Sunday, February 5, 2023

Places To Stay In Sanibel And Captiva

‘tween Waters Island Resort & Spa

Top 10 Best Places to Stay in Sanibel/Captiva, Florida

Located in the narrow central part of Captiva Island, ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa has the ambience of “old Florida” hospitality. The 13-acre property faces the water on both sides, with a private beach to the west and a marina on Pine Island Sound to the west.

The marina is available for guests’ private craft and also offers rentals, as well as guided eco-adventures. In addition to the beach, waterbugs can enjoy the Olympic-size pool, the smaller Serenity Pool, a hot tub, and a kiddie pool for little ones.

Other resort recreation includes tennis, pickleball, and kayaking, as well as crab races, karaoke, and live entertainment nightly.

The resort spa offers a full range of services to help guests relax, and although there is no golf course on the property, guests are given a discount at a nearby golf club.

There are a few different dining options on-site, including the award-winning Old Captiva House restaurant. It is a national historic landmark and is famous for its homemade breads, fresh Florida cooking, and locally sourced produce all served in a nautical setting. It is open for breakfast and dinner.

Also on-site is the Crow’s Nest Grille. It features views of the Gulf of Mexico and island classics served in casual, family-friendly environs.

Accommodation: ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa

Top 4 Places To Stay On Sanibel Island

Sanibel Island is a peaceful destination in Southwest Florida surrounded by gorgeous sandy beaches and fascinating nature reserves. It sees low rainfall every year, as well as steady temperatures. Staycations are the way to go at the moment, so why not escape somewhere a little off the beaten path?

Sanibel Island is quite small, with just the one town. For this reason, we recommend first-time visitors stay close to the centre of Sanibel. This will give you the chance to get your bearings before exploring further. Its also where you will find a few excellent tour guides offering excursions across the island perfect for those who want to check out the natural attractions.

And what about families? Sanibel Islands lack of party-seeking tourists makes this the ideal family destination in Southern Florida. If you can, we recommend staying slightly outside central Sanibel. There are plenty of peaceful condos and quaint villas dotted along the coast, and getting around is super easy if youre bringing the car.

Want something even more laid-back? Captiva Island is connected to Sanibel by bridge, and has a much more exclusive vibe. This means it can cost quite a bit, but we absolutely recommend treating yourself if relaxing in the sun is what you want out of your stay. Its also a great destination for couples looking to avoid the family crowds.

Still undecided? Weve got some more information about each area below including our top accommodation and activity picks in each!

Rustic Retreat In Fort Myers: The Mermaid Lodge

This stunning lodge is the perfect little hideaway in the heart of Fort Myers. The garden is where this property truly shines, with leafy landscaping and a cute little dining area. Downtown is only a short walk away perfect if for checking out the nightlife and culinary scene. Pets are allowed, but keep in mind the owners have a dog of their own.

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Pet Friendly House In Sanibel: Sanibel Umbrella

Bringing the dog along? Theyll feel right at home in this chilled out holiday home. It comes with a small conservatory where you can enjoy the verdant gardens and abundant sunshine over breakfast. Bowmans Beach one of the quieter beaches on the island is only a two minute walk away. Perfect for evening dog walks!

Things To See And Do In Captiva Island:

The Best Beach Hotels in Fort Myers, Florida
  • Fishing, kayaking and cycling are all available on Captiva Island bring your own if you can, but hiring equipment is possible in central Captiva
  • Up on Captiva Drive you will find a huge selection of antique shops with some hidden gems
  • Nightlife isnt really the reason you visit this area, but Andy Ross Lane has some good options especially during the peak seasons
  • South Seas Island Resort, one of our accommodation picks, is also home to our favorite restaurant on the island

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The Mad Hatter Restaurant Sanibel

6467 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel

The Mad Hatter offers something different from most of the other spots on this list of amazing places to watch the sunset in Sanibel and Captiva. Rather than just watching the sunset paint the sky, you can pair it with a lovely dinner for an even better Sanibel experience!

This Sanibel Island restaurant is located on the shores of Blind Pass Beach and has been creating amazing dinners for a very long time and they have never lost their touch. So as you listen to the waves crash, dine on one of the restaurants delicious dishes. Fish lovers have to try the black grouper! The goat cheese pillows, short ribs, and lobster tail are also killer menu favorites.

If Sanibel Island sunsets are at the top of your list, spend one of them at the Mad Hatter.

Choose Your Island Choose Your Beach Choose Your Style


As the Official Beach Resorts & Rentals of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, we promise you an island experience youll remember forever be it family vacation, couples getaway, beachfront wedding, multi-gen reunion or destination meeting. Our outstanding legacy of hospitality will shine as you enjoy highest quality accommodations, rave reviewed food and beverage, exciting and fun-filled water sports and marinas, leading wellness spa and fitness facilities, warm hospitality and did we mention? pristine, private Gulf of Mexico beaches up and down the sugar sand coast of Americas favorite islands destination. Choose your island. Choose your beach. Choose your style.

