I just go back from my first trip to Sanibel Island and can't wait to go back!
We Stayed at the Beachview Cottages for 3 nights with our 2 dogs and were really satisfied. I loved the towel service, you put your dirty towels out and they give you a bag of clean ones on your porch. They never enter your room so with dogs that is nice. They are painting on all of the units and they look great.
The shelling was amazing. We met an oceanographer that said there were more live whelks and sand dollars then he had seen in 25 years of coming to the island. We spent lots of time helping the live ones get back into the sea. The water was calm and I floated in my Tube watching Pelicans most of the time during the day. We used the free bikes to ride the Bailey Tract but didn't see anything.
Now for the food. The first night we ate at Doc Fords because it was close. We had the Grouper fingers for starters and that could have been enough for a meal. My wife had a fish sandwich that was pretty good and I had fish tacos that were wonderful. All in all a good place with a good menu and we would go back. We ate at the Over Easy for breakfast. The food was good, service ok, would go back but nothing special. We went to the Green Flash for dinner and it was good. We both had the seafood sampler all really good and they make really stiff drinks. After dinner at the Flash we went to the Bubble Room to get dessert. We took home a slice of the Orange Crunch cake and a piece of Key lime pie, The Cake was the best thing we ate on the Island and I will try other flavors next time. The next day we went to the Lighthouse Cafe for a great breakfast. Great Pancakes for me, and my wife had great omelet. The homemade strawberry preserves reminded me of my grandma's when I was a kid and is a must return. At dinner we went to the Lazy Flamingo and had Garlic Bread and Peel and eat shrimp. I love the atmosphere and would go back. After dinner we went to The Sanibel Scoop, but I wish we would have went to Pinnochio's instead. Overall a relaxing trip, we only had 3 nights so we spent most of the days on the beach, but in the future I want to see the Ding and take a boat like the Thriller or Sunset Cruise.
Overall I loved our cottage, loved the beach, the nature and relaxing feel of the island. I look forward to going back to try new thing, see more live whelks and have some Orange Crunch cake.