There is so much to do and see on the serene and beautiful Sanibel Island. There are amazing restaurants, gorgeous white sand beaches, shell collecting, incredible wildlife, cruises and other attractions. Spend a day at the beach finding some of the most unique shells or biking the trails at a wildlife preserve. Sanibel is for lovers of nature, adventure and relaxation.

We selected the top things you will want to do the next time you are visiting this magical island. If you haven’t already booked a trip – what are you waiting for? 

Check out these amazing Sanibel Island vacation rentals 

Best Things to Do on Sanibel Island 

Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum

This natural history museum is the only one accredited in the United States devoted solely to shells and mollusks. They have amazing programs, collections, aquariums and much more! If you are looking to learn and have an incredible experience with nature this is the museum for you. You will learn how everything connects – shells, animals, the ocean and how to continue to preserve the environment. This museum is a must-visit when in Sanibel!

Captiva Cruises

Captiva offers many types of cruises including sunset cruises. The views are breathtaking and the Captains are knowledgeable and happy to accommodate requests. You will learn so much about the nature around you, local history and more. These cruises made our list for good reason and should be on your vacation list too!

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille 

Doc’s is a staple on Sanibel Island. This is their flagship location and is well-known to be the home to some of the best mojito’s around, but you can’t go wrong with any of their drinks. The seafood is fresh and local. They have two dining rooms and a beautiful outdoor patio to choose from for seating, as well as live music nightly.

Tarpon Bay Explorers

Ready to get outside and have an adventure of a lifetime? Tarpon Bay Explorers offers fun and eco-friendly tours. They are “licensed concession to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge” and they give back! They offer fishing charter, kayak rentals, many types of guided tours and so much more!

Sanibel Historical Museum and Village

If you are looking for some history – look no further! This museum and village opened its doors in 1984 and strives to provide history and education about the island to locals and tourists alike. They offer guided and self guided tours of the historical buildings and heritage trail, as well as various events and a museum store.

Sweet Melissa’s Cafe

Sweet Melissa’s offers a tremendous menu with some of the freshest seafood on the island. You will be taken on a culinary journey here. There is a 5-course wine dinner to choose from or go a-la-carte. Either way you can’t go wrong!

Sanibel Fish House

If you are looking for local seafood at a fun local place – you have found it! This quaint spot has all the vacation feels. They have won many awards for their fantastic food. The service is also some of the best around.

Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation

This special place not only helps to conserve Sanibel and Captiva Islands, but also offers a glimpse into what that requires with a beautiful nature center. They have nature trails, a butterfly house, a souvenir shop, and many other cool things to check out.

Adventures In Paradise Outfitters to the Outsiders

Another fun thing to do while on vacation? How about some shopping! This family-owned and run business offers unique island style clothing and products. They have been open on Sanibel Island since 2009. This shop has all sorts of cool finds and great souvenirs!


Hi, I'm Jen and I love to travel, go to the beach and write about all the places I have visited. I also have a bucket list of places I can't wait to try! I've visited Cape Cod every summer since I was a kid and now enjoy traveling to all great beach destinations, including Florida! I have worked in the travel industry for all of my career. I love sharing my experiences of different restaurants and places and helping travelers find the best fit for them!

Comments are closed.