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Disappointed by Sanibel

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Denver
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5 posts
10 reviews
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Disappointed by Sanibel

My family and I were on Sanibel 10/7 through 10/11, staying at Casa Ybel. The beach and water conditions were as bad as I have seen in all my beach travels. We saw dead fish every day. Not a lot, but probably 5 -10 dead fish every time we went down to the beach. The smell was not the usual ocean / salt smell I'm used to and love. It was an odor that was not particularly pleasant. LOTS of seaweed and a redish junk which I assumed was also a seaweed. Water color was a cloudy brownish green that was different than any ocean I have ever seen.

We spent the rest of our vacation further south in the Bonita Springs / Naples area and found the ocean and beaches much cleaner, water a typical color and the smell what you expect at the ocean.

The best part of our stay was exploring the Ding and the grounds of Casa Ybel. The grounds are wonderful with palm trees, lawns, etc.

We spent less time at the beach than expected due to the beach and ocean conditions.

One last comment. I cannot imagine how crowded Sanible would be during peak season. The traffic on Periwinkle would be miserable and the locals would "roll their eyes" when asked about peak season traffic.

I have had overnight stays in Destin, Pointe Verda Beach, Cocoa Beach, Miami, the Keys, Naples, Bonita Springs and Sanibel. Of all these visits, Sanibel had the worst ocean and beach conditions. I will have a hard time returning to Sanibel. Charming people and the Ding is wonderful. Unfortunately the beach has issues and I suspect they are not short term issues either.

New Hampshire
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365 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: Disappointed by Sanibel

Our family was also disappointed with Sanibel- although it was not the beaches we never go to visit the beaches. We stayed on FMB and took a drive to Sanibel. It took almost 2 hrs to get to the island and it was so busy there was not a place to park. We've since headed north of Sanibel staying near Boca Grande.

If you are looking for clean, unspoit beaches Boca Grande may better suit you. So far most people have not discovered it yet and I must admit we dont mind!

Melbourne, Florida
Destination Expert
for Melbourne, Florida
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13,506 posts
96 reviews
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2. Re: Disappointed by Sanibel

You were probably experiencing the results of red tide. Red tide is caused by too much algie in the water which eats up the oxygen causing fish and vegitation to die. If seems to always happen at this time of the year. If you read back through some old posts you will see there is much discussion about red tide. It can happen on the east coast too.

I personally have not been to Sanibel in years. We have stay in Ft. Meyers and found crowded beaches and little or no parking there too. Love the area, hate the crowds.

Sanibel, FL
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926 posts
18 reviews
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3. Re: Disappointed by Sanibel

Sanibel and Captive are best appreciated by staying here not by daytripping. I can see why you were disappointed and I'm really sorry to hear that you had a negative experience as I'm sure that you were not able to see what the two Islands have to offer in such a short time.

Sanibel
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375 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Disappointed by Sanibel

So sorry you were disappointed with the Gulf of Mexico(not an ocean) and the beach also. And I have lived here 28 years and it is not always like that, so it is short term. And the traffic on Periwinkle during peak season is miserable, but it is what it is. Most locals don't complain about it because we know other ways around besides Periwinkle. And you got lucky going to the beaches in Naples in Bonita because they both have been plagued with worse red tide than we have this year and so has Boca Grande. But I am glad that you did get to spend some time on a beach somewhere. That's what it is all about. But please don't throw your towel in on Sanibel just yet. If you want to experience Sanibel bad enough you will be back. And if not, then it just wasn't meant to be.

5. Re: Disappointed by Sanibel

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