Welcome to our Places To Visit series. We highlight some of the most fascinating places and share with you a few details as if you were experiencing it for yourself. We like to explain on a scale how kid-friendly these places are and we hope that you enjoy. If you know of a Place To Visit that we must check out, contact us and let us know!
Named one of the “Top 10 North American Islands” by Conde Nast Traveler, Sanibel is surrounded by shell-strewn beaches and majestic Gulf tides. The inns and resorts offer true comfort and refreshment.
Not sure where Sanibel Island is? No problem… let me help. Sanibel Island is an island located on the Gulf coast of Florida, just offshore of Fort Myers. In 2000, it had an estimated population of 6,064 people. Located within Lee County, Sanibel is a barrier island – a collection of sand on the leeward side of the Gulf Stream from the more solid coral-rock of Pine Island.
The city of Sanibel incorporates the entire island, with most of the city proper at the east end of the island. After the Sanibel causeway was built to replace the ferry in May 1963, the residents fought back against overdevelopment by establishing the Sanibel Comprehensive Land Use Plan in 1974 helping to maintain a balance between development and preservation of the island’s ecology. A new, higher bridge without a bascule (drawbridge) having to open for tall boats and sailboats, was completed in late 2007.
Thanks in part to the new causeway, Sanibel is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination known for its beaches, shelling, and wildlife refuges. More than half of the island is made up of wildlife refuges, the largest one is the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The Island also hosts the Sanibel Historical Village and a variety of other museums and theaters.
One of my favorite places to visit is the Sanibel Inn conveniently located right at the entrance of Sanibel Island.
Sanibel Inn is also part of the Florida Green Lodging Program. They do their part to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Launched in 2004, the Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources. The program’s environmental guidelines allow the hospitality industry to evaluate its operations, set goals and take specific actions to continuously improve environmental performance.
The Florida Green Lodging Program is administered primarily online. To become designated, facilities must conduct a thorough property assessment and implement a specified number of environmental practices in six areas of sustainable operations:
Communication and Education (Customers, Employees, Public)
Waste Reduction, Reuse and Recycling
Indoor Air Quality
The first time I came across Sanibel Inn, it was by accident. My husband and I had just gotten married and decided to drive until we found a place to stay for our honeymoon. Not really knowing anything about Sanibel Island, we started driving until we saw a sign. We headed onto the island and we literally pulled up into their parking lot. It was almost like it was meant to be.
Sanibel Inn is a beautiful little place, it’s a cluster of adorable, beach front buildings with clever nature inspired names.
The rooms have a rustic, shabby chic beachy feel. The best part about the Sanibel Inn is the fact that I consider it to be very family-friendly. There is a convenient restaurant located mere steps outside your door. The rooms (depending on the size) come equipped with a microwave, refrigerator and pretty much anything else you will need.
The options for entertainment on the grounds are unlimited. Whether you are wanting to grab a bike and go for a ride on the nature trails, check out the beautiful butterfly gardens or start your own sea shell collection by shelling in the beautiful coastline, there are many options and things to do.
Would I recommend the Sanibel Inn to my friends? 100% absolutely. It is the most relaxing place to stay and with all the mom and pop restaurants close by, this is sure to be a lovely beach adventure for your family and yourself.
Kid Friendly Scale: