Captiva and Sanibel Islands
The Captiva and Sanibel Islands are so strongly connected that many people think they’re the same island. They were, at one point, but a hurricane severed the connection. Now, if you want to cross the islands, you must take the Sanibel Causeway across Blind Pass, the place where the islands had been connected.
Peak tourist season is December to April with lows in the 50s and highs in the 70s. If you’d like to avoid peak season, aim for May, October, or November. It’s a bit warmer then but you don’t have too much to worry about when it comes to hurricane season. June is the rainiest month and July has hurricane concerns. From June through September, you’ll experience temperatures in the upper-80s and lows in the 70s. Hurricane season runs from June to November; however, they can happen anytime the conditions are right. Fortunately, you’ll have plenty of time to check for one before you head out to your island vacation in Florida. Hurricanes are also rare in this part of Florida, and occur about every 20-40 years.
Captiva and Sanibel have different personalities. Sanibel has protected natural areas, gorgeous beaches, and less touristy accommodations while Captiva has quirky restaurants, lovely beaches with sunset views, and the Marching Mullet Band Parade.
The Marching Mullet Band Parade is (dis)organized in the honor of the service and sacrifices made by veterans. Led by a “Coordinator of Craziness,”locals and visitors can arm themselves with instruments or something that carries a passing semblance to an instrument and march through the village. Allegedly, this is a monthly occurrence but it’s best to double check that the Mullets will be on parade during your visit.
Sanibel is home to the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, the only museum in the USA that focuses on shells and mollusks. Biologists and other volunteers teach the public about these important and complex creatures. The learning and exploration doesn’t stop at the sea.
The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge awaits your visit. This park offers virtual tours via the Discover Ding App and iNature Trail to create interactive trails. You can go hiking, birding, fishing, boating, and visit the Visitor & Education Center.
Captiva & Sanibel Islands
Both islands offer beaches that are perfect for hunting sea shells and boat tours. You can take a tour for a few hours or head out for the whole day. Maybe you want to watch some dolphins or whales, or maybe you want to charter a fishing boat and reel in a feast.
Or maybe—just maybe—you want to sink your toes in the sand, feel the sea breeze on your face, and watch the sunset on the water from the east coast of the United States.
Regardless of how you want to relax, Captiva and Sanibel have something to offer everyone. Book your vacation today, and check out the Vacation Planning Resource Center for information to guide you on your next trip!
- Sea Shell Hunting
- Sunset on the Beach
- NAS Key West, Boca Chica Key, FL
- MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL
- United States Southern Command, Doral FL
- Patrick Air Force Base, Cocoa Beach, FL