Your Sanibel vacation doesn’t have to break the bank. Explore all of the attractions Sanibel Island has to offer with a borrowed attractions pass from the Sanibel Public Library.
The library now offers passes to four of the island’s popular attractions, The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples and CROW’s Visitor Education Center.
The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is the only museum in the United States that is solely devoted to shells and the mollusks that make them. The natural history museum that exhibits beautiful shells from around the globe
Explore and discover the rich history of Sanibel up close and personal at The Sanibel Historical Museum and Village. Experience the story of Sanibel is told from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on the island in the 1800s.
The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples is a brain-building powerhouse and Southwest Florida’s first museum devoted for children and families to learn through play. With hands-on exhibit galleries, the accessible museum invites visitors of all ages to journey through the swamps of the Everglades, weave through a maze, climb a two-story banyan tree, or experiment with the water play station.
At CROW’s Visitor Education Center, guests learn about CROW’s history and day-to-day operations through displays, interactive exhibits and video. The center also features live animal
exhibits, special children’s areas and live camera feeds of the hospital intake room and several
outdoor rehabilitation enclosures.
Cultural passes may be reserved to check out for one week using a current Sanibel Public Library card.
To purchase a visitor’s library card for the Sanibel Public Library, please visit the library and pay a fee of just $10. A visitor’s library card is good for one year.
The Sanibel Public Library has been recognized as one of the best libraries in the country. Library Journal named it a 5-Star Library in its annual America’s Star Libraries survey.
Sun, sand, and Easter eggs? Celebrating Easter on Sanibel is truly a one-of-a-kind island experience that your family is sure to enjoy and never forget.
Start your very special Easter Sunday on Sanibel Island at the outdoor, non-denominational Christian Easter morning sunrise service on the Sanibel causeway. Hosted by the Sanibel Community Church, the service starts at 6:30 am sharp and will include a full praise band, a youth presentation, ministry from Teen Challenge and a declaration of the Word of God. Arrive early for complimentary coffee and donuts.
Next, head over to the Sanibel Island Farmers market. Browse through the marketplace that is chock full with local vendors offering baked goods, live plants, honey, pasta, cheese, sausages, fresh fish, fresh organic produce, and more. The Sanibel Farmers Market is open every Sunday, October – May at City Hall from 8am to 1pm. It offers a large variety of fresh and original products from locally grown fruits and vegetables to fresh caught seafood and homemade salsas and dips. The vendors are local businesses and farms who come every week to contribute to this unique experience on the island.
If the kids are looking for a local Easter egg hunt, you’re in for a treat. Hop aboard the most unique Easter egg hunt experience in Southwest Florida. Adventures in Paradise is prepared to whisk you away to Picnic island for a one of a kind egg hunt on the sand. Easter pails and water are provided. Egg hunt is for those 11 years of age and under. Keep an eye out for dolphins!
End the perfect Easter Sunday on Sanibel at one of our local gourmet restaurants with a delicious Sanibel Island Easter Dinner including Thistle Lodge, Traders, or Il Cielo.
Feel like staying in to end your day? Watch the sunset from our beach or from the comfort of your lanai. At Signal Inn, an island-inspired Easter celebration has never been easier or more memorable.
Visiting in March? You’re in luck, March marks the most popular time on the island for community events and fundraisers. One of the most popular events is the Lion’s Art Fair, held at the Sanibel Community House on March 16th & 17, 2018.
Join locals, visitors, and over 100 traveling artists and vendors from across the country for an outdoor event you won’t want to miss. For a $5 donation, spend the weekend shopping and socializing at the indoor/outdoor event.
Don’t miss over 100 silent auction items plus raffle items that include art, sculptures, local services, restaurants, vacations, and more! Raffle tickets will be available for purchase on site.
Your donation for admission will benefit various Sanibel Island charities, vision and hearing based charities and local scholarships.
Parking for the event is free and available across the street and at other nearby locations.
Learn more about the Lion’s Art Fair at www.sanibelcaptivalionsclubartsandcraftsfair.com
The Sanibel Community House is located at 2173 Periwinkle Way Sanibel, FL 33957
One of the most pleasant ways to enjoy our Island Paradise is taking a leisurely ride on a Trolley! Adventures in Paradise offers you just that experience and we are happy to be one of the stops for all of their great adventure tours on the island and off our coast.
Treat you and your family to this unique way to explore the island’s key historical and scenic views in an open air, fun filled atmosphere, as they glide through the island.
There’s a multitude of other tours and adventures to choose from, such as the Shelling Cruise (with lunch!). Billed as a vacation within a vacation, they transport you to another beach world complete with beach chairs, umbrellas, snorkeling equipment and, of course, a great lunch to refresh yourself! The great team takes you for some hands on encounters with seahorses, starfish, pufferfish and other creatures of the sea.
Who doesn’t love to see dolphins in action? We do, too! Sanibel is blessed with loads of opportunities to see dolphins and the best way is on a Dolphin Cruise. The staff takes you out at the best times and places where they tend to congregate, giving you a great up close and personal view of our dolphin friends! Offered Mornings, Afternoons and Evenings as well. Post these videos on your Social Media favorite and thrill your friends. And don’t forget they offer fishing cruises for the anglers in your family. Their guides take you out to where they’ll bite!
Every holiday offers up special themed cruises such as: Valentine’s Day, Easter, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas. When you book with us at Signal Inn, remember to book a cruise and make your experience with us all the more exciting!
Extra bonus! The trolley will pick you up close to Signal Inn, so no need to get in your car at all.
Sanibel Island is the perfect paradise for pet lovers. As you know, at Signal Inn, we welcome your furry friends of all shapes and sizes! When you stay with us, you don’t have to sit on the sand and wish your best buddy was by your side. Cats and dogs of shapes, breeds, and sizes are free to enjoy a vacation on Sanibel Island when you book a stay with us at our beautiful gulf side beach property!
As a pet lover, you may be concerned that you won’t be able to explore the island with your fur baby by your side. You will be pleased to hear that much of our island is pet-friendly, more so than many other beach destinations in Florida.
First things first, all of Sanibel Island’s beaches are pet friendly! When many of our guests arrive, they assume that only our area of the beach is pet friendly. This is not the case as all of our beautiful, shell-strewn beaches from Algiers to Blind Pass and beyond will welcome your pet with open arms. Remember, please bring your own doggie bags to pick up any “presents” your pet may leave behind AND to keep your pet on a leash, it’s required by the City of Sanibel. Our insider tip: bring your pet a towel, plenty of fresh water and a water bowl to keep them hydrated, the beach can get warm for humans and dogs!
Pet Friendly Attractions on Sanibel
Want to delve deeper into the island life with your pet? Visit Sanibel’s pet friendly attraction, J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Explore miles of trails that weave through award-winning conservation areas chockfull of native flora and fauna you and your pet will enjoy! Keep an eye out for birds like herons and bald eagles, raccoons, otters, squirrels, lizards, and yes… alligators! Please keep your pet away from water, and all wildlife, to ensure the safety of all animals.
Pet Friendly Dining on Sanibel
According to www.bringfido.com, there are currently 14 pet friendly restaurants on Sanibel. We have outline a few of our favorites in our blog post Pet Friendly Restaurants on Sanibel.
2163 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
Every destination has that one restaurant you must visit while you’re in town. On Sanibel, it is The Island Cow. You can’t miss the sign as you drive West on historic Periwinkle Way, and you can’t miss the chance to order from their delicious and large menu. Offering your favorites, along with a little bit of local flavor and a lot of seafood – of course- there is something available for everyone in your party.
The dining room is lined by an outdoor patio, perfect for you and your pooch. Well behaved dogs can enjoy the Island Cow experience, too!
Olde Sanibel Shoppes, 630 Tarpon Bay Rd #1, Sanibel, FL 33957
For the ultimate island breakfast, stop in to The Over Easy Cafe. Dine on your morning favorites like skillets, scramblers and the infamous “stuffed” french toast. Lunch items are available as well, but be sure to get there before they close at 2:30pm! Dogs are more than welcome on the outdoor patio in front of the restaurant.
