Many are gulf front and the rates vary greatly. Is Marco prettier? Dolphins make their appearance daily and often a manatee or two are spotted. Relative to Sanibel, only 583 residents live on over 1.6 square miles of island, and not nearly as many visitors venture over to Captiva, other than those staying at South Seas Island Resort. On the flip side of this is that Captiva allows the use of golf carts on the roads within the village limits during daylight hours only. 5 tips to help you catch more fish around Sanibel & Captiva It does. There are many homes and historic cottages that rent privately as well. A second dining room and outdoor patio are poolside, with a gulf backdrop. This is all from my personal experience on the islands, nothing I have read on any blog or website trying to sell you on an expensive vacation package at one of the resorts. Sanibel, Captiva residents await news of Ian's destruction | Miami Herald While you can walk to bars and restaurants from some vacation rentals it is not that easy from most. There are several vendors for bike rentals or check with your hotel to find out if they offer bike rentals. The pristine beaches, with plentiful seashells for collectors, proved popular with. Plenty of visitors love to enjoy sports here, with wading and swimming being very popular in the right places. You cant access Captiva without going through Sanibel and these two islands have such a different vibe than pretty much every other place in the area so theyre often compared. The deep channel of water of what is now Blind Pass was formed, forever separating the two (though barely) by a narrow two-lane bridge thats small enough to walk across in under a minute. Very different experiences. Bird watching where you can spot pelicans, ibis. With surging currents depositing an exotic array of shells, Blind Pass Beach is one of the best beaches on Sanibel Island for shelling. 6092 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957 | 39 Photos | MLS #223016359 Is this really a true statement? Some people simply love admiring the unrivaled views of the sunset that the unique islands provide. Before traveling to any vacation destination, one of the most important things to consider is where you are to stay on your arrival. Sanibel Island is much larger than Captiva and is the first island off the mainland of Ft. Myers. Honestly I cant imagine living on the island if I had to go to work off-island everyday, or just do a quick run to Target. With endless skies and treasured beach walks, Captiva Beach will surely captivate you and the whole family. We are staying a week. Sanibel is known to be the top shelling destination in North America. One of the best spots on Sanibel to go kayaking is the J N Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Captiva Road. Hi , we are trying to book vacation end of March . Thirteen miles of beaches plus luxury resorts and golf courses sprinkled across untouched acreage make Amelia Island a must-visit Florida island destination . Please check directly with businesses regarding their operating status as the islands continue to rebuild. On my sheller's bucket list, I have found more rare shells that I proudly show off to friends after every visit. If there is one beach you really need to try, its the Sanibel Island Causeway beaches. . These islands are perfect, providing visitors with dining, shopping, entertainment, and local hotels. Look at the JW Marriott Marco website for options. Haven't been to either. Frequent Islander is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Just within the past two weeks, we've seen Billy's Rentals and Tarpon Bay Explorers reopen, along with Doc Ford's, Timbers and the Great White Grill. The best comparison is to a mattress. Fishers in particular love it here, as there is a lighted pier for them to enjoy and fish from. Mostly boutique shopping. Captiva has more super high end vacation homes that sit on the beach whereas Sanibel is where youll find more of the condo units. This laid-back beachfront inn allows you to get comfortable in a suite or cottage while relaxing by the poolside. Because of its larger size, Sanibel has more beaches to choose from than Captiva. 8 Great Places to Go Kayaking in Fort Myers, 50 Things to Do in Southwest Florida: The Ultimate Bucket List, 10 Fun and Easy Day Trips from Naples Florida, 15 Fun Things To Do on Sanibel Island, Florida, 6 Best Waterfront Places to Stay on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island, Castaway to 7 Southwest Florida Gulf Coast Islands Reachable Only By Boat, The 7 Best Beaches in Fort Myers Florida (Plus 5 More Nearby), 9 Sanibel Restaurants for Tropical Island Dining at Its Best. Amelia Island. There is a parking lot available and its a few minutes to walk to the beach from there. 