10 Things to Love About Visiting Sanibel Island

Shells

Every year for the last decade now, my family has taken a trip to Sanibel Island. We love it there! Going to Sanibel has become a tradition and it is one that my family looks forward to each year. From the Daytona Beach area, it is about a five hour drive. Sanibel Island is located right off of Fort Myers.

Here are 10 things to love about visiting Sanibel Island:

  • Biking. Sanibel Island has to be one of the most pedestrian friendly places there is. There are paved bike paths everywhere and people are biking, running, and walking to their destinations and to get exercise. It makes me wish that every city was this pedestrian friendly! We routinely bike 20 miles in a day, going all over the place on bikes. You can rent them or take your own, but you will not want to miss biking the island.
  • Beaches. There are numerous beach accesses around Sanibel Island and its connecting Captiva Island. You can check out numerous different beaches to explore. There are opportunities to take excursions, swim, and more. Yes, we live by a beach, but the beaches are different there. Take some kind of flip flops or water shoes, because the millions of shells on the beach will hurt your feet if you go barefoot. We stay close to the beach (about a 6 minute bike ride away), so we even go down there at night with our headlamps on and take a walk to explore.
  • Shelling. Hands down, Sanibel Island has the best shelling in the state of Florida! We love finding so many great seashells there. Check out my post here on the shelling and see the many shells we bring back on our trips.
  • Dining. While we cook most of our meals in the travel trailer, it's nice to get to dine out and try some new spots. Each year we go to Cheeburger Cheeburger, and this year we also checked out the vegan cafe called Sanibel Sprout. There are a lot of little cafes and restaurants on the island, giving you a chance to explore new places.
  • Wildlife. If you enjoy seeing wildlife, you will like visiting Sanibel Island. Especially if you are a birder, like me! You can visit the wildlife refuge there and see lots of birds, in addition to alligators and other wildlife. When the kids were younger, we used to drive through the wildlife refuge. Now that they are older, we have biked and hiked through it. My favorite is to bike through it, making stops along the way to observe and take photos.
  • Relaxing. There is just something about being on an island that is relaxing. Once you make your way over the bridge you will just feel that you are on an island and you will want to be on island time, which is taking things slow and relaxing!
  • Sunsets. Captiva Island, which is connected to Sanibel Island, is just minutes down the road. The beaches there offer wonderful sunset views. Many people head to a Captiva beach in the evening to watch the beautiful sunsets.
  • Camping. If you enjoy camping, you do what we do and stay at the Periwinkle Campground, right on the island. For the last three years we camp on the island. It's wonderful! It's an affordable way to stay on the island and take advantage of biking everywhere. Plus, with the travel trailer we can cook many meals right there, rather than eat all meals out at restaurants, so that saves money. It's about $60 per night to camp at Periwinkle Campground. They offer both tent and RV camping. Before we had the trailer, we stayed in a hotel on the island once (too expensive!), and the other years we used to stay at a hotel right off the island (about half the price of staying on the island, then we'd drive over the bridge each day to spend the day on the island).
  • Trying some place new. You may be looking for a new place to check out, and this will give it to you. You will have a new island to explore and enjoy!

Each year, we take our trip to Sanibel in either the winter or spring. This year, while I was there I asked a waitress when the busy season is. She said it's summer time. I'm sure she would notice the fluctuations in crowds during the different times of year, but according to US News & World Report, the best time to visit Sanibel Island is December through April (when we always go). We always get nice temperatures, very little rain, and it's always pleasant enough to bike the island. I'm afraid in the summer it would be too warm and possibly too buggy enjoy the biking.

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Travel-trailer-sanibel Sanibel

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Visiting Savannah, Georgia!

For this Spring Break we went to Savannah, Georgia. We had been wanting to check out Savannah for a while now, and it seemed like the perfect time. 

Where we stayed:
We took the travel trailer and we stayed for six nights at Skidaway Island State Park, which is located in Savannah. This is a beautiful state park! We loved the spot we had (#44) and the park. It is load with so many birds, I couldn't believe it. I don't think I've been to any state park anywhere that had such an abundance of different birds. It was awesome! The park offers six miles of hiking trail, which we did hike (and we also did a trail run on them). We had bonfires almost every night, and enjoyed the natural surroundings.

What we did:
Along with hiking at the state park we were camping at, we drove over to the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge. There are hiking trails there, as well as a scenic wildlife drive that is four miles long. It was a beautiful place! We also went to Tybee Island for a day and checked out some things there, including the lighthouse and beach. We spent a day checking out the historic touristy area of Savannah. We paid for the trolley, so that we could get on and off anytime we wanted, and could explore things along the way. We loved seeing the many beautiful squares in the city and visiting Forsyth Park. We took lots of pictures and learned about a lot of the different buildings. My favorite place in Savannah was Forsyth Park and some of the squares (such as Chipewa Square, which is where some of Forrest Gump was filmed). We ate lunch at a vegetarian restaurant called The Sentient Bean, located right across from Forsyth Park.

Costs:
We spent six nights in Savannah, but we saved money by staying in our travel trailer at the state park. By staying in our trailer we not only save money on hotel stay, but we also save money on dining out. The trailer has a kitchen, so we are able to go to the grocery store and grab groceries and cook our meals at the trailer. This is a lot cheaper than dining out all week. It was just under $300 for the six nights at the state park. We also saved a few dollars by purchasing our trolley tickets online, as opposed to in person. We also saved money by taking our own drinks when walking around, rather than needing to buy them at place while we were exploring. When you have four people who are thirsty, the costs can quickly add up if you keep purchasing drinks! 

My only one complaint on the whole trip is that I wish it had been warmer. We had some really cold days and one rainy day, which kept us from being able to hike and bike as much as we had planned to. Other than that, it was a great family trip. We enjoyed checking out both Savannah's historic/touristy areas, as well as the natural places that were beautiful. Two thumbs up for a fun family spring break trip!

- Jacqueline

Here are pictures from our visit to Savannah:

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Disclosure: Some posts may contain links that compensate me. Please read the disclosure.