# 10 – Sanibel Lighthouse at Old Town
The Sanibel Lighthouse, located in Old Town, was built in 1884 and is Sanibel’s oldest structure. Old Town is a quaint historical area on Eastern Sanibel Island where the island’s first settlers made their homes. The Sanibel Historical Society has produced a walking and bicycling tour that is approximately 2.5 miles long with more than 19 sites to see. Maps are available at the Sanibel Island Chamber of Commerce or at the Sanibel Historical Society.
# 9 – Bicycling
Known as a bicyclist’s paradise, Sanibel’s 25 miles of bicycle paths are sure to please. Beachview guests can rent bicycles from us starting at $10 for 2 hours/per bike. Guests can call Finnimores at 239-472-5577 for specialty bikes or to book in advance of arrival. Make sure you bring a camera in case you see any of the local wildlife along our bike paths. Don’t miss the opportunity to bike through the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, which is on this list at #2. Visit Sanibel Trails for a complete bicycling guide to Sanibel Island.
#8. Shelling on Sanibel’s Beaches
Sanibel Island is known as the best shelling spot in the Western Hemisphere. So many shells wash ashore on Sanibel that many visitors come to Sanibel just for the shelling! One of the best shelling spots on the island is located at Blind Pass, an area known for its great shelling due to the tidal currents depositing shells on northern tip of the island. You only have to walk a few feet in any direction to begin your own unique and beautiful shell collection.
The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife was established on Sanibel Island since 1968. It is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, orphaned and injured wildlife. C.R.O.W. has a complete wildlife hospital at the middle of its 12.5 acre sanctuary. The clinic focuses on education in an effort to prevent injuries to animals caused by human interference. Guided presentations are given year round, Monday through Friday at 11 a.m. It’s a great learning experience for adults and kids!
Visitors to Sanibel Island are often surprised by the many unique shops that are available. Many of the shops are located along Periwinkle Way in beautifully landscaped plazas. Most shops open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. There are many local shops that offer unique gifts handmade only on Sanibel Island — a must for souvenir hunters!
#5 Charter Fishing or Shelling Trip
We recommend visiting The Castaways Marina on the North End of the island. Their two charter captains will take small groups on fishing or shelling adventures. These captains will take you to out-of-the-way fishing holes and shelling sandbars that you’d never find alone. Our guests tell us that these trips are often the best part of their Sanibel Island vacation.
With more than 60 restaurants to choose from, just sampling the local faire will give you hours of enjoyment. Whether you choose to dine at the four-star Mad Hatter restaurant, located on the property of our sister resort, The Castaways, or take a leisurely drive to Captiva Island to taste the famous seafood bisque served at Captiva House restaurant at ‘Tween Waters Inn, you won’t be disappointed.
#3 Live Theater
Sanibel Island boasts a live theater for great evening entertainment. The Old Schoolhouse Theater seats 92 people and was Sanibel’s original one-room schoolhouse back in 1896. With only a handful of rows, the entire audience experiences a “front row” seat to all the action in this totally unique, intimate theater. Its nightly performances rival any off-Broadway play and will give you a night to remember!
#2 J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge
More than 7,000 acres of mangrove estuary make up the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. More than 200 species of birds, plus alligators, raccoons, otters and several other species of wildlife have made the refuge their home. Visitors can enjoy the Ding Darling Center of Education, tram, walking, driving and bicycling tours and several miles of canoe and kayak trails. It’s definitely a unique Sanibel Island experience that shouldn’t be missed by anyone with a love for nature.
#1 Watch a Sunset and the “Green Flash”
It may sound cliché, but there’s nothing more relaxing than ending a perfect day on a tropical island with a beautiful sunset. Visitors often line the beach at sunset waiting to snap the perfect picture to capture the moment the sun dips below the horizon. At the moment the sun disappears, some may be lucky enough to witness the “green flash,” a quick burst of green light that illuminates the sun as it sets. Those who want a real treat will relax on the sand and watch the sky slowly transform into a series of breathtaking colors as the earth’s shadow fills the sky with a warm purple haze.