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Summer stay on Sanibel for mom and 2 kids

Houston, Texas
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85 posts
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Summer stay on Sanibel for mom and 2 kids

I am planning a trip to Sanibel with my kids ages 10 and 7 for this summer - hopefully over the 4th of July - and have a few questions:

Is a car necessary once you get to the island? I prefer not to pay for a car if it isn't needed but will want to be able to get to a grocery store and to an ideal fireworks watching spot, to the speed boat/dolphin watching ride (can't think of the name right now) etc.

do most places charge extra for bikes or are they free to use (my 10 year old son just learned to ride a bike specifically for this trip!). Can you ride your bike to restaurants/shops and park them there or will they be stolen?

do you think a package deal is better (i.e. through Continental) or could I find a better lodging rate by booking separately?

I would like to stay someplace on the beach, with a minimum of a mini fridge, coffee pot and microwave and a pool (preferably with a slide!). We don't mind rustic but do want something clean and comfortable.

I want to do this as economically as possible while still having a fun time. At this point I am targeting for 4 nights - is this enough? I really just want to chill out and spend quality time with my kids.

Any tips are appreciated!


Sanibel Island...
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1. Re: Summer stay on Sanibel for mom and 2 kids

I think a car is pretty much a must have.. the shopping district is not within walking distance to the residential areas and there is no public transport. You can rent bikes at Billy's or Finnemores and they will supply you with helmets and locks. Very few places provide them for free.

If you go for a package your choices will likely be limited. Places we like that rent nightly include Sanibel Inn, West Wind Inn, Island Inn. You might look at a condo as the weekly rate might be less than a five night rate at one of the above. You would usually have to arrive and leave within a Saturday- Saturday period (some places are Friday-Friday). The advantage of a condo is you can eat in a few meals and that can really save some $$$.

Sorry, all the slides are gone :( Blame the insurance industry...

Edited: 25 January 2011, 01:08
Wyoming & Sanibel
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2. Re: Summer stay on Sanibel for mom and 2 kids

Welcome to the Sanibel forum! You will find lots of helpful information if you look at the top questions at the top right side of the forum, whcih will discuss some of your questions, such as "do you need a car." Some locations will have bikes available to you at no charge, others charge, and others will require you hiring them from either Billy's or Finnimore's.

We almost never chain our bikes up when we stop and we own our bikes and they are very nice. If you have a rental or loaner bike it is unlikely anyone would be interested in stealing it.

I am guessing during the summer months you can find a better lodging deal on your own, but the fourth of July is becoming more and more popular on Sanibel, so it's worth comparing.

Sanibel is very much a "chill" kind of place, so four nights is fine. I'm guessing your children will spend more time in the gentle waves and sand bars of the Gulf than the pool, plus the shells are just addictive. You will find other "tips" in the frequently asked questions.

Hell, Michigan
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3. Re: Summer stay on Sanibel for mom and 2 kids

South Seas Resort has a newer water park/pool area, available to guests staying at the resort. Sometimes they have specials, check their website.

Sanibel Rec Center also has a zero depth pool with a great slide area, you can buy day passes as a visitor.

In addition to the places mentioned above, look at Shalimar - good deals with AAA discount, Beachview cottages, Waterside Inn - check website for summer deals, Sanibel Moorings and Sanibel Arms West.

You might find private rentals thru VRBO, where an owner might be willing to rent less than a week.

sanibel island
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4. Re: Summer stay on Sanibel for mom and 2 kids

Sundial Resort has a pool with a slide. You and your kids will love the beach more than anything else I'm sure... it's a treasure hunt!

5. Re: Summer stay on Sanibel for mom and 2 kids

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