3 beach destination in the United States, and it is easy to see why. But thats not the only reason Sanibel is busier than Captiva theres just more things to see and do on Sanibel. Here and on adjacent roads you will find a wide selection of restaurants, galleries, shops, food markets, a live theater company, a movie theaterand severalsmall shopping centers. Many outdoor activities are also prepared to ensure you are never bored during your stay here. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. The beach is very wide/deep so the buildings have zero impact, but if youre not used to seeing that, it can be a disconcerting at first. Having taken morning runs on both island beaches, Sanibels sand provides a much better surface for runners. Aside from being larger than Captiva Island, Sanibel Island has more shops, hotels, and sights that keep visitors engaged and excited. The beaches shown in the video are: Lighthouse Beach, Gulfside City Beach, Tarpon Bay Beach, Bowman's. This is why the majority of people on the island are retired, work remotely from home, or are on vacation. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Sanibel Island Florida Vacation Rentals | Breakaway Vacation Properties more. Sanibel is a unique blend of well-protected nature destination and tourist hotspot with a bit of everything for those seeking a laid-back, go at your own pace vacation. And the standards of the condos arent the highest. 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. Everyone is differentI much prefer Sanibel to Marco by a wide margin, but if you want a more elegant experience with groomed beaches than Marco might be a better fit for you. Sanibel is a better choice if you are beachcombing and want to enjoy biking on the bike paths, birdwatching, a d being out in nature in general. Or is there another better spot? Powerful Send help right to the people and causes you care about. 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. 8 Sanibel and Captiva Island Beaches You Have to Visit Dont take this the wrong way, the beaches of Captiva Island are still better for shelling than most places in the entire world, its just that Sanibel is truly the best there is. And. There are also two semi-public 18 hole golf courses on the island. Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches are a must-see for a variety of reasons. Thats the right question! But its all about your expectations. The only vegetation around is the natural one that grows, which opens up the scenery. Sanibel, Captiva experiencing erosion after Eta - NBC2 News Like neat little boutiques for shopping. Turner Beach is just on the other side of Blind Pass past the small bridge from Sanibel. TOLL: Unless you have a SunPass account, the Causeway toll is $6.00 per vehicle heading to Sanibel. Once you visit, its easy to see what we mean when we call them twins. If youre trying to decide which island to stay on, its really going to come down to your budget and what exactly youre looking for. Captiva Island beaches on the other hand have a steeper slope in the water directly off the beach, which tends to cut down on the amount of shells that wash up on the beach. SANTIVA GENERAL STORE - 16 Reviews - 6406 Sanibel Captiva Rd - Yelp Its a great way to explore and enjoy the island. These islands are more alike than they are different. Best for Kids: Located right on the beach, . This means you and your pup can frolic in the waves at Algiers Beach in Gulfside City Park, Bowman's Beach, and other Sanibel waterfronts. . 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 . They contain thousands of shells you can find. When you are looking to visit Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches, dont forget to make a boating reservation too! Make your Florida boat rental reservation today and call us today at (239) 437-1660 to make some boating memories today. My 9 Favorite Restaurants On Sanibel And Captiva Islands - TravelAwaits 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 Beaches are among the most dog-friendly beaches in Florida, if not the entire country. Both islands are amazing and consistently get placed on must travel lists by top media outlets. But Captiva is even quieter and less busy than Sanibel, though theres still plenty to do. Captiva's beaches are more of the soft sugar sand that one would typically see on an island. Captiva doesnt have the network of dedicated bike paths that Sanibel has, so if you were looking forward to extensive bike-riding on your vacation, Sanibel may be the better choice. The kids will marvel at the sandbar and youll be able to use the restrooms and outdoor showers as you please. If youre looking for a smaller beach, Sanibel Lighthouse Beach is an excellent option. ;-). The FDOH's fecal indicator bacteria testing results on Dec. 12 suggested low bacterial concentrations and no current advisories. Realizing the differences in the two islands is important, Ive heard from people who stayed on Sanibel expecting the clear water and soft sand and were disappointed. Sanibel is 60% nature reserve with low rise mostly condos and natural ungroomed beaches. The sand on Clearwater Beach is slightly nicer than the sand on Sand Key, but it is pretty close. Dogs are welcome at Turner Beach- they must be kept on a leash no longer than 8 ft. We please ask that you remember to clean up after your dog. Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are separated by a bridge over Blind Pass. Sanibel and Captiva are sister islands. Just cut into 3/4 wide sections. Please note, the majority of our content was posted and shared prior to Hurricane Ian. Here is our best explanation of the main differences between Sanibel vs Captiva islands, to help you decide which island stay is right for you. In many ways, the two islands are sisters. VISIT THE HISTORIC SANIBEL LIGHTHOUSE. Now that I am retired and live here full-time I really appreciate the laid-back atmosphere and natural, ungroomed beaches, and of course the shelling. Preferences, preferences. The passes at the ends and between the two islands get the attention of adventure beachgoers because of their swift-moving waters. Visit the Islands to find great shells today! Since it is more or less north and south you have perfect beach sunsets from all 7.1 miles. You will actually find this beach both on Sanibel and Captiva Island. Read about each one below to decide which ones will complete your dream beach getaway. The pristine beaches of Sanibel are best in the off-season (May to September) where the beaches are empty save for the locals. If you want to get on a personal level with nature, you can visit any of these beaches. Here are the most noticeable difference between the islands to help you pick your island destination: One of the biggest distinguishing factors between Sanibel and Captiva lies beneath your toes: their sand. There are kayak launch sites here, and you can bring yours with you for a fun afternoon floating in the water. We hope this clears things up a bit to help you plan your trip to either island! Sanibel public beaches & parking lots have started opening! Several restaurants are within walking distance on Sanibel Island, including The Lazy Flamingo, Sunset Cafe and The Mad Hatter. Dating back to August 1884, the Sanibel Lighthouse is over hundred years old and of historic importance. $899,000. Turner Beach. The Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery gives free tours and tastings for all visitors. 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 ? Finding seashells on either island is as easy as walking onto the beach. You can reach Blind Pass by heading to Sanibel's western tip where the gorgeous white sand flanks the channel between Sanibel and Captiva islands. Here is our best explanation about Sanibel vs. Captiva in a nutshell. In a place like Sanibel Island (or Captiva Island), you simply must get out on the water to truly experience the destination. Thanks to the forethought and determination of local residents, there have been consistent efforts since the 1970s to conserve and protect the natural setting and limit mass development, so much so that citizens formed their own municipal government apart from Lee County. Lets start with the first island youll arrive at from the mainland Sanibel Island. Its a beautiful resort and one we highly recommend staying at for its resort facilities including a 9-hole golf course, and the variety of accommodations that will suit everyone. From the bay to the Gulf of Mexico, the islands are surrounded by water and beauty. Captiva Island. There are other differences between the islands, too. Whats the difference between Sanibel and Captiva? There isnt a full-on grocery store (The Island Store is the closest it gets), but the shops on the island can get you most, if not all, of your basic needs. Condos are also available on both the Gulf and the bay. January 2, 2021 Ryan Bellino Florida Gulf Coast Islands, Sanibel and Captiva Islands 0. It depends on the direction of the wind and tides. Captiva island or Sanibel , best places to stay for 2-3 people , what is reopened , any suggestions? To use our mobile site, please enable JavaScript. While the intention is to rebuild, the causeway has been fixed, and the island is expected to begin opening to tourism in January 2023, things are not back to normal and likely wont be for a long time. Sanibel and Captiva are connected to Fort Myers on the mainland by only one roadway the Sanibel Causeway