Sanibel’s main drag, Periwinkle Way, runs under a canopy of whispery pines and gnarled oaks so thick they almost obscure the small signs for chic shops and restaurants. This ambiance is the work of the locals who have worked to keep their piece of paradise intact. In fact, more than half of the island has been preserved in the form of a wildlife reserve.
J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is home to all sorts of different animals such as alligators, racoons, manatees, armadillos, and hundreds of different species of birds. You have the option of riding, biking, walking, canoeing, or kayaking through the park. An absolute must see while you’re visiting this beautiful island! If you feel like going off the map a little, you can always go sight-seeing on your own. The Sanibel area is a vital area for wildlife, and many opportunities exist to spy on animals in their natural setting. A trip to Lighthouse Beach early in the morning almost always guarantees a fantastic dolphin sighting! