There’s a little gravel driveway on the north side of Periwinkle Way, if you’re not looking you’ll miss it. The driveway leads to a public parking area for those wanting to walk the Shipley Trail or cross back over Periwinkle for a bike ride down the paved shared use path.
A gate to the right leads you down another gravel driveway that leads to the Bailey Homestead Preserve. This little hidden slice of Sanibel history is where Jim and I have enjoyed a few after-hour events hosted by various organizations on the island… but we’ve never had a guided tour of the property until now.
If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it! There’s such great history packed into this piece of land. The property belonged to Frank Bailey, an early pioneer of the island as many of you know. Frank lived on the property, and over the year’s added onto the original 1890’s structure as the Bailey family grew. You can tour the home at the Bailey Homestead Preserve!
I don’t want to spoil your future tour with all the details, but the grounds are just so beautiful and serene that I can’t help but share a few photos we captured.
On the 28 acres that make up the Bailey Homestead Preserve, there is the Bailey House, Honey House gift shop, restored windmill, new pavilion, and other points of interest that make up nine of the acres. The other 19-acres are preserved for Sanibel wildlife.
The SCCF Native Landscapes and Garden Center is also located on the property. The gardens are beautiful! You can see examples of native landscapes for your own garden inspiration, and even purchase plants to take home.
The SCCF staff are super knowledgeable about everything from the history of the property and stories about the Bailey family, to the types of plants that are native to Sanibel and tips for planting them in your own lawn.
You’ll likely find yourself deep in conversation, soaking in loads of valuable information, as we often do, especially when speaking with SCCF Education Director, Kristie Anders.
So, the next time you bike down Periwinkle, stop in the Bailey Homestead at 1300 Periwinkle Way. Even if you miss the guided tour, you are free to explore the grounds, hanging out on the hammocks or tree swing as you take in the scenic landscapes of Sanibel. It’s the epitome of true Sanibel living.
Click here to check out the Bailey Homestead Preserve website and get more information.