Looking for a great weekend getaway for the family and some of the best shelling in Florida? Think no further than Sanibel Island, located near Fort Myers. About a four hour drive from the Daytona Beach area, this beautiful Gulf island provides a relaxing family-friendly getaway.
If you are into seashells you will not be disappointed. Sanibel Island is known for its great shelling. Especially during the months of February through April, visitors can find mounds of shells to sift through, with many treasures to be found.
Staying on the island is a fun and convenient way to get down to the beach. If you want to save about half off your hotel room rate, check out the mainland La Quinta that is just off the bridge that leads to the island. It's a nice affordable hotel that has a pool and usually is about half the price of staying right on the island.
One thing to note for families with smaller children - if you stay on the island it is convenient to walk down to the beach. If you stay off the island, walking down to the beach areas is not as convenient. You will need to park in designated areas and trek down to the water, which can be a bit annoying if you have infants or toddlers, as well as beach equipment. Older kids will be fine taking the short walk to the beach.
When you are not down at the beach seeing dolphins, sharks, building sand castles, or finding amazing shells, there is a variety of other things you can do. Families can rent bikes to cruise around the island on, you can visit the Darling National Wildlife Refuge, or visit the Bailey Matthews Shell Museum. There are also boat tours and island events you can catch. The island also has some nice boutique shopping and small diners. You can also catch amazing sunsets on Captiva Island, located right next door.
So plan a weekend trip and don't forget your sunscreen and camera. This will make for a fun getaway that you will not forget. And if you are like our family, you will want to go year after year! Enjoy!