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best places to eat and see

Toronto, Canada
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best places to eat and see

I am visiting FMB area in late Oct and plan to do some day trips to Sanibel and Captiva. Can you recommend the best places to eat lunch and dinner? Are there any restauants/bars with live bands, etc.? What about boat tours, which ones do you recommend? thanks

The Bakery
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1. Re: best places to eat and see

Boat tours have several options. Captiva Cruises has a nice variety to choose from, some all day and others just a few hours. I almost always see dolphins on their cruises. By the way - noise ATTRACTS dolphins, so no need for quiet.

Tarpon Bay Explorers does an easy pontoon boat tour - take the sunset cruise and watch the many migratory bords come in to nest on the island in the bay for the night. It's quite unique and very different from the larger Pine Island Sound cruises that Captiva Cruises offers, but only if you're interested in wildlife.

I haven't taken the Sanibel Thriller, a restored speed boat that takes a very high speed ride, usually attracts dolphin and is more exciting than the others, but without the time and and leisurely sightseeing the other offer.

A cruise I also like is the Sealife Cruise cruise offered by Adventures in Paradise. They sail out of Port Sanibel Marina in Punta Rassa near the Lighthouse Restaurant off Summerlin.

As for where to eat, don't miss Doc Ford's Rum Bar. It's very casual sports bar with good food, not a gourmet spot. My favorite is the Buffalo Shrimp, Grilled Fish Tacos, and the brownie ice cream sundae.

Live entertain is best checked at the Chamber of Commerce, second drive on the right as you exit the causeway. They put out a list of all places, dates, and times for the week. They usually publish once a week.

If you take a sunset cruise with Captiva Cruises, you can wander the village and listen to live entertainment at Key Lime Inn, RC Otters and Mucky Duck. More can be had on Sanibel down near the Causeway at Jacaranda. Others have it as well, but it comes and goes.

For 'price of no object' dining, Olde Captiva House on Captiva in Tween Waters Inn is a great choice. Make reservations for a seating about 30-45 minutes before sunset and ask for a table near the front windows. Mad Hatter is a TINY place at the north end of Sanibel and services fine food in another historic building. Reservations are a must most nights and prices are very steep. Both are 'resort casual', not shorts and flip-flops, that's more Doc Ford's.

For lunch, on Captiva, Mucky Duck. Food is kind of so-so, stick to thing like burgers and you'll do fine. (Never order fried grouper on a Monday. You'll end up with a frozen fish fillet - which is what happened to me) The view is AMAZING. Another really good choice is The Green Flash. It has terrific views of Pine Island Sound and better food that Mucky Duck, but not the charm or location. On Sanibel, my favorite is Grandma Dot's at the Sanibel Yacht Club. Limited seating and great fried grouper sandwich in a really nice location. The best seats are to the right after you enter as they look out toward the bay, but all have marina views and it's VERY popular with locals and visitors. They do sever dinner, mostly in season, and close early.

Other dinner spots are Trader's Cafe (very generous portions), Tradewinds at the Island Inn (reservation recommended), Thistle Lodge at Casa Ybel, (the last two have Gulf views and open porch seating as well), and Sunset Grill (reservation recommended, sunset views, but not on beach) kind of across the street from Mad Hatter and next to the uber casual raw bar, Lazy Flamingo, popular with locals and visitors.

Toronto, Canada
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68 posts
11 reviews
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2. Re: best places to eat and see

thanks for all the info..much appreciated...this is great info and I will definitely try to visit some of these places...sounds yummy!

The Bakery
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3. Re: best places to eat and see

By the way, the open air porch seating is at SUnset Grill, not the other places. It's a bistro style restaurant. Lunch and Breakfast can vary in quality, but dinner is usually very reliable.

Inman, SC
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4. Re: best places to eat and see

Don't know how many will be in your party, but my hubby and I really enjoyed the Captiva Cruises sunset catamaran sail. It was a very fun thing for a couple to do. I'm not saying there were no children aboard, just that it was a cozy, nice experience for us as a couple. AFA food, if I were spending only one day on Sanibel, I would have lunch at Doc Ford's and dinner at Trader's. A drive thru or formal tour of Ding would be nice; for shelling--Blind Pass is my favorite "go to" location, altho many prefer the Lighthouse area. Sanibel is beautiful. Anywhere you go and/or anything you do will be wonderful.

DeLand, Florida
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5. Re: best places to eat and see

I have to say check out George and Wendys and the island cow.

Boston...
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6. Re: best places to eat and see

Sanibel Thriller and lunch at Grandma Dot's (same dock) is a MUST! :)

Toronto, Canada
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68 posts
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7. Re: best places to eat and see

thanks so much for the suggestions. There are just 2 of us so the sunset cruise sounds good, did one of those in Naples a few years ago. I'll do some research on all the great food places you recommended. thanks and Cheers!

Cincinnati
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8. Re: best places to eat and see

Sanibel Thriller is a must do!!

Toledo, Ohio
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9. Re: best places to eat and see

Love Lazy Flamingo, the captiva location

10. Re: best places to eat and see

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