Whether you choose Sanibel Island or Captiva Island, these destinations are a 30 minutes car drive from each other so you can always change your mind if you want to. With hundreds of beaches throughout Florida, you may be asking yourself why you should visit these beaches instead of all the others. On the end of Captiva near Blind Pass Captiva is typically pretty busy but the reast of the 5 miles of beach is some of the quietest you will find. It depends on the direction of the wind and tides. If youre visiting during season, a bike will allow you to get around traffic when it slows to a crawl. And anything called a resort is actually a condo with more resort-like amenities. So if you score a parking space, you can walk along the beach as far as youd like. There are other differences between the islands, too. At stake in Sanibel's nonpartisan Tuesday city council election: the seats now filled by the island's mayor and vice-mayor, Holly Smith and Richard Johnson. Along Andy Rosse Lane is Captiva Island Pizza, casual RC Otters, and the very delicious Key Lime Bistro. Silver Key Beach. Is Marco prettier? These islands are more alike than they are different. Schedule launch times and see the status of your reservation anytime, anywhere with the BoatCloud Launch App. Some of the features of the beach that youll find here include: Whether youre by yourself, with a loved one, or bringing the whole family, Bowmans Beach is a great option. On my sheller's bucket list, I have found more rare shells that I proudly show off to friends after every visit. Marco has a 7.1 mile continuous, wide crescent beach with a long "Tigertail" beach. It also has a small parking lot and portable toilets. Tarpon Tale Inn is one of the smaller Sanibel Island inns, but that just makes the place to stay on Sanibel Island more homey. There is public access and the smaller resorts are on the West. TIP: Toll is $6 into Sanibel Island. Captiva Island and Sanibel Island were formerly single islands located along North Captiva Island. The best news is that if youre a Florida resident who is exploring, youre going to be able to do that for free! Sanibel's beaches are actually made up more of ground up shells than sand, which can be somewhat uncomfortable for bare feet. Copyright 2023 | WordPress Theme by MH Themes, Check VRBO Availability of Captiva Beachfront Rentals, Top 10 Tricks for Planning a Sanibel Island Vacation on a Budget, What to Look for in a Captiva or Sanibel Island Vacation Rental, The 3 Best Months to Visit Sanibel Island, The Highest Rated Captiva Island House Rentals, The 5 Highest Rated St George Island Beach House Rentals, The 5 Best Anna Maria Island Beachfront House Rentals, The 5 Biggest Florida Keys Beach House Rentals, The 6 Best Amelia Island Vacation Rentals, Top 10 Hidden Caribbean Private Island Rentals, Sanibel Island Tips & Secrets Only a Local Would Know, Complete Guide to Kayaking Sanibel Island. There are no big box stores you have to go off-island to Fort Myers for that or streetlights and traffic lights. Sanibel Marina, Sanibel Vessels up to 100 feet (239) 215-2445 sanibelmarina.com Just cut into 3/4 wide sections. We are staying a week. Sanibel is known to be the top shelling destination in North America. Plan to book early as they fill up quickly year round (and especially in the winter). Hey, it even has a K-12 school, so whats stopping you? Discover the Beauty of Sanibel and Captiva Islands There is so much to find and enjoy in Southwest Florida, especially on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. Having taken morning runs on both island beaches, Sanibels sand provides a much better surface for runners. Best Florida Gulf Coast Airbnb for Shell . You can just spend your days on Sanibel Island and occasionally go to Captiva island to experience their unique dining experience. How to Rent a Beachfront House on Isla Mujeres, Ultimate Guide to Florida Keys Vacation Rentals. That is a personal decision. Sanibel is the by far the larger of the two and is the first island off the mainland. Before we delve into whats unique about each island, let us just say that both islands have these things in common: Gorgeous beaches and a laid back, islandy atmosphere, There are NO: high-rise hotels and condos, big box stores, chain restaurants or traffic signals. If youre not a strong swimmer or you have young kids, swimming should be avoided. Does anyone have recommendations if sunset views would be better from Lovers Key or Sanibel/Captiva (in July)? There are several reasons for this, partly because Captiva lacks the number of activities and attractions that Sanibel has, and partly because it is almost entirely private property with very high-end homes. Ladyfish - free-lined or cut into chunks is one of the best baits out there and readily available to Sanibel & Captiva Beach Fishermen. The grills and picnic tables can be claimed early, but you do need to start early. Some of the fish that can be caught here include: As noted above, the currents here can sometimes be intense and unpredictable. The beaches on Sanibel and Captiva Island are an absolute marvel that millions of people come to see each year. Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches are a must-see for a variety of reasons. Bowmans Beach and Blind Pass Beach re where you will find softer sand on Sanibel Island. Compared to some of the other beaches on this list, Blind Pass Beach doesnt have an endless list of amenities. Thats the right question! Sign in to get trip updates and message other travelers.. Sanibel Island ; Hotels Here are some of our favorite places to cool down with a cocktail. We hope this clears things up a bit to help you plan your trip to either island! On Sanibel after high tide, it looks as if someone dumped buckets upon buckets of shells on Sanibel. There are places that are perfectly safe for swimming here and its one of the better populated beaches in the area. Trusted Your donation is protected by the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee. Bird watching where you can spot pelicans, ibis. These islands will certainly be your favorites as soon as you get here. The beaches of Sanibel and Captiva were still closed due to Hurricane Ian w hen we visited, but we marveled at the huge, powerful, beautiful waves we saw from the road. Sanibel and Captiva are sister islands. Water clarity varies day to day mostly depending on storm activity in the Gulf. Were often asked and emailed questions from readers wanting to know what the difference is between Sanibel and Captiva islands. The two Gulf Coast islands would be one were it not for the hurricane in 1921 which cut the island in two. The majority of Captivas accommodations are at South Seas Island Resort, and its a lovely stay perfect also for destination weddings and other family gathering as they have a variety of accommodation types from studios to 3 and 4 bedroom homes. Captiva island or Sanibel , best places to stay for 2-3 people , what is reopened , any suggestions? The building restrictions here are whats part of the charm. At 33 square miles, (12 miles end-to-end), walking may not always be convenient, depending on your plans. Theres also Billys Rentals or Finnimores Beach and Bike Rentals. Bringing the whole family is a must when you head to Captiva Beach, and there are plenty of beaches and places to stay along those beaches. Just off the coast of Fort Myers in southwest Florida lie the twin barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva, coastal jewels of the Lee County coast. If you plan to stay in Captiva Island, the South seas island resort is an ideal place to stay. Be sure to use the head. You can visit: Matlacha is a small home village, which is best known for their quirky shops, and several eateries offering some of the best delicacies. Captiva Cruises is the best way to get out and explore the surrounding area (Cayo Costa State Park, Useppa Island, Cabbage Key, etc.) Please check directly with businesses regarding their operating status as the islands continue to rebuild. The Gulf Beach is 3 minutes' walk away. With endless skies and treasured beach walks, Captiva Beach will surely captivate you and the whole family. The Captiva Island Inn is also another wonderful place you can stay especially if youre searching for something more unique and quaint. Welcome to Capturing Captiva, your online vacation guide to Captiva Island, Florida, and the surrounding area. Because of the more remote location furthest from the Sanibel Causeway, what few public beaches there are on Captiva Island tend to be much less-crowded compared with the beaches on Sanibel. "This light being lit . You can even rent golf carts. Captiva Island. When you cross the Sanibel Causeway and visit the island from the mainland, youll likely immediately notice the beauty of nature around you. There are many homes and historic cottages that rent privately as well. There are also a few resorts, inns, and B&B's offering nightly rentals. Powered by Mai Theme, Tips For Honeymoon Island State Park: A Florida Gem. As you approach the northern part of Captiva, you come to the small and very quaintvillage areawhere you will find an assortment of restaurants and shops, as well as the post office, a bank and a small library. Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches are unique for many reasons. The islands of Captiva and Sanibel are located just off the coast of Fort Myers Beach. Both families and groups alike will love this beach, as you can swim, sunbathe, enjoy a picnic, build epic sandcastles, and play beach games. Also, beach access is much more limited on Captiva with just two public parking lots. But honestly, zero impact. But you may not find the amount youll find on Sanibel, which means more time may be needed to hunt for them. Captiva sits just north of Sanibel and its accessed via a very short bridge over Blind Pass. Amelia Island. The Keys are AMAZING in my opinion, but you do give up the nice, wide, sandy beaches when choosing to vacation in (ta && ta.queueForLoad ? The Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches are actually very different, and most articles you read on San-Cap fail to even acknowledge this. Strollers, wagons, and the like are a lot harder to maneuver on Captivas beaches than on Sanibel. Without a doubt, Sanibel has better shelling than Captiva. Sanibel and Captiva Islands are but two small vacation spots on the Gulf Coast. This post was written before Sanibel, Captiva, and parts of the surrounding area were absolutely blasted by Hurricane Ian in September 2022. But if youre not staying here, access to the property is restricted. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Hotels near The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Hotels near Sanibel and Captiva Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, Hotels near Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW), Hotels near Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, Hotels near Sanibel Moorings Botanical Garden Tours. Copyright 2023 Lincoln Travel Co ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Drop us a line. Fort Myers is blue collar means that Ft Myers is more lower . Condos are also available on both the Gulf and the bay. There are free taxis to many restaurants/bars but paid transport is $6 anywhere on the island. not find chains or franchises (except a few grandfathered ones). The island is a lot smaller than Sanibel (half of its taken up by the South Seas Island Resort), but it feels very much the same. Having taken morning runs on both island beaches, Sanibel's sand provides a much better surface for runners. Youll find many public beaches on Sanibel Island, some with fishing piers, and a few private beaches, too. Sanibel has 25 miles of safe designated bike paths making it possible to literally pedal or walk the length and breadth of the island. Like Blind Pass Beach, Turner Beach is best for shelling and fishing, but not swimming as the currents can get very strong! Lets see what sets the islands apart and explore some of the best beaches on both islands. The following Sanibel beaches are now OPEN! Nearly 70% of the island is devoted to conservation and wildlife refuges. Some of the major differences between Sanibel Island and Captiva Island can be found on the beaches. Sanibel & Captiva Island Beaches are well known for shelling, exotic wildlife and their beauty. The route is well marked with signs to Ft. Myers Beach, Sanibel, and Captiva. When visiting Sanibel and Captiva Island, there are 8 beaches that stand out above the rest as must visit. If you travel down Sanibel Captiva Road and make the trek over the Blind Pass bridge, youll find yourself on Captiva Island. Captiva has more super high end vacation homes that sit on the beach whereas Sanibel is where youll find more of the condo units. . Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts Holly Monroe Beneficiary Created October 5, 2022 Emergencies Report fundraiser Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help Easy Donate quickly and easily. Since then, Sanibel has followed a path of creating a balance for residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty of the island while at the same time proactively and aggressively controlling development and sprawl. Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches are a must-see for a variety of reasons. Onceyou're is on the beach, it is public property from mean the high tide line to the water, so you can stroll to your heart's content. In fact, theres an eclectic variety of Sanibel retaurants serving great breakfasts, casual lunch, and upscale restaurants for dinner. Turner Beach is just on the other side of Blind Pass past the small bridge from Sanibel. Bring a hammock and hang it on the palm trees for the ultimate vacation photo! Finding seashells on either island is as easy as walking onto the beach. Both islands have the same great beaches, but if youre coming for the day or youre not staying right on the beach, parking at the beaches on Captiva is much more limited and more expensive than on Sanibel. Generally, these two islands have amazing beaches and a calm, laid-back atmosphere that everyone enjoys. You can park for free here, and you can head to the park during the day for the kids to play before heading to the sand. To give you an accurate perspective, Sanibel is downright sleepy compared with other southwest Florida towns like Fort Myers, Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs even Punta Gorda.But Captiva is even quieter and less busy than Sanibel, though there's still plenty to do.. Once you cross over the bridge at Blind Pass, you'll immediately notice how the road narrows and . 