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Best Time To Visit Sanibel/captiva

There really isnt a bad time to visit these islands, unless you really hate the heat! My favorite time to visit is October through May, when the weather is cooler and hurricane season is either winding down or completely over. The Islands do get afternoon thunderstorms pretty much daily. However, they only last 20-30 minutes and then the sun returns.

Holiday Inn Sanibel Island Beach Resort

Sanibel Island and Captiva Island, Florida – Things to Do and See When You Visit

The 98-room Holiday Inn Sanibel Island Beach Resort offers rooms with two double beds or two-bedroom suites ideal for families. The Holiday Inn Suites, some of which overlook Sanibel Beach and the Gulf of Mexico, include a bedroom with king-size bed, kitchenette and dining area and a pull-out sofa in the living area. The resort offers private beach access with complimentary cabanas and beach chairs, an outdoor pool, tennis courts and bicycle rentals. An on-site restaurant and laundry facilities offer convenience for guests traveling with children kids under 12 eat free in the resort restaurant when an adult orders an entrée from the regular menu.

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Things To See And Do In Sanibel/captiva

Do the Sanibel Stoop

The thousands of varieties of shells that wash up on the beach each and every day are amazing. In fact, theres something here called the Sanibel Stoop because thats what you see on the beach tourists and residents stooped down picking up gorgeous shells! Its the top shelling destination in America. Grab your mesh seashell collection bag and fill it with some beautiful offerings from the gulf.

Become One with Nature

J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve is a pristine estuary and wetland for nature lovers. Youll see countless species of birds, lots of alligators, raccoons, and other wildlife as you drive the scenic road, hike or paddle through on a rented kayak or canoe. Guided tours through Tarpon Bay Explorers are also available by tram or kayak.

You dont want to get too close to the wildlife, so dont forget to bring along a good pair of lightweight, waterproof binoculars. Also, there are literally hundreds of types of birds in Florida. Order a Florida bird identification guide to help you figure out youre looking at.

Island Hopping By Jet Ski

Viator has a great tour by jet ski. However, you can also rent a jet ski for an hour, or even an entire week, and do your own thing. Take a look at the link provided and choose the option that works best for you.


There are two semi-public 18-hole golf courses on Sanibel.

Applaud the Sunrise and Sunset

Sanibel Island Lighthouse

Rent a Boat

See the Islands by Bicycle, Scooter, Paddleboard or Segway

Sanibel Town Best Area In Sanibel Island For Families

Sanibel Island is often considered a family destination, so its no wonder the town itself takes our top spot for those travelling with kids. Aside from the great connections, youll feel right at home here mingling with other families enjoying a peaceful staycation. It never gets too noisy, so youll get to kick back and relax.

For families specifically, we do recommend heading further west. The outer neighborhoods of Sanibel are even quieter, but still have fast connections to the centre. The further you travel along the island, the more nature reserves you will encounter which are exciting and educational destinations for kids.

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Gorgeous Views In Sanibel: Sand Pointe 212

Located right on the southern coast, this holiday home is also only a short walk from Tarpon Bay! The stylish interiors blend contemporary design with traditional furnishings to create a bright and airy space. Theres enough room for six guests, making this a great choice for small to medium families in the area. It is part of a condo complex, so youll also have access to a heated pool and courtyard.

Where To Eat On Sanibel Island

Captiva Island, Florida â KidTripster

When its time for dinner there are lots of delicious options. In Sanibel you have seafood, authentic Italian food, steaks, pretty much anything you want and theyre all great restaurants.

Il Cielo

The beautiful Il Cielo wins awards year after year for their amazing seafood and other beautifully prepared meals. They have some of the best cioppino Ive ever had, and some delicious grilled vegetable ravioli!! Reservations are highly recommended.

Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market

Timbers is our go-to place for the freshest fish have them cook it for you, or take it home to cook yourself. In the mood for some Florida lobster? No place is better for lobster, unless you grab it yourself out of the gulf!

Sanibel Grill

The Sanibel Grill is Sanibels only real sports bar, and it has the Worlds largest collection of oysters!!! They also have a great happy hour 7 days a week from 4-6 pm, and then again from 10 pm to closing.

Sanibel Cafe for Breakfast

Breakfast doesnt get much better than the Sanibel Cafe! Its on Periwinkle Way, which is the main road in Sanibel. They serve a great BIG breakfast, and they also serve lunch. I LOVE their huge pancakes!

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West Wind Island Resort

There is something truly unique about the West Wind Island Resort on Sanibel Island! Featuring a koi pond, a butterfly garden, and free bike rentals.

On the property, there are also two restaurants where you can find delicious eats. The Normandie Seaside Café and The Upper Deck pool bar, are well prepared to take care of you.

As well as tons of activities to participate in including boating, kayaking, fishing, and shelling.

