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Top Destination | Sanibel Island, Florida

Justly famed for its sunsets, lighthouse and luxurious resorts, Sanibel Island is by far known for it’s shelling! Located along the Gulf of Mexico just a short drive from Fort Myers, you can barely walk a step on the beach without indulging in the “Sanibel Stoop” to search for shells.

Millions of Shells along the coast of Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island, Florida | Image by Anne McKinnell Photography

Offering relaxing and family-friendly hotels and resorts, local restaurants and shopping, and many fun activities, Sanibel Island is perfect for a romantic getaway, family trip or a simple nature vacation.


Enjoy 15 miles of unspoiled beaches, 25 miles of bike paths, 50 types of fish, 230 types of birds, 250 kinds of shells and 0 stop lights! Sanibel Island offers fishing, shelling, nature tours, bird watching, golf and tennis, arts and entertainment, bike rentals and so much more!

Photo of the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum in Sanibel Island
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum | Sanibel Island, FL

Shell enthusiasts will enjoy The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, the only museum in the U.S. devoted entirely to shells and mollusks! One of the best things to do on Sanibel Island, it features ore than 30 engaging exhibits of stunning shells, showcasing some of the largest and rarest shell specimens in the world, including the Goliath conch, lightning whelk and Atlantic trumpet triton, as well as common Southwest Florida shells, fossil shells and more.


Image of visitors at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge Visitor & Education Center

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a must-see for animal lovers. Part of a much larger complex that encompasses the Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, The Matlacha Pass National Wildlife Refuge, Pine Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Island Bay National Wildlife Refuge.


The entire complex consists of over approximately 8,000 acres with the majority of the lands comprised of nesting and roosting islands. Home to over 245 different species of birds that call the refuge “home”, it is famous worldwide for its spectacular migratory bird populations.


Image of various birds in J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge | Sanibel Island, FL

The refuge is located within an estuary, which creates some of the most nutritionally rich habitat for thousands of species of plants an animals. The extensive mangrove forests and productive seagrass beds provide the basis of their intricate food web.


As you venture through the refuge, keep your eyes out for mammals as big as a manatee surfacing the top of the water or as little as a rat scurrying through the leaves. many reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, and endangered species, plus invasive and non-native species.


Landscape photo of Sanibel Island Lighthouse and Beach
Sanibel Island Lighthouse | Sanibel Island, FL

Sitting on the eastern end of Periwinkle Way (and the eastern tip of Sanibel Island) inside the wildlife refuge is the 120-year-old Sanibel Island Lighthouse is unfortunately not open to the public but makes for some amazing photographs. There is a beach for shelling and fishing pier. Due to causeway currents, swimming is not recommended.


Image of RVs and campers at Periwinkle Park & Campground in Sanibel Island
Periwinkle Park & Campground | Sanibel Island, FL

For RV travelers, Periwinkle Park & Campground is a beautiful destination park on Sanibel Island offering accommodations for campers from motorhomes to tents and everything in between. Just a 10 minute walk to white sandy shell-lined beaches (only half a mile away)!


Amenities include complete hook-ups, picnic tables, restrooms/showers, laundry, ice LP gas, a pavilion available for private and public functions, as well as beaches, golf, shops and dining all within walking distance.


Overview photo of the Periwinkle Park Aviary in Sanibel Island, FL
Aviary at Periwinkle Park | Sanibel Island, FL

A bird lovers delight, the park features an aviary with many species of exotic and native birds including toucans and macaws, plus brown and ringtail lemurs add a dose of excitement. All of the birds were obtained through rescue efforts.

The only bad news, though… No dogs allowed. No credit cards accepted. And, no WIFI provided.

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Now that you're ready for an adventure to Sanibel Island, it's time to head over to Mid Florida RV Rentals! You can rent an RV and hit the road! Call 866-MID-FLRV (866-643-3578) for your RV rental needs!