2. Super crowded, but it was spring break after all. Theres a reason that Sanibel is consistently named as one of the best shelling beaches on the planet. You can picnic and go kayaking and canoeing, windsurfing and kiteboarding, sunbathing, and shelling. . Many are gulf front and the rates vary greatly. Captiva's beaches are more of the soft sugar sand that one would typically see on an island. To get to the beach, its a short five minute walk through a nature trail, boardwalk bridge, hammock, and beach scrub to get where you need to be. It was here my friends found love and built up their romance. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is very large, about 6,300 acres and occupies of Sanibel Island. Allison Hagerup Beach Park is a beautiful public beach with direct access to Captiva Beach and has a small parking lot. Blind Pass Beach is where Sanibel and Captiva Islands meet. While Sanibel is larger and offers more shops, hotels and sights, Captiva is quaint with powder soft beaches and Old Florida charm. Its the place you go to unplug and unwind. Thank you for your responses. You wont be able to take them home, but you may get to see some awesome new creatures. But its all about your expectations. Sanibel Island offers very quaint inns, like the Sanibel inn. For more on what to do, check out the Marco Review website. The immensity of the sky and the sea together offer vast and breathtaking views in all directions that work together to draw you in. What it lacks in amenities, it more than makes up for in beauty and other features. Thirteen miles of beaches plus luxury resorts and golf courses sprinkled across untouched acreage make Amelia Island a must-visit Florida island destination . Some resorts offer bikes for rent. Today, Sanibel is unique from other southwest Florida towns because there are no chains or franchises (except a few grandfathered ones). Marco is totally surrounded by federal, state parks and preserves, the gateway to the Everglades so IMO it has more options for active adults. 2023TravelMagma All rights reserved. It dwells today within the seaside Casa Ybel Resort. But I digress. Two weeks ago, the water was cloudy but this last week with mild winds from the east, the water is crystal clear. But if you are looking for the more traditional sugar sand beach with clear blue water the Captiva Island Beaches are the way to go. You get a very comfortable and relaxed oceanfront resort, which includes: Another amazing inn on this island is the Seaside inn. If you are not stayingat the resort you cannot go onto the grounds or use the facilities. $5 per hour for parking. No, Siesta Key Village is not like Captiva. In the early '70's Sanibel was slated to become the next Marco Island with the building of the bridge. Sanibel and Captiva are connected to Fort Myers on the mainland by only one roadway the Sanibel Causeway Bridge. The strong currents that make Blind Pass a . It does. VISIT THE HISTORIC SANIBEL LIGHTHOUSE. Shelling and fishing is very popular at this beach. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. P.S. Parking costs $5 per hour, but is well worth it once you leave with loads of shells. If youre looking for a smaller beach, Sanibel Lighthouse Beach is an excellent option. to bring home. Compared to Sanibel Island, beaches in Captiva Island do not have a lot of crowds and have fewer shells to hunt. You can take Instagram-worthy pictures and view the local wildlife from the perfect vantage point: the sand! In all shapes, sizes, and colors, vacationers often leave Blind Pass Beach with buckets full of incredible shells. Don't take this the wrong way, the beaches of Captiva Island are still better for shelling than most places in the entire world, it's just that Sanibel is truly the best there is. Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts boasts more than 50 years of hospitality marketing and management success all based on the delivery of our mission, by each team member, to each of you, our guests: deliver a warm, friendly and memorable island resort experience that provides value to you so exceptional, you'll want to return . Plenty of visitors love to enjoy sports here, with wading and swimming being very popular in the right places. This video shows what I consider to be the best public beaches on Sanibel Island. No issue of traffic concerns.