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Holidays on Sanibel Island


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!

Best Places for Live Music 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.  

Ding Darling Days 2017


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!

September Activities on Sanibel island: Sanibel Shell Crafters

Credit: Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce

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.

Animal Encounters On Sanibel Island

Credit: CROW Clinic

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.

Veterinarians on Sanibel Island


We are dog lovers just like you and although we never like to think that something can happen to our pets on vacation, on a rare occasion it may. We would like you to be prepared before you bring your furry friend to Sanibel Island. Whether you you need to run your pet to the local veterinarian for a quick check up or pick up a prescription you left at home, we are blessed on Sanibel to have three veterinarians that you can choose from– all of which are located conveniently close to Signal Inn.


Coral Veterinary Clinic is located at 1530 Periwinkle Way and is dedicated to providing exceptional pet health care and services.  It’s one of the friendliest offices we know and they can help with most pet treatments. Their philosophy includes providing courteous service with a welcoming smile and a firm offer of help in any pet need. Clean and comfortable are keynotes of this office. Services include: vaccines, preventative health care, general surgery, onsite lab, ultrasound, dental and retail center for all your pets needs on vacation.  


Beachside Animal Clinic is located at 1640-3 Periwinkle Way is another great island resource offering up emergency services and non-life threatening conditions. The staff works hard to “squeeze” you in if necessary. Their large and friendly staff are open on the weekends for emergencies as well.


Coastal Veterinarian House Calls can be reached at 321-544-0396 and located at 1824 Farm Trail. House calls is the name of the game with this outfit.


Should you see local,native wildlife that is in need of medical care you can turn to our fantastic Crow Clinic located at 3883 Sanibel Captiva Road.


CROW is an animal hospital for injured wildlife and is known nationwide for it’s fantastic team of doctors and researchers.  Truly worth a visit for any animal lover you can tour their facility Monday to Fridays 10am to 4pm.  Even after you’ve left our area you can keep up with the progress of the patients through their website.


As we are a nature loving island, we are also a pet loving island and you will feel at home here with us!  

Celebrating National Sea Shell Day on Sanibel Island

Credit: Beaches of Fort Myers-Sanibel

It’s that time of year! For the second time, Sanibel and the rest of the country will celebrate National Sea Shell Day on June 21, 2017. Whether you’re on the island or far away, National Sea Shell Day is a great time to reflect on our beautiful island paradise and all of the treasures she holds. Begin the day, which also just so happens to be the first day of summer, on the sand with us, or by tuning into nationally-broadcasted television program, Good Morning America.

As one of the sea shell capitals of the world, Sanibel Island is the headquarters for this very special day. Expect to encounter National Sea Shell Day related activities all over the island. Join one of many shelling groups or professional charters, or take off on your own for a one-on-one experience with our beautiful shells. One thing is for sure, there are plenty to go around!

After you’ve shelled to your heart’s desire, head on over to the National Shell Museum and explore every aspect of the shelling world, from shell formation to beautiful “Sailor’s valentines.” 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—again, where better to spend National Sea Shell day!

“Our beautiful shells have long attracted writers, artists and innovators to our beaches for creative inspiration and a connection to nature. National Seashell Day is a celebration of the gifts from the sea that make our area so special.”

Keep an eye out for the shell love bug, a VW beetle adorned with thousands of shells, all hand glued on to the vehicle. You won’t want to forget to bring a camera for this one—it’s one of the area’s best photo ops!

After a fun-filled day (and maybe a short nap), hit the sand at sunset for one last opportunity to practice your best “Sanibel stoop” before the sun sets for one more year on National Sea Shell Day. Keep an eye out for the lightning whelk, rose murex, Atlantic giant cockle and potentially… a Junonia! Now that would be a storybook ending.

Can’t join us on the island for this special day? The good news is that we like to think that every day on Sanibel Island is national seashell day. Any time of the year, thousands of sea shells are scattered across our sands every single day, waiting for you to pick them up and celebrate.

Racquetball on Sanibel

signal inn april blog 1

Staying active on Sanibel is never a challenge, and when you stay with us on this beautiful island you’re provided premier access to Sanibel Island’s only public racquetball club. Other than being the most pet friendly resort on Sanibel Island, our racquetball facilities make our property a highly desirable destination for visitors to Sanibel.

