Welcome to Sanibel and Captiva Islands
Sanibel, "The Shelling Capital of the Western World," with more shell variety than any other single beach in Florida. Thick, lush foliage covers the island, half of which is a natural preserve. With miles of bicycle paths, abundant nature, watersports, sandy beaches and breathtaking sunsets, Sanibel and Captiva Islands are an endless tropical playground. Sanibel is tethered to the mainland by a causeway (toll) punctuated with pull-offs and picnic spots where sailboards dressed like butterflies skitter in the breeze.
We're showcasing all that Captiva and Sanibel Island Florida has to offer right here. Make this web site your springboard for jumping into the Cities and Lifestyles that make up our paradise!
Shelling on Sanibel Island
With more than 400 species of shells, the beaches of Sanibel Island off the West Coast of Florida, are considered the best shelling beaches in North America. Not only are shells abundant, but finding coveted species such as the Junonia and Lion's Paw provide excitement for even the most amateur of shellers. Geography is the main contributor to the rich bounty scattered across Sanibel's sugary sands. Unlike other barrier islands, Sanibel is unique in that it runs East to West rather than North to South. The island twists and turns along the coastline rather than making an orderly progression. As a result, the torque of the Island's South end acts as a ladle scooping up the shells the Gulf brings from the Caribbean and other southern seas. Winter storms are particularly beneficial, pushing the shells along the shallow plateau of sand along the Gulf of Mexico to deposit them along the beaches at low tide.
Both Sanibel and its sister island, Captiva, have endured thousands of years of wind and storms to give credence to the claim they are made of shells. Delighted residents frequently unearth perfectly preserved conchs, whelks, and scallops in random digs around their backyards.
The Conch is the most commonly found shell in Sanibel...
Click on the picture below to see a short informative video about Sanibell Island