Sanibel is a beautiful city in Lee County, Florida.
A barrier island that is thinly populated, Sanibel also happens to be an excellent tourist destination that has come to people’s attention only in recent times. Previously the island was cut off and couldn’t be accessed easily, but now the newly build causeway has replaced the long ferry ride.
The island now is widely regarded as a wonderful and exciting change from the routine life for families and especially for romancing couples. We’ve listed down some of the most famous and often visited spots in Sanibel that promote high-quality tourism, particularly in holiday seasons.
Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum
Like on most of the beaches of Florida, people love to collect seashells on the beaches of Sanibel as well. You can collect a variety of them – small, big, colorful and white. Seashells also make wonderful souvenirs. Anyhow, people just don’t love to collect shells; they also have a curiosity to gain knowledge about them, to see their collection and its usage in art.
And the best place to do that is at Bailey Matthew Shell Museum. This museum was built about 20 years ago and it hosts one of the largest seashell collections in the world. The variety includes Atlantic Trumpet, Goliath Conch, Lightning Welk, Triton and Horse Conch. The collection in this museum also has fossils of shells like Ecphora that dates 30 million years back in time.
Sanibel Historical Museum and Village
This small village tells a big history. The seven historic houses here are from the time when early settlers used to inhabit the island. The village dates back to the times of Calusa people and Spanish conquerors that invaded the land back in the 1800s. Much of these houses in the village are kept in original condition. The furniture, household items, tools, kitchenware and even clothes of the people who lived here are preserved here. The village is an astounding time traveling machine which takes you hundreds of years back in time. Other attractions of the village include an 1896 school for white children only with its original desks, a 1900 Sanibel packing house where the local farmers used to stock their vegetables and citrus fruits, a 1913 Rutland House that is a typical Floridian house made up of pine with 11-foot ceilings and wide hallway.
This beautiful seashell covered beach is located off Sanibel-Captiva Road. The beach is highly regarded by the romantic couples who love to take long strolls on this remote coastline. The beach is also famous for beachcombing, windsurfing, hosting lavish grill picnics and sailing. Tourists consider this beach as a relaxing spot to absorb the beautiful sunlight and enjoy the calm sea.
USS Mohawk CGC Veterans Memorial Reef
This naval ship was launched in 1934 and after rendering service in World War II it served in U.S. Navy in the North Atlantic. The USCGC Mohawk WPG-78 sank in 2012 at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. It now has its resting place 90 feet below the surface of the water. Tourists who are into scuba diving love to visit the ship that rests in the upright position and has been inhabited by various species of fishes turning the site into an artificial reef. This is the first reef ever to be created from a 165-foot warship. This reef is also a memorial to U.S. Navy veterans.
Bleu Rendezvous is a beautiful French bistro that serves delectable French cuisine. The interiors are comfortable and very inviting. The place is owned by Christian and Mari Vivet and it is located on Periwinkle Way. The couple has tried to maintain the ambiance that looks like a country house with blue and yellow painted walls, national flags, and replicas of Eiffel Tower. There is an open kitchen here that is behind the cobalt blue bar where the chef Vivet prepares the delicious cuisines. Some of the most talked about delicacies of the place include garlicky escargot, veal in a creamy cognac sauce, Boeuf Bourguignon that is served with ratatouille and potatoes.
Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice cream
This place serves scrumptious homemade Italian ice cream with gelato, sherbet, sorbet and frozen yogurt. This place has been in service for the last 33 years. Pinocchio’s Italian Ice Cream is located in the Seahorse Shopping Center that’s on the east end of the Sanibel Island. The interior of this place matches the colors of the ice cream. The walls and the benches are kept colorful and in bright shades. Some of the famous desserts served here include Chocolate Sand Dollar and Sicilian Blood Orange.
Sanibel is a lush green tropical island with white sandy beaches that happen to be surrounded by tall swaying palm trees. The cherry on top is the gentle breeze that brings the smell of the sea and summer along with it. No wonder so many people consider Sanibel Island to be something right out of their imagination.