Balmy tropical days await on Florida‘s tranquil Sanibel Island, where you can find views of the Gulf, fresh fish and impeccable service at the island’s best hotels, bookable on Culture Trip.
Out of towners take note: no two beaches in Florida are the same, and the shores of Sanibel Island are without question some of the best in the state. Buoyed by the Sanibel Causeway to the greater Fort Myers area, Sanibel Island’s sunsets, lighthouses and seashells draw in the crowds, but it’s the seafood, seaside suites and outdoor activities that’ll convince you to stay longer than you planned.
Island Inn is pure seaside bliss. At their Traditions on the Beach restaurant, fresh fish is cooked up before your very eyes. In fact, they’ll even cook up your own catch, and if you need advice on the best fishing holes or beaches for shell-hunting, their e-concierge service will answer all of your questions with a few taps of the fingers.
It’s a shame you can’t pay for your room with sand dollars and seashells, because the private beach at Sanibel Island Beach Resort is full of them. You can, however, pay a few extra dollars to have your four-legged friend stay with you in a comfortable king suite at this popular spot. Latch on a leash and walk along the private entrance to the beach where, hopefully, Fido can sniff out some buried treasure left behind by pirates.
If it’s not the Gulf that brought you to Florida, then it was surely the golf. Sanibel Inn tees you up with an exclusive membership to the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club resort. Practice your short game on their 18-hole championship course, then brag about how much time you’ve spent away from the beach over spritzers and sunsets at the Clubhouse.
Keep the screaming kids, giant floats and loud music at a minimum at the adults-only Seahorse Cottages. You’ll lay your head right in the historic district, lifting it only to apply a little more sunscreen to your glowing tan. Dixie Beach is a few steps to the west, but we suggest trekking a few more paces east to Lighthouse Beach Park for a picnic under the shadow of the historic beacon.
We’d normally talk about the kitchens, comfortable living areas and enclosed balconies of the West Wind Island Resort’s suites, but there are just so many other things to do at this resort that you’ll hardly see your room. Parasailing, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing. waverunners, boat rentals, jacuzzis – this place really does have it all.
Shalimar Cottages and Motel wants you to spend your entire stay under the sun. From kayak and bicycle rentals to basketball and shuffleboard courts, there’s always an outdoor activity at your fingertips. One-room motel-like suites are ideal if you plan on being on the beach everyday, but if you’ve got family and friends in tow, the apartments or cottages offer a little more room to relax. With fully equipped kitchens in all rooms and a heated outdoor pool, you can’t go wrong at Shalimar.