362 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
What good is a beach vacation without a trip to the local ice cream shop? Pinocchio’s, located on the east end of the island, is a Sanibel Tradition- especially after a long day enjoying the sun and sand. Offering 37 homemade flavors every single day, the flavors rotate from their menu of over 120! Indulge in a World-Famous Sanibel Krunch, Dirty Sand Dollar or Key Lime Frozen Yogurt with your furry friend out on their front porch!
Additional info about Pets on Sanibel
Looking for more tips about traveling with pets? Check out Tips for Traveling with Dogs, our blog post all about maintaining your pets health and wellness in the heart of paradise.
Need a vet while you’re on Sanibel? Check out a few veterinarians on Sanibel island here.
See you and your pet on Sanibel Island soon!
Spending the Holidays on Sanibel Island is always a great experience, one that you and your family will not soon forget.
We celebrate in a completely different way down here, certainly with no winter wear clothing! So drop the boots and scarves and bring out your favorite sandals for some beach time and sunsets.
To start the month off you will enjoy the 33rd Annual Luminary Festival on Sanibel and Captiva islands, the first of December will find Sanibel aglow with luminaries brightening up the night for an evening of fun shopping, dining and experiences. Enjoy the decorated shops, a visit from Santa, a live Nativity Scene and live music from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Sanibel Community Church. The second night finds the Luminary on Captiva Island. Visit the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce website for more information.
Theater is serious business on Sanibel Island but certainly not so serious as the holiday hit Elf. The musical finds its stage at the Sanibel Community House Theater on December 2 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. which gives you plenty of time to join the Luminary festivities afterwards. Elf runs to December 5. Learn more here.
Two great cruises are offered up by Adventures in Paradise on December 24 where you can join Santa in the morning for Santa’s Dolphin & Wildlife Cruise to Picnic Island from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. The cruise will let you experience our rich marine wildlife ecosystem while letting your little ones meet Santa on the deserted island and get their photo made with him!
That same evening, Adventures in Paradise are running a sunset cruise out at 4:45 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. The Sun Princess sails out to where the dolphin frolic and you get a magical sunset experience that will not be soon forgotten!
Check out more events and view the nightly entertainment guide for more fun activities here on Sanibel!
Quiet peaceful lazy days are the hallmark of your stay at Signal Inn. Our secluded paradise away from the rest of the world is what many of our guests expect and what they also get year after year. Long beach walks and restful evenings are standard here at Signal Inn.
But what if you want to get out and enjoy some of Sanibel’s nightlife?
We’ve got you covered! Live music is just what the evening was made for and Sanibel boasts several great spots for you to relax with some cool beverages, great food and even better live music.
First off would be the Jacaranda on Periwinkle Way. Open ‘til 10 p.m. and serving up live music every night, you can be assured of having a great evening out on the town. The Jacaranda frequently has offers on steaks and seafood, so you can get your share of island cuisine while you party with the locals. There is always something for everyone here!
George & Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grille is owned by two of Sanibel’s most beloved local celebrities. Open 7 days a week until midnight, they offer up some of the best seafood on the island in a great tropical atmosphere with indoor and outdoor dining options. Make sure to check out their events when you’re here, we’re sure you will find something really fun to enjoy including karaoke! Weekly specials mix things up along with their regular delicious fare.
Traditions on the Beach is a fun hangout run by star Chef Aziz with 35 years of cuisine history on Sanibel. This is known as Sanibel’s oldest dining room opening up in 1895 at Island Inn. Totally renovated years back, you will enjoy great gulf views, fabulous food and of course fun entertainment in the form of visiting groups such as The Dusk Duo, Woody Brubaker, Barbara Smith, Kathy Buda and Barbara Dexter. This is also a great local hangout open until 9:30 p.m. nightly.
Every year, the buzz around the island returns to one of the largest sanibel events of early Fall, Ding Darling Days. We invite families and friends from near and far to join us and our island community to celebrate our area’s largest preserve, J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, with a weeklong family-friendly event that will allow you to soak up Sanibel’s beauty and wildlife nonstop.
