We recently took a quick getaway to Sanibel Island – about a 3 and a half hour drive from Orlando. The small island of Sanibel (only 12 miles long and 4 miles wide) is located off of the coast of Fort Myers in Florida. I have lived in central Florida off-and-on for over twenty years but had never ventured to this side of Florida. I am glad I waited until now so that my small dog, Bodie, could come!
We had a great day at the beach – all the beaches on Sanibel are dog-friendly! There’s no loud music or spring-breakers and cars aren’t allowed on the beach (unlike in Daytona!). Instead, Sanibel is unspoiled and natural. It is a top destination for shelling – all along the beach are piles and piles of shells to be sorted through (go at sunrise to get the best ones!). But it isn’t just a shelling beach – there’s still plenty of sand.
There’s a long list of pet-friendly accommodations – mostly small motels or cottages. Don’t expect over-the-top luxuriousness – head to the other coast for that. Instead, everything is small and quaint, and authentic Floridian – the way it used to be. There’s no traffic lights on Sanibel (but two traffic cops instead) and you won’t see very many of the big chains on the island. I think Dairy Queen was the biggest name that we saw! Instead, there are plenty of good restaurants and cafes and most allow dogs on their patios (check out Over Easy Cafe and their delicious breakfasts served until 2pm!).
We stayed at the Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages. The units were cute and the location was peaceful and quiet (on the northern tip of the Sanibel – right next to the small bridge to Captiva Island, a more remote and residential island).
To read more about our trip, check out these two articles on Examiner:
Sanibel Island – more details on what to see and do on Sanibel
Castaways review – with photos!
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