We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

12 year olds portion of our vacation

Jackson, WYoming
Level Contributor
270 posts
Save Topic
12 year olds portion of our vacation

I found Sanibel as I was looking for something for my daughter's portion of our vacation. We are going to St. Barts for spring break for a week but have a few days before that we were thinking would be nice to take her someplace not so 'adult'

SHE LOVES shelling and no island vacation we have gone on has produced many.

I googled best shelling and Sanibel keeps coming up.

A few questions....can some shells be removed and collected from the island? Also what are some other things to do on the island and how far is it from other things that might be fun todo? (we thought we might go to Disneyworld for one day?)

Anyhow, looking for ideas and inspirations.

thank you

Laura from Jackson Hole WY

Mentioned in this post
Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Jackson
Jackson
Mississippi
Sanibel Island...
Level Contributor
1,319 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 12 year olds portion of our vacation

It sounds like you have not previously visited Sanibel Island. If this will be your first visit, you are in for a treat. Sanibel has miles and miles of beaches with many beautiful shells. Although there is a law against the taking of "live" shells (any shell with an animal in it), your daughter can take all the empty ones that she wants and has room for in her luggage. If you are still making plans, it would be best to visit Sanibel Island after visiting St. Barts, since taking seashells out of the country and then bringing them back in may be a little difficult, especially if you have not been able to clean them well and they develop some odor. Although I like to call this the sweet aroma of success, others in my family and on this forum would describe the odor differently. If you need to visit Sanibel before St Barts, you may want to consider mailing your daughter's seashells back home in a padded container inside ziplock bags. Just a suggestion.

As for things to do on Sanibel, they are many. You might want to look at the "Things to do" on Trip Advisor for Sanibel Island. Since your daughter is interested in seashells, I would definitely recommend the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum and probably also the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. There are many miles of biking trails and places to canoe and kayak. You will not be able to do everything you want in just a few days, but you will enjoy whatever you are able to do. Most of the people on this forum think that Sanibel Island is a very special place. As for inspiration, most of us are inspired just being on Sanibel.

From Sanibel Island Disneyworld is about four hours (more or less) by car, depending upon how fast you drive. If I only had a few days, I would not try to do a day trip to Disneyworld, but that probably depends more on what your family enjoys doing. I hope this information is helpful. Good luck.

Mentioned in this post
Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Hell, Michigan
Level Contributor
6,016 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 12 year olds portion of our vacation

There are pak and ship stores on the island that are experts on shipping shells - not to crazy expensive I hear. One is on Periwinkle, the other on Palm Ridge Rd.

I second MurexKen, going to Disney might be a stretch - I would think about how many days you have before the cruise. Kids generally LOVE Sanibel, shelling, biking, walking/hiking in the nature preserve, kayaking, etc.

You can rent bikes from Billy's or FInnemores, Kayak on Captiva or at Tarpon Bay. You can ride thru Ding Darling, or ride or walk thru the Bailey Tract on Tarpon Bay Road.

If your daughter loves shelling - she may just be happy on the beach. Buy her a shell net at most any store on the island, get her a shell guide at almost any store and just enjoy.

Mentioned in this post
Periwinkle Park & Campground
Periwinkle Park...
300 Reviews
Sanibel Island, FL
Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Captiva Island
Captiva Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Tarpon Bay
Tarpon Bay
420 Reviews
Bonita Springs, FL
Jackson, WYoming
Level Contributor
270 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: 12 year olds portion of our vacation

No, I have never even been to Florida.

how is the swimming on the Island?

It sounds awesome so far.

Where would be a nice place to stay? and what is the airport near there? We would be going to ST Barts After Sanibel.

We have never gone to any beaches except Kauai so we are looking forward to someplace close to home (well relative speaking, Wy is far from FL)

Mentioned in this post
Florida
Florida
United States
Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Sanibel Island...
Level Contributor
2,702 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 12 year olds portion of our vacation

Your choices will be a little limited if staying only a few days during most spring breaks before and around Easter as that is all high season. There are a number of posts that list properties that rent daily if you search for them. Probably the first I'd look at is Casa Ybel.

One thing that strikes me in your posts is the contrast between Sanibel and the other destinations you mention. Sanibel is lovely, unique and wonderful but it is quite unlike Kauai or St. Barts. You will not find five star resort amenities or the classic "pristine" powder-white beaches with tropical deep turquoise water.

Sanibel is sub-tropical and its beaches are deliberately kept in their natural state which means lots of shells and also bits of plants and occasional animals that wash up on shore. The wide sand bar means that the water is light blue/green and there is a very gradual drop off making swimming relatively safe for kids.

There is a nature-focused easy going family-friendly vibe that is uniquely Sanibel that is fabulous. I only mention the contrasts so you can adjust your expectations in the event you were expecting an experience similar to the other islands mentioned.

Mentioned in this post
Casa Ybel Resort
Casa Ybel Resort
686 Reviews
Sanibel Island, FL
Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Jackson, WYoming
Level Contributor
270 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: 12 year olds portion of our vacation

we don't need 5 star resorts, just someplace clean.

We will probably fly in on the 27 and leave morning of the 30th. So just 2 full days.

What do you suggests for the best 'shelling' spots?

Looked a bit at the posts on the hotels that offer less than a week and am kind of confused.

I guess I just have to make some calls.

Hell, Michigan
Level Contributor
6,016 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 12 year olds portion of our vacation

Here is a link for places that rent mid week:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g34616-i231-k20685…

I'd look at the places on West Gulf beach first - great shelling and awesome tide pools at some low tides. For a cottage look at Shalimar, Waterside Inn and Beachview Cottages. For a motel style room - West Wind Inn or Sunset Beach resort.

On the East and middle gulf areas - Sanibel Moorings and Sanibel Arms West are condos that rent nightly , motel rooms are at Seaside Inn, Sanibel Inn, Holiday Inn.

Beaches are all good for shelling - you can drive around to the different areas, Tarpon Bay, Lighthouse, Blind Pass, Bowman's.

Parking info is here, $2 an hour - dollars or credit card in machine.

www.mysanibel.com

Beach and bike trail info here:

www.sanibeltrails.com

Mentioned in this post
Beachview Cottages
Beachview Cottages
745 Reviews
Sanibel Island, FL
West Wind Inn
West Wind Inn
2,167 Reviews
Sanibel Island, FL
Sanibel Moorings Resort
Sanibel Moorings Resort
833 Reviews
Sanibel Island, FL
Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island
Southwest Gulf Coast, FL
Seaside Inn
Seaside Inn
742 Reviews
Sanibel Island, FL
Tarpon Bay
Tarpon Bay
420 Reviews
Bonita Springs, FL
Blind Pass Beach
Blind Pass Beach
698 Reviews
Sanibel Island, FL
Bowman's Beach
Bowman's Beach
2,594 Reviews
Sanibel Island, FL
Jackson, WYoming
Level Contributor
270 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: 12 year olds portion of our vacation

Thanks for that info. I will start looking.

The few I looked at yesterday (sorry don't remember which ones!) all were around $500 a night. I was sure I was on the wrong track!

We will most likely book our trip this weekend.

Can't wait!

8. Re: 12 year olds portion of our vacation

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 14 June 2010, 05:15
Get answers to your questions about Sanibel Island