This resort is the closest place to stay on Sanibel Island to the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. A top spot for hikers, birders, or appreciators of South Floridas incredible natural environment.

Sanibel Sunset Beach Inn

The Sanibel Sunset Beach Inn is a sister property to the Sanibel Inn. Smaller but still beachfront, this Sanibel Island inn offers no-frills accommodations at affordable prices.

The rooms have full kitchens, screened terraces, and full kitchens. The best part about the Sanibel Sunset Beach Inn is its location right on the beach.

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The Best Hidden Gem Sanibel Island Beachfront Hotels

Ryan BellinoFlorida Gulf Coast Islands, Sanibel and Captiva Islands0

While we highly recommend renting a condo or house on , there several awesome beachfront hotels. For stays less than a week it can be tough to find a condo rental, especially during the busy season. Booking a beachfront Sanibel Island hotel can be a great choice if you are staying less than a week.

Here are our top picks for Sanibel Island beachfront hotels:

1. Island Inn Beach Resort

Without question, this is the top Sanibel Island beachfront hotel. Its really more of a resort than a hotel, but it can be booked through hotel booking sites. It gets a 9.2 out of 10 average review score, you can check for yourself here: Island Inn-Check Room Availability and Rates at To compare prices on Priceline, check here: Island Inn-Check Room Availability and Rates at For one more comparison heres Check Island Inn Sanibel Availability on Since availability at the top rated Sanibel Island hotels is so limited, sometimes you need to check multiple sites to find a room.

Island Inn also offers bicycle rentals, kayak rentals, and beach equipment rentals, all on-site. There are also shell and fish cleaning stations, and if you decide to fillet your catch from the beach, the on-site restaurant will even cook it for you. The fishing is excellent right off the beach so this can be one of the most memorable experiences you can have with your family while on vacation.

South Seas Island Resort

South Seas Island Resort Trip Tips- Captiva Island, Florida

Occupying the entire northern section of Captiva Island, the South Seas Island Resort provides guests with everything they need to enjoy this island paradise. The property is so large that a trolley runs from one end to the other, and resort activities are nearly endless.

In addition to a full-service marina, the resort’s Offshore Sailing School provides lessons and rentals, and several fishing and eco-tours depart from here as well.

Guided nature walks throughout the 330-acre wildlife preserve offer a chance to learn more about the ocean life, birds, and ecosystem, while guests are free to roam the 2.5 miles of pristine beach. Kids’ and teen education programs are also offered, as well as many family activities, including crafts, games, and even crab racing.

Camp Skullywags is open for half or full days to kids aged three to 11, perfect for giving them a change of pace and giving parents some alone time or a chance to relax at the full-service resort spa. There are an astounding 20 pools to choose from, including the main pool area, which features dining and live entertainment.

Other recreation includes a playground, tennis, volleyball, and an arcade room, as well as fishing and a wide array of water sports. The resort also boasts a private, nine-hole, par-27 golf course with a pro shop, and multiple dining options, including full-service restaurants a gourmet market an ice-cream shop and, of course, a Starbucks.

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Coastal Hideaway In Sanibel Island Heated Pool

If you want to stay right on the beach, it doesnt get any better than this secluded gem just outside of the main town! It comes with a heated pool, so youll also get to enjoy a dip in the evenings when it gets a little cooler. You can walk out your front door and be on the golden sands of Sanibel Island immediately.

Family Paradise In Sanibel Island Nerita Home

This quirky little house is the perfect option for families heading to Sanibel Island! Right in the heart of the main town, youll have quick access to all the main attractions and amenities. The real crowning glory of this holiday home is the huge conservatory with a heated pool, so youll get to enjoy a swim even on the odd rainy day.

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Unique Holiday Home In Sanibel: Nerita Home

This upscale holiday home is only a two minute walk from the beach on one side and the main shopping strip on the other! The adjoining conservatory not only has a swimming pool, but also a sunbathing area and small dining set. The house can sleep up to eight guests across four bedrooms, making it a great pick for larger families.

Happy Hour On Sanibel And Captiva

Best Hotels, Rentals, and Places to Stay

You could argue that every waking moment on these idyllic islands is Happy Hour, but after dark most restaurants and bars offer bargain cocktails and drinks in the early evening. Fortunately, many places can be reached on foot along the bike trails, making it easy to enjoy an alcoholic drink or two safely.

Cips Place offers Happy Hour drinks daily from 4 to 6 p.m. including $1 off draft beer, martinis and wines and a choice of five appetizers for $5 each.

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Sanibel Island & Captiva Islandvisitor Center At The Chamber Of Commerce

If you need help with finding a sanibel island hotel or resort, be sure to stop by the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center and one of our friendly staff will be happy to assist you. Here are some things you may need to know while visiting our beautiful islands or check out our Official Visitors Guide.

The Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center has been ranked #1 attraction on Sanibel Island by Trip Advisor. You will learn about all the attractions to see and activities to do on your next visit to Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

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