I recently received this text from one of my clients who is planning her next trip to Sanibel.
Hi, Susan! We are going to be on Sanibel at Christmas this year, so hopefully, we can look at a few homes then. My sisters and their families will be there as well. Do you have favorite restaurants that have outdoor dining, nice views, and good food? Any suggestions on things we should do on Sanibel Island? We have our usual activities, but I’m sure you have insider info about things we aren’t aware of. Thanks!”
Most of you probably have your own list of island “usual favorites,” even we do as locals. But, I figured I’d share my response in case you haven’t visited any of these fabulous island businesses recently.
Ah, all good questions, blog post fodder! …
Where To Eat on Sanibel
For outdoor dining, I like Gramma Dots! It’s right along the water at the Sanibel Marina and has fabulous food to match the views. Cips and Sweet Melissa’s (while not waterfront) are two of my “go-to” island restaurants that I know have implemented outdoor seating due to COVID.
Doc Ford’s, Traders 2… I could go on and on. I think you’ll find that most restaurants will have outdoor dining options this year, plus, the weather will be nice for eating outside here in the winter. There’s also great takeout options like my new favorite, Spoondrift.
What To Do on Sanibel
For things to do, Biking is my top recommendation. I’m sure you know about the shared use path, but don’t forget about the nature trails. Biking is a great way to explore the island and reach places you won’t find by car.
I also love to kayak! Paddle your way through the East End canal system, San Carlos Bay, Tarpon Bay, or Ding Darling. You’ll likely get an up-close experience with manatee, dolphins, tarpon, island birds, and other wildlife that you might not experience on land.
Things To Do, Continued
Sanibel has some cute shops to browse! Most of the shops feature local artists and designers. Some shops even have special days or deals where proceeds benefit our island non-profits.
If you haven’t been to the Sanibel Historical Museum, you should take a tour, or even just walk through self-guided. For insight before you go, browse our article on the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village by clicking here.
And then, of course, there’s walking. You can walk to your heart’s content either along the paths and trails or along the beach. Stop by Sundial Resort, Sanibel Inn, or Casa Ybel, which have poolside bars and restaurants. Abbie’s favorite is Casa Ybel because she can meet her friends and go swimming while we sit down for food and drinks.
Don’t forget the Sanibel Recreation Center – they usually offer day passes for visitors, though I’m not sure if they are open right now. There’s also golfing and tennis at the Dunes or Sanibel Island Golf Club, and pickleball courts at Sundial. Or, click here to read our blog, “7 Games To Spice Up Your Beach Day,” – fun for the entire family!
While I certainly didn’t cover all that there is to do on Sanibel Island, you can find more information by browsing our other blog posts about activities on Sanibel Island (click here).