First...this was my first solo vacation. I loved it!!!! Sanibel was the perfect location....I fell in love with the island.
I stayed at Periwinkle Cottages on Jamicia Drive and thought Kathy and Mark were lovely hosts. The cottages reminded me of old world Florida and I was very comfortable and felt very safe there. They provided me with a beach pass to a very lovely and very private beach at the end of the road. Most days I had this beach to myself, shelling was wonderful!!! I would stay here again in a heartbeat!
My direct orders were to relax so that is exactly what I did. I ended up reading 4 books while on the island. I have always loved shelling, but never fully realized how truly relaxing it is. I loved finding what rolled up onto the shore, it was simply amazing. Some of my finds: sand dollars, spiny jewel box, florida cone, olives, shark eyes (many), so many sweet small shells (I loved those), fighting conch, juvie conch, and on and on. I carried them back in empty Pringles can and my padded makeup bag. Nothing broke!
I went to Cayo Costa State Park, I really enjoyed the ride over and the story told by the boat owner. While there I found 2 more sand dollars....there were 2 little kids on the tour so I actually played dumb and called them over and asked them if they knew what they were....they did and got so excited.....I let them keep them. I saw sting rays swimming, a gopher turtle on the shore and a bald eagle, it was so cool! But, I must admit, I LOVED the trees that were half in the ocean....I took tons of pictures in the hopes of being able to frame a few.
I did go to the outlet mall, but to be honest I wish I had not wasted my time, it was very similar to the outlet mall in the town next to my home. But I did find some great little shops that they don't have my way such as World Market and Trader Joe's. I did love the shops on Sanibel.
Okay now the bad part....I'm ashamed to admit, I think I had ice cream almost every day from Pinocchino's!!!! Yes, that's how much I loved it! I tried Sanibel Krunch, Sand Dollar, Wedding Bells and Parrots Nest....so flipping good all of it! How I wish I could get it in NY. I always say I'm a die hard Ben and Jerry's fan....but lordy thiis place is right up there!!
I ate at Island Cow 3 times. There was a server there by the name of Lindsey that was so sweet and kind....she made me so comfortable and honsetly I had such great meals. I loved the fish tacos, and I loved the grouper fried in coconut (yummy)....and their breakfast selection is outstanding! I find their host (who I think may be an owner) to be very friendly!!
I also ate at Matzaluna....OMG the crab bisque is some of the best I've ever had! I want it now.....I also had the crab alfredo....it was a crab-tastic evening!
Had breakfast at Sanbiel Cafe bisquits and gravy.....delish!
Got a piece of cake from the Bubble Room on Captiva Island.....it was the Orange Crunch Cake. The slice was as big as my head....took me days to finish it....so yummy!
For the rest of the time, I spent time on all the beaches and watched people fishing....drove around Captiva looking at what houses I could see (I'd never ride a bike on that island)!
I loved every minute I spent on Sanibel, and I can't wait to go again!!! Thank you to everyone who gave me tips. I do plan on putting my shells to good use and making a mirror with them!
Happy travels to all.