Bridge. Can anyone give us advice. . All great points. With picnic areas for all, you can take a bike ride to the park and the beach, as there are bike racks to use, too. What it lacks in amenities, it more than makes up for in beauty and other features. Which of these twin islands in southwest Florida is right for you? The Bubble Room is family friendly and a very fun place for kids - and adults. Paddling the islands back waters is a great way to spend a day. Does the lack of chain restaurants mean Sanibel has no casual restaurants for quick and cheap in-and-out service? It is connected to Fort Myers by the Sanibel Causeway Bridge. Sanibel is known to be the top shelling destination in North America. Sanibel City leaders said their beaches fared better than Captiva's in the erosion department following Eta, although isolated erosion was spotted on some public beaches. The South Seas island resort is a large oceanfront resort which has. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is very large, about 6,300 acres and occupies of Sanibel Island. Gather some refreshments and enjoy a picnic on the beach, its one of the most beautiful places you will ever have the pleasure of visiting. Sitemap, 8 Sanibel and Captiva Island Beaches You Have to Visit. You can rent wave runners and go parasailing and as well as canoe and kayak rentals. Captiva has only a limited number of properties with nightly rentals and they are very popular. Right at the southern tip of Captiva Island is Turner Beach. Bring a hammock and hang it on the palm trees for the ultimate vacation photo! Water on Marco is not constantly clear as mentioned above. Water clarity varies day to day mostly depending on storm activity in the Gulf. The Gulf Beach is 3 minutes' walk away. Which Beach Is Better Sanibel Or Captiva? - TravelMagma As for Captiva Island, the shelling is still spectacular. Has the red drift algae been a problem AT ALL on Captiva?? Theyre smaller here, so beautiful to collect! Lots of visitor parking available on Sanibel but it costs $5.00 per hour. It is also where the Captiva restaurants are located. Both have good shelling. Sanibel Island is about 40 minutes west from there. Your support really helps me keep this blog running! Sanibel has 25 miles of safe designated bike paths making it possible to literally pedal or walk the length and breadth of the island. Captiva sits just north of Sanibel and its accessed via a very short bridge over Blind Pass. . 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 . 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. Do You Need a Boating License in Florida? Within the developed sections are things common to towns anywhere- schools, neighborhoods, supermarkets, and stores. A Saltwater Fishing License is required to saltwater fish from shore. SHELLING AT BOWMAN'S BEACH. 1. Turner Beach - Lee County Southwest Florida As you ride your bike to cruise the 4-mile Wildlife Drive, get ready to discover different trails. For walkers and bikers, the admission rate is set at $1 per person. Is there much of a difference between beaches on Sanibel and those on Captiva? This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. Sanibel and Captiva remain very much in recovery mode, but some business leaders urged city management to open back up, so visitors can once again eat, shop and stay at the iconic barrier islands . Also, Captiva and North Captiva had medium counts and Cayo Costa's was low, a trend that continued north to Manasota Beach and south to 32 miles offshore of Wiggins Pass in Collier County. So map your walk along this route carefully and make sure that youre not trespassing along the way. Compared to some of the other beaches on this list, Blind Pass Beach doesnt have an endless list of amenities. Hey, it even has a K-12 school, so whats stopping you? Sanibel is the by far the larger of the two and is the first island off the mainland. Walking and biking can get you around most of the island. Are there still restaurant's and shops that are closed due to Hurricane Irma? But one thing that's very important is CLEAR water and pretty beaches. No Wal-Mart, McDonalds, or Ben & Jerry's (sigh). 