Ding Darling Days, a truly a unique Sanibel experience, starts off on October 15 and lasts for one whole week that is chock full of eco-activities where guests will be treated to complimentary tram tours, wildlife presentations, kid crafts, hot dogs and more! Don’t forget about the numerous opportunities to birdwatch, boat, paddle board, kayak and more to keep visitors both young and old entertained, but with a healthy dose of fun education along the way. This week will culminate on Saturday, October 21, also Conservation Art Day which celebrates the Federal Duck Stamp Winners. Additionally, other artists, cartooning and a very special refuge photography tram tour will highlight the life and works of the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Ding Darling, the namesake of the refuge itself.
J.N. “Ding” Darling was the force behind the creation of the refuge and is celebrated through the work of the park. He actually blocked the sale of the property in 1945 and lobbied to get Harry S. Truman to sign the executive order creating the refuge. In 1967, the refuge was renamed to honor Darling. The park is comprised of 6,400 acres of mangrove forest, marsh, hammocks and submerged seagrass beds– all of which creates the perfect eco-system for native flora and fauna of Sanibel.
Take a peek and review the fantastic list of activities that you and your family can do throughout this great week. Each year, Ding Darling Days gets bigger and better as more visiting guests discover just how much fun and varied the week’s activities really are!
Your stay at Signal Inn is something you and your family will never forget! Our peaceful island retreat located right on the Gulf of Mexico is the perfect place for you, your family and your pets! We know many of our guests are spending all those hours on our beautiful shelling beach. What to do with all those lovely shells that you will find? We have the perfect solution– the Shell Crafting club of Sanibel Island.
This vibrant and creative group of individuals,composed of both locals and visitors, love sharing their crafty ideas with the public, both with locals and visitors to our island paradise. Located at the historic Sanibel Community House, which has just gone through a major renovation, has been the heart of island activity since 1927.
Join the group every Monday from 10 a.m. to Noon for a Shell Crafting Class. For just of the materials (glues/shells/wire/etc.) you can participate in their fun activities with our without your children. They have great tips for creating lovely items that you can take home with you for either yourself or as beautiful handmade gifts for family and friends at home. Let your imagination go wild with your shelling finds!
If the muse of shell creativity is not with you then stop by the Sanibel Community House on Periwinkle Way from 9am to 1pm to view and purchase the group’s shell craft items. Known as Sanibel’s best kept secret, you will no doubt find some lovely take home gifts for yourself or others.
Click here to find out more information and to reserve your seat at the next Shell Crafting Class!
*Please keep in mind that the Sanibel Shell Crafters do not meet in the first week of March as the Annual Shell Show and Festival takes place that week. Meetings for the rest of March are usually decided upon the Monday prior to the Shell Show.
We are great animal lovers here at Signal Inn and of course Sanibel Island is an animal lover’s dream destination!
Just to keep you up to date on some of our island nature news we’re showcasing some interesting news items for your enjoyment. One of the premiere organizations that we have here is of course CROW or the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife, a group that has garnered national recognition as an animal hospital and nature center.
Looking for an animal encounter experience on Sanibel? CROW is home to several Animal Ambassadors who each have a unique story and important place in their programs. Animal Ambassador’s bringing guests closer to wildlife than anywhere else on Sanibel with the purpose of increasing the appreciation for local wildlife.
They have just named their new animal ambassador in Mina a great horned owl that is missing one wing. The purpose is to educate the public in all the varied animal life available on Sanibel and Captiva islands. There are over 200 species of owls in the world and we enjoy them here as well as great hunters of the night. Their wings are frayed so as to keep their flight quiet as they are night hunters and silence is extremely important. Poor Mina has lost her wing and is unable to hunt in nature. As the new CROW Ambassador she has the chance to live in peace and advocate for the great work that CROW does.
Also in the news are the new exhibits at the Bailey Wildlife Tract.
With the entrance at Tarpon Bay Road and Island Inn Road you are invited to hike or bike at no charge through the tract which has been given a bit of a facelift with two new kiosks at the entrance and 7 new interpretive panels explaining the various wildlife on the 100 acre plot of land. The tract offers the opportunity to see up close many different endangered species such as rice rats, birds and different pollinators. Other animals you may see would be alligators, bobcats, marsh rabbits and pileated woodpeckers.