Located just behind our office on the westerly side of our lush, tropical property sits our racquetball court. Enjoy a morning on the sand and the afternoon practicing your swing, the court is located steps from both the Gulf of Mexico and your private Sanibel Island condo. From professionals to amateurs, everyone is invited to give racquetball a try!

If you are unfamiliar with racquetball, racquetball is considered a “racquet sport” and is played with a hollow rubber ball on an indoor or in our case, outdoor court. The creator of the sport, Joseph Sobek invented the modern version of the sport in 1950 in New Britain, Connecticut by adding a stringed racquet to paddleball with the aim of increasing velocity and control. You may be surprised to learn that unlike tennis and pickleball, there is no net to hit the ball over and there is also no out of bounds area at the bottom of the front wall to hit the ball above.

Teams of two players (singles) · three players (cutthroat) · four players (doubles) are traditionally allowed during a game of racquetball. Bring your own equipment or borrow some of ours (first come first served).

Also, expect to burn up to 360 calories per hour during your racquetball game on Sanibel. Now you can justify that extra margarita at sunset!

We invite you (and your pets) to join us at Signal Inn anytime of the year, the weather is always perfect for beach combing, sandcastle building, lanai relaxing and… racquetball!

April Events on Sanibel: Southern Comfort on Sanibel


April Events on Sanibel: Southern Comfort on Sanibel

Looking for events on Sanibel during April? Look no further, you’re in luck!

 For the third year, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) will host members and supporters at the newly-renovated Sanibel Community House for one of Sanibel Island’s most popular fundraisers Southern Comfort. Join locals and visitors for dinner, dancing and fun before saying goodbye for the summer. The best part? All the money raised will go directly to the clinic to further care for sick, injured and orphaned animals of Southwest Florida.

Southern Comfort is truly a community affair that allows all our island businesses to participate! This year, an assortment of comfort food will be provided by the mouthwatering eatery The Pecking Order and Island Ballroom will provide the music. In addition to the food and music, there is more fun than ever offered at the 2017 fundraising event. Carnival style games like darts, basketball, a putting green and a wine bottle ring toss will provide guests with the opportunity to earn tickets that can be redeemed for silly to nice prizes.

This year, the event will feature its first-ever live auction and raffle. Attendees will enjoy the chance to score a meal for eight from Resident Chef Jarred Harris in the winner’s home. Plus, a personal movie viewing at Island Cinema for 40 of the winner’s family, friends and coworkers, drinks and popcorn included! Raffle winners will receive one of eight prizes including jewelry from Congress Jewelers, a CROW wildlife walk and a gift certificate to Norman Love Chocolates.

The 3rd annual Southern Comfort on Sanibel event will be held Saturday, April 1. The doors open at 6 p.m. and the last dance ends at 9 p.m., at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. Tickets are $55 per person before March 22. The price increases to $65 a person thereafter. Those interested can purchase tickets at, or at the door the day of the event.

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife is a teaching hospital and visitor education center dedicated to saving wildlife through state-of-the-art veterinary care, research, education and conservation medicine. Each year, CROW cares for approximately 3,500 wildlife patients including more than 200 species of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife in its veterinary hospital, which is one of the nation’s leading rehabilitation facilities for native and migratory wildlife.

Sanibel Community House


If you will be visiting sometime in 2017, you will have access to the newly renovated Sanibel Community Center, our island’s legendary hub of social activities for both locals and visitors. After just 9 months and a $3 million dollar budget, the historic building has undergone a massive reconstruction, restoration, renovation and expansion project. Since 1927, the Community House has held its own personality and identity on the island an important feature of life in the Sanibel Island community. Check out what the building looked like in the 1920s!

Restoration included: Restoration of the historic North Room, now called the Founder’s Room, the addition of Old Florida features outside like a new roof and porch style entryway/drop off area. The interior was redesigned for a more open, flexible floor plan and the existing kitchen and restrooms were made larger and now feature modern fixtures and equipment.

Many of the building’s historic features, if not completely preserved were repurposed. Twin fireplaces in the new Founders Room have been decorated with mantles constructed of repurposed wood from the room’s original floor. Windows of this room are home to open display cases that will be filled with shell crafts, awards and other artifacts from The Community House’s past.

So far, the reviews from the public are positive.

Tour the newly renovated Community House at the upcoming 80th Sanibel Shell Fair, taking place on March 2, 3, 4, 2017.

For a full list of events and activates held at the Sanibel community house, visit their website at