13 Incredible Airbnbs in Sanibel Island, Florida (2021 Edition) Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grill 2500 Island Inn Rd, Sanibel Island OR 5400 S Seas Plantation Rd, Captiva Island That's right - Doc Ford's has two locations within the islands! Some popular activities on Turner Beach include: If you have a Saltwater Fishing License, you can saltwater fish from the shore. On Captiva Island, you can access the several beaches on the island and enjoy the Gulf and Pine Island sound. Sanibel Island is home to relaxing beaches, great dining, fishing . There are free taxis to many restaurants/bars but paid transport is $6 anywhere on the island. Sanibel Island versus Destin - Trippy 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. Theres a reason that Sanibel is consistently named as one of the best shelling beaches on the planet. The water at Sand Key is exactly the same as the water on Clearwater Beach. Even though there are not many places for beach access, when you step onto the beach youre on public property. Best Beaches in Florida for 2019 - Sanibel & Captiva Island Beaches You could easily sell your home, move here and never miss a thing. No, Siesta Key Village is not like Captiva. The currents flush fish out into the gulf and help build waves. Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts | Choose Your Island. Choose Your Beach. We found it while cycling around Sanible and Captiva. Elsewhere the beautiful green canopy that was destroyed by Hurricane Charley is getting replaced by trees planted in 2006 and extensive landscaping is once again beautifying Periwinkle Way. Captiva island and Sanibel - Sanibel Island Forum - Tripadvisor Best Luxury Vacation Rental in Sanibel Island - Captiva Breeze - 4 bedrooms each with own bath. the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. Ive always found the best shells in the water on Captiva. Our guide below gives you an in-depth look at what you can expect at each of Sanibel Island's popular shelling beaches. Sanibel and Captiva Island are amazing islands that welcome people searching for a great spot to have family time. In addition, if you enjoy hunting for shells, you should definitely pick Sanibel Island, as it is the top shelling destination in North America. The two were once a single island, along with North Captiva Island, until separated by a storm at Blind Pass. Sanibel's lighthouse shining bright again five months after Hurricane Ian Does anyone have recommendations if sunset views would be better from Lovers Key or Sanibel/Captiva (in July)? Fort Myers is blue collar means that Ft Myers is more lower . You can stay, explore, dine and swim on both with a guarantee to enjoy yourself. There are more options for 'street legal' carts, but they are not readily available for rent at this time. BOAT RIDE AROUND J.N. Sundial Beach Resort & Spa has secured its spot as one of the best Sanibel hotels on the beach, thanks to its many amazing amenities and waterfront location. For a romantic getaway with your partner, you can choose to stay in the Love shack. 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. The city-island has several banks and shopping centers, even a single-screen movie theatre. Which beach is better Sanibel or Captiva? Jensen's Captiva Island Beach and Marina Resorts, Captiva Vessels up to 40 feet (239) 472-5800 TravelMagmais a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to At the iconic Sanibel Lighthouse your stay on Sanibel Island truly is picture perfect. "DING" DARLING NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE. It feels like youre walking on a fluffy cloud. The water moves fast, and the resorts and rentals are well-placed for a day of fun at the beach. Turner Beach. U.S. News & World Report ranks Sanibel Island as the No. Dogs on leashes no longer than 8 feet are welcome on all Sanibel Island beaches. The way it juts out into the gulf (its situated more east/west than north/south) means its a treasure trove when winter storms stir up the billions of shells sitting out deeper in the Gulf of Mexico. Youll find many public beaches on Sanibel Island, some with fishing piers, and a few private beaches, too. Last month, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation staff and volunteers participated in the 15th annual Florida Winter Shorebird Survey, documenting nearly 3,000 shorebirds and seabirds over two days. You should, however note that the beach access is limited, and you can only shop at one spot. Blind Pass Beach is one of the more unique beaches on this list given the fact that it stretches to the northern tip of Sanibel Island, making it easily accessible from Captiva Island as well. It had the same color/clarity as the ocean here in NC. Your email address will not be published. There is public access and the smaller resorts are on the West. Where to Find Shells on Sanibel Island - Port Sanibel Marina Its on the Captiva side of the Blind Pass Bridge, so all swimmers need to be as cautious as possible, as there are strong currents and a swift undertow. Not really. When I bought my vacation house 25 years ago I compared both Marco and Sanibel. Sanibel is your choice if you are looking for nature, activities, choices in restaurants and shopping, are on somewhat ofa budget, biking or want to go off island fortouring or nightlife on the mainland.