Sanibel Island: Travel tips

08/26/2007 3:01 AM

08/24/2007 10:58 AM

 Best for: Nature lovers, birders, wildlife art collectors, families, sun-worshippers and shellers.

 Getting there: Sanibel is a three-hour drive from Miami.

ECO-FUN

 Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge (239-472- 1100, www.fws.gov/dingdarling) is Sanibel's main attraction, famous among birders and home to alligators, bob cats, river otters, and other rare and endangered creatures. Admission, $5 per car.

 Tarpon Bay Explorers (239-472-8900, www.tarponbayexplorers.com) conducts naturalist-narrated tram and paddling tours; rents kayaks, canoes, and bikes for exploring the refuge.

 Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Nature Center (239-472-2329, www.sccf.org) has nature trails, observation tower, butterfly house, native nursery, and nature programs.

 Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum (239-395-2233 or 888-679-6450, www.shellmuseum.org) explores shells and their role in history and art.

 Captiva Cruises (239-472-5300, www.captivacruises.com) offers nature and island-hopping excursions.

 Sanibel Sea School (239-472-8585, www.sanibelseaschool.org) organizes out-in-the-field educational programs for adults and kids.

 Adventures in Paradise (239-437-1660; www.adventureinparadiseinc.com) takes you fishing, kayaking, and nature exploring by sea.

WHERE TO STAY

These lodgings are offering special discounts during Duck Stamp events.

 Island Inn, 800-851-5088, www.islandinnsanibel.com. Sanibel's historic beachfront resort is offering Ding Darling Days packages Oct. 8-14 at $175 for gulfview efficiencies, including continental breakfast each day.

 Periwinkle Cottages, 239-472-1880, www.periwinklecottages.com, which is adjacent to the Ding Darling Refuge, will deduct $10 per night off room rates for a four- to six-night stay ($90 and up) between Oct. 1 and 21.

 Sandalfoot Condominiums, 800-725-2250, www.sandalfootcondo.com, invites visitors for a three-night stay at $500 (plus $40 administrative fee) for a one-bedroom unit during the month of October. Rates for a one-week stay start at $1,035.

WHERE TO EAT

 Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille, 975 Rabbit Rd., 239-472-8311, www.docfordssanibel.com. Closest to the refuge, it serves lunch and dinner in an island- casual vein modeled after local novelist Randy Wayne White's eponymous sleuth hero. Dinner entrees $10.95-$28.95.

 Lazy Flamingo, at two locations: 6520-C Pine Ave., 239-472-5353; and 1036 Periwinkle Way, 239-472-6939, www.lazyflamingo.com. Informal, affordable seafood and burgers. Sandwiches and entrees $5.95-$20.95.

 Traders Store & Café, 1551 Periwinkle Way, 239-472-7242. Creative seafood presentations (especially the nightly specials) in a warehouse-style setting. Entrees $20-$30.

 Dolce Vita, 1244 Periwinkle Way, 239-472-5555, www.dolcevitaofsanibel.com. Italian-Mediterranean fine dining. Entrees $15.95-$28.50.

INFORMATION

 Lee Island Coast Visitor & Convention Bureau, 2180 W. First St., Fort Myers; 239-338-3500 or 800-237-6444; www.fortmyers-sanibel.com.

 Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, 1159 Causeway Rd.; 239-472-1080; www.sanibel-captiva.org.

Join the Discussion

Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service