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Sanibel Island -
A Beach Lover's and Shell Picker's Paradise

My first morning in Sanibel Island, I had breakfast in the Old Captive House at Tween Waters on the causeway between Sanibel and Captive, where I met a group of interesting international travelers and shared some of awesome cheese struddle . Much to the delight of the other travelers, I showed them my early morning finds from nearby Bowman's Beach - some really unique shells to add to my collection.

An historic charm and languid pace make this world-famous shelling beach destination, welcoming. Walking the beach, I saw fishermen, sightseers watching manatees and dolphins and couples marveling at the uber-impressive real estate.

I love lighthouses, so visiting the Sanibel Lighthouse was a must! Afterwards I checked out the J.N. "Ding" Darling 6400-acre wildlife refuge with it's wildlife including gaters and cranes. The refuge also is the home of huge "shell mounds" where for thousands of years ancient Indians came to eat and discard the shells. Next - eighteen holes of golf and then I was ready for lunch at the wildly fun and eclectic Bubble Room on Captiva. The remainder of the day I sunbathed on a private beach owned by a friend - no one in sight all day - felt like a little slice of heaven.

Nearby in Captiva, a serene island with colorful restaurants, where I wandered most days, you'll find must-eat-at destinations like the Key Lime Bistro Waters and the Mucky Duck. My favorite dinner spots right on Sanibel are Thistle Lodge and Matzaluna's.

I found all the information I needed online at: www.SanibelsBest.Net from the family style luxury of the Sundial Beach Resort to the clean accommodations of The Sanibel Beach Resort to instructions on where to find the best shells, and everything in between.

At the end of the day, I always made time to take in the kaleidoscope of colors that fall over the Gulf each evening and later on, to relax under the stars on a palm tree-lined beach. The highlight of an evening on Sanibel is the trip to the Dairy Queen. I think the most common phase uttered on the island is "See you tonight at the DQ" Summed up in one word, Sanibel is stunning AND fun!

Until next time, Happy Travels!

© 2015, Rick Golden for GoldenTravelGuides, a national network of 60+ Internet-based guides to the "Best of" cities like Sanibel, Key West, the Poconos, Naples, Hershey, New York City and Punta Cana. They arrange group, leisure, and business travel at 40,000 hotels worldwide. 877.465.3368 /



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