Sanibel Island Has Been Voted the Best Beach Town in Southern Living

Sanibel Island is a stunning stretch of shoreline just off the coast of Florida, praised for its breathtaking nature, world-class beaches, and abundance of local shops and restaurants. Many people already consider Sanibel Island one of the best beach towns in the country, and now, Southern Living does, too! 

Southern Living has voted Sanibel Island among its top 10 beach towns in the South. Does that intrigue you enough to visit us? There’s never been a better time to plan a trip down here to Sanibel Island. Here’s everything you’ll need to know before packing up and coming down to one of our Sanibel Island rentals!

Natural Wonders

You’re probably wondering, “What is Sanibel Island known for?” One of the biggest things we’re famous for is magnificent nature. Although Sanibel Island is a relatively small area, almost 70% of it is officially protected, so you know you’re in for a wonderful experience when you check out nature here. Even taking a simple stroll around the island is a great (and free!) way to experience all the natural wonders that Sanibel Island has to offer. 

Of course, on any Florida vacation, you’re going to want to spend plenty of time on the beach. Sanibel Island beaches are the perfect place for sunbathing, swimming, wildlife watching, or shelling (more on that in a few minutes). The beaches here are truly picturesque, featuring soft, white sands and crystal-clear blue waters. Whether you want to relax with a stroll on the shoreline or have an adventure by splashing around in the water, you can do it all right here. 

Another great aspect of nature here is the Sanibel Island wildlife. Whether you want to see birds, marine life, fish, or any other kind of animal, there’s a good chance you’ll spot it here. Nearby destinations like the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) are perfect for seeing nearly 250 bird species, mammals like bobcats, and river otters, reptiles like turtles and alligators, and so many others!

Sanibel island lighthouse path
Photo from Shutterstock

Things to Do in Sanibel Island

Now that we’ve answered burning questions like, “Where is Sanibel Island?” and “What is Sanibel Island known for?” we can answer another big query: “What can you do on Sanibel Island?” 

Remember earlier when we mentioned shelling on Sanibel Island? This is a particularly popular pastime for locals and visitors alike; since the island has a unique east-west orientation instead of the standard north-south situation, tons of unique seashells get washed up on the shore every day. Be sure to perfect the “Sanibel Stoop,” the signature pose you’ll take on while you’re picking up shells, while you’re in town! The best beaches for Sanibel Island shelling include Lighthouse Beach, Blind Pass Beach, and Gulfside City Park.

Sanibel Island is also an excellent place for fishing! Whether you’re new to the sport of fishing or you consider yourself an experienced angler, Sanibel Island fishing is for you. There are tons of opportunities for fishing, including offshore and inshore, back bay, pier, beach, and wade sea fishing. Depending on where you fish, you could have the opportunity to catch tarpon, shark, snapper, redfish, grouper, and more! Go at it by yourself or book a fishing charter, which will connect you with an experienced captain who knows all the best spots for catching your preferred species.

Want to have some fun in the water but don’t want to fish? Don’t miss out on an incredible Sanibel Island dolphin cruise! This is one activity that guests of all ages are sure to love. Your captain will sail you through the waters and teach you about all the marine life you can hope to see along the way, including, of course, the majestic dolphin! Even if you don’t happen to see dolphins on your trip, you’ll likely spot plenty of birds and other marine animals like manatees and sea turtles. Your guide will also tell you about some local history along the way! Some of the most popular dolphin tour companies include Sanibel Island Dolphin Tours and Adventures in Paradise.  

Sanibel Island Dining

When you’re on any vacation, you’re probably looking to try some of the best local cuisines. Sanibel Island restaurants have a little bit of something for everyone! Whether you want to try some delicious, fresh seafood or are looking for a globally inspired meal, there are some truly delicious Sanibel Island restaurants for you to discover. 

Want a laid-back and casual meal that doesn’t give up flavor? Traders is the place to be. Their seafood selections are always fresh and bring a new twist to your favorite classics. For a quick bite to eat, Sweet Melissa’s Café is a great option. They offer excellent seasonal produce across their countless menu options, and you can pair your meal with a unique cocktail or mouthwatering dessert. Traditions on the Beach offers a more upscale and refined experience, while The Sandbar (one of the island’s most well-known restaurants) is a bit more casual. 

Once the sun goes down, the fun doesn’t have to stop! Sanibel Island nightlife is something you truly have to experience for yourself. Many bars on the island have impressive happy hour specials once the evening approaches, offering a great way to spend time with your friends while also saving money. Experience awesome live music from the best local talent at George and Wendy’s Seafood Grille or enjoy a drink at Cip’s Place or The Jac. 

Plan Your Next Visit

Southern Living knows that Sanibel Island is one of the best beach towns in the South. It’s time for you to experience it for yourself! Contact us today to learn more about our Sanibel Island condo rentals and plan your getaway. 

Book a Sanibel Island Condo Rental

We’ve gone into a lot of detail about the best things to do on Sanibel Island, but this list is still not all-inclusive! There are tons of other fun things to see and do on the island, not to mention all the fantastic day trips you can take with just a short drive. But to experience all the awesome features that Sanibel Island has to offer, you’ve got to book a stay here! Sandalfoot Condos is proud to be your premier resource for Sanibel Island condo rentals.

sanibel isalnd condo rental

Our Sanibel condos offer everything you need for an unforgettable stay, including luxurious amenities like high-speed internet access, a fully equipped kitchen with upscale appliances, spacious and comfortable bedrooms, and a beautiful view of the area. If you want to be near the water, we’ve even got Sanibel Island beachfront rentals for you to enjoy! No matter which of our rentals you select, you’ll have the truly unmatched customer service that the Sandalfoot team is known for. We spare no expense to ensure your stay is completely unforgettable, from personally making sure your property is spotless before you arrive at making recommendations for the best restaurants and attractions in the area. 



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