at Sanibel Island

Photo Credit: Mary Ladd

Sanibel Island is best known for the Sanibel Stoop. It isn’t the term used in New York City for front porches. Instead, it is the motion of bending down to look for shells. And shelling is one of the favorite family activities on Sanibel Island beaches.

Located close to Fort Meyers along the Gulf of Mexico, Sanibel Island, one of the Florida Gulf Coast Islands, is a hot vacation spot for families. Because of the large conservation area, you will find unspoiled landscapes, wildlife and tropical greenery. Activities for parents and children abound.

Junonia Shell

Junonia Shell – Photo Credit: Wikipedia


Shelling – Love treasure hunts? Bring along a beach pail and search for various types of shells. Other tools to help on your adventure include a net, shovel and a sieve to wash away the sand and “shell grit”. Like competition? Find the most unique, the largest, the smallest or most colorful shells. If you find a Junonia shell, you may get your picture in the newspaper.

Bailey Shell Museum – If you want to learn about the shells you have collected, or beach related material, make time for a visit. There is an interactive children’s area as well.

Biking – There are many bike trails on the island. Surrounded by lush greenery, this is fun and adventurous activities. Bring your own bicycles or rent them.

Sanibel Sea School – Enroll your child for the half-day program to learn about the environment and to have fun. The Kids Program is for children aged 6 – 13. There is also an adult program.

Periwinkle Park and Campground – Enjoy the bird presentation where the Bird Lady shows off wild birds. Call in advance for the schedule. (239) 472-1433

Dolphin Cruises – Dolphins and manatees swim in the waters of Sanibel Island. Boats are often handicap accessible.

J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife National Conservatory – Enjoy hosted walking, biking and tram tours. Visit the Wildlife Center. Children can earn a Junior Refuge Manager Badge. Some activities are free.

Don’t forget other family activities such as mini-golf, fishing, Sanibel Music Festivals and canoeing. There is plenty to do on Sanibel Island.

Top photo image source – maryladd on Flickr