Sanibel Island, Florida

Sanibel Island
Photo by Carl Black/Flickr

Sanibel Island is a barrier island on the Gulf Coast rated the #6 Best US Island for 2013 by TripAdvisor, and one of the Top 10 Beaches for 2013 by the Travel Channel. The Wall Street Journal also selected Sanibel as one of the 10 Best Places for Second Homes in 2010.

Famous for white sandy beaches, quality seashells, wildlife refuges and conservation, Sanibel Island attracts tourists from all over the world, and residents wishing to experience nature to its fullest.

Wildlife Refuges

More than half of Sanibel Island consists of wildlife refuges, of which J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge is the largest.

The J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge provides an important habitat to more than 220 species of birds, and works to enhance the pristine wildlife habitat of Sanibel Island, protect endangered and threatened species, and provide feeding, nesting, and roosting areas for migratory birds.


Sanibel Island hosts The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated entirely to the study of shells. The nonprofit museum features more than 30 exhibits of mollusks from around the world, shell habitat, rare specimens, fossil shells, common Southwest Florida shells, and more. The museum also features a hands-on learning lab for children that includes displays, games, videos, and a tank with indigenous mollusks.

The island is also home to the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village that receives almost 10,000 visitors a year. The museum tells the story of Sanibel from the Calusa and Spanish eras to the early pioneer families who settled on the island in the 1800s. The museum also features 7 historic buildings that were moved from their original island sites to the Historical Village, and restored to their original state.

Explore Sanibel Island


City of Sanibel: The official website of Sanibel, Florida.

"Ding" Darling Wildlife Society: Nonprofit, Friends of the Refuge organization, that supports environmental education and services at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Wikipedia: Information about Sanibel Island.

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