What to do on Sanibel Island?

There are so many fun activities to do on Sanibel Island. There is definitely something for everyone regardless of whether you are a relaxed beachcomber or an adventurous explorer. Beaches, bikes, shelling, shopping, dining, wildlife, museums and more, there is never a dull moment on Sanibel Island!


One of the most popular things to do on Sanibel Island is shelling. Hence why Sanibel is considered the shelling capital of the world! There are many ocean treasures to be found along the vast stretch of beaches. To find out more check out our guide to shelling on Sanibel Island. We have also created a guide on shelling tools.

Tulip shells from Sanibel

The Beaches

Visiting the Sanibel beaches is an absolute must when you are looking for things to do on Sanibel. Unquestionably some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, explore each one by starting with our guide to Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches.

girls on the beach on Sanibel Island


Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are famous for their sunsets. There are numerous locations to view the sunset. The beaches are the most popular location but there are also restaurants and bars with sunset views. Check out our guide on where to watch the sunset on Sanibel Captiva.

beach sunset, sanibel island

Stay By The Water

The best way to enjoy the beaches and see the sunset is to stay by the water! There are many waterfront accommodation choices that provide excellent amenities and beach access. A full list can be found HERE.

Blind Pass Captiva


Sanibel Island is full of terrific dining options. Undoubtedly there is certainly something for everyone especially if you enjoy fresh fish and locally sourced flavors. From fine dining to casual and family-friendly, grab n’ go and deserts. Read our guide on Sanibel Island restaurants.

cheeseburger at American Legion


Sanibel Island home to a variety of colorful and quirky shopping plazas. An array of gift shops, small boutiques, art stores, and specialty stores are all up for grabs. For a guide to the best of Sanibel shopping click HERE.

Retail Store on Captiva Island


Sanibel Island is a very popular place for fishing. Popular types of fishing are Fly Fishing, Kayak Fishing, and Surf Fishing. Everything you need to know about fishing on Sanibel can be found HERE.

Blind Pass Cast Net fishing


There are several golf clubs on Sanibel Island and golf is incredibly popular. The courses are idyllic and have the unusual addition of roaming wildlife to make things a little more exciting. Although there are clubs open to the public, some have membership requirements. Information on all the golf clubs on Sanibel can be found HERE.


Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)

The CROW Clinic is dedicated to caring for injured wildlife. The Visitor Education Center offers behind-the-scenes views into CROW’s animal care through live camera feeds, interactive displays, and daily presentations. Visit the CROW website.

bird at campground on Sanibel Island

J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge

The J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge is home to over 245 species of birds, mammals, amphibians, and endangered species. There is a visitor center and several nature trails to explore. Wildlife Drive is especially fascinating. Find out more HERE.

Blue Bird on Sanibel Island

Shell Museum

Learn all about shells and mollusks at the shell museum. Presently, this is the only museum in the United States of its kind and has 30 permanent exhibits and a living gallery. Go to the shell museum’s website HERE.

Shell museum on Sanibel Island

Sanibel Historical Village & Museum

Take a walk through Sanibel history at this fascinating museum. The museum is comprised of 9 buildings from the 1800’s restored to their original state.  Additionally, check out the Sanibel Heritage Trail. Go to the Sanibel Historical Village & Museum Website.

Sanibel Historical Museum on Sanibel Island


There are over 25 miles of bike paths on Sanibel. Biking is one of the easiest ways to get around the island and, in addition, the scenery is undeniably gorgeous. See Our guide for more on how to rent bikes on Sanibel.

Biker on Sanibel Bike Paths


Watersports are permitted on all the beaches there are several options to rent equipment. Visit Sunny Adventures and YOLO for more information.

Kitesurfing on captiva