakingly beautiful island several times and all I can say is I just LOVE it. From the beautiful aqua beaches and white sand to the food and shopping. Can't think of anywhere I would rather be than on Sanibel Island time!!

What a Place!

★★★★★
5 5 1
This is the best place to in South Florida, we stay at the Surfrider, which is right on the beach, with a small number of units available. Best place for a spring break!

Best shelling

★★★★★
5 5 1
Peaceful and entertaining great for the family and lots to learn love captiva and it's rare and beautiful shells can't wait to go back!

sanibel

★★★★★
5 5 1
what a great vacation !! we stayed at holiday inn sanibel, great hospitality, great weather, we have found our paradise !!!

Touched by Heaven

★★★★★
5 5 1
Beautiful and Peaceful. Be kind to the Ocean for it gives us such beautiful treasures.

great for shelling

★★★★★
5 5 1
can't wait to go back!

Great Place to Stay

★★★★★
5 5 1
We stayed at the Tween Waters Inn on Captiva and loved it! The view of the water is great and everything you need is in walking distance. The hotel\\\'s rooms are big, clean, and comfortable, with modern bathrooms.

Best Shelling

★★★★★
5 5 1
I recently got married on Captiva and we decorated our reception tables with shells we pulled right off the beach! I never thought you could find so many beautiful shells so easily. Memories of a lifetime!

Casa Ybel Sanibel Island Review

★★★★★
5 5 1
Casa Ybel is my favorite place to stay on Sanibel Island, it's just perfect. I visited last August and hope to go again soon!

the best

★★★★★
5 5 1
Had "The Best" vacation ever on Sanibel Island. Stayed at a vacation condo managed by Island Vacations of Sanibel which was perfect. The weather was perfect. People friendly. Beaches terrific.

Best in Florida

★★★★★
5 5 1
Sanibel Island is a perfect getaway and a world apart. Beautiful beaches, warm water, and perfect weather.

Captiva Island

★★★★★
5 5 1
Love it, best place ever.

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