Sanibel Tourism

Visit Sanibel - Best of Sanibel

West of Fort Myer’s, Florida, is a tranquil little city filled with pastel coloured shells. This is Sanibel Island, a popular family getaway that’s filled with birds, wildlife refuges and lots of beaches. Sanibel has the Gulf of Mexico on the west and the Pine Island Sound and San Carlos Bay to the East. It is part of the Cape Coral–Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Sanibel and Captiva formed as a single Island 6,000 years ago and were home to the indigenous Calusa Tribe. The powerful empire of the Calusa soon collapsed upon the arrival of the Europeans and by 1765, the first appearance of a harbour was shown on a map. Stories of pirates, both treacherous and noble, speckle the history of the Islands. By 1832, the first modern settlement was established by the Florida Peninsular Land Company.

There’s a lot of natural beauty to appreciate on the Island. You have the naturalized beaches that are filled with shells of all kinds, sand dollars, sponges and star fish, and which make up for the most popular tourist attractions. You’ll find dolphins and a variety of fish inhabiting the waters and an even greater variety of birds during different seasons. Bird watchers and shell collectors make up the majority of the island's visitors each year. The Island is lush with colourful flowers like bougainvillea throughout the year. If you love nature, you can visit the gardens, the wildlife refuges or just wander through the city. Sanibel Island is also home to a variety of cultural programs, so you can expect concerts, plays and all kinds of performances dotting the calendar. You can get a local fishing license and spend an evening out on the pier. Play golf, tennis, explore the warm waters of Tarpon Bay. Visit the Lighthouse and the Historical Museum and Village if you’re a history buff – the options for sightseeing  are limitless. 

Sanibel Travel Tips

Essential travel information and Sanibel tips for your visit

  • Wear sunscreen and stay hydrated as the weather in Sanibel can be very warm and sunny.
  • It’s wise to rent a bicycle and travel around the Island.
  • Keep in mind they’re strict about following traffic rules here.
  • Travel guides recommend avoiding months inclined to bad weather. Southwest Florida rarely suffers direct strikes by hurricanes, but every 20 or so years it takes a significant hit, and about every 40 years a major one.
  • There will be a lot of insects, so bring repellent with DEET.
More about Sanibel

Facts and Stats for Sanibel*

  • Pollution Statistics in Sanibel

    Know the pollution level of Sanibel before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 15 (Very Low)
    • Water Pollution 85 (Very High)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 60 (High)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 30 (Low)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 65 (High)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 6.25 (Very Low)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 25 (Low)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 40 (Moderate)
  • Sanibel: Crime and Safety

    How safe is Sanibel for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Sanibel.

    • Burglary and Theft 47.22 (Moderate)
    • Mugging and Robbery 47.22 (Moderate)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 62.5 (High)
    • Corruption and Bribery 52.5 (Moderate)
    • Car Stealing 44.44 (Moderate)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 55 (Moderate)
    • Attacks 38.89 (Low)
    • Drug offense 65 (High)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 82.5 (Very High)
    • Safety walking alone during night 38.89 (Low)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 30 (Low)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 27.5 (Low)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 60 (High)
  • Living in Sanibel - Quality of Life

    Quality of Life Index of Sanibel is 153.35 (Very High)

    • Safety Index 51.32 (Moderate)
    • Climate Index 85.76 (Very High)
    • Pollution Index 40.78 (Moderate)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 25.43 (Low)
    • Cost of Living Index 68.34 (Moderate)
    • Health Care Index 71.67 (High)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 4.85 (Very Low)
    • Purchasing Power Index 72.13 (Moderate)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Cost for Essentials in Sanibel

    Here's how much it will cost to shop in Sanibel

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.1 USD
    • International Movie per seat 12 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 39.8 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 70 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 35.56 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ​and subjected to change without notice.

Sanibel Travel Guides

The best trip plans created by users and travel experts that cover the top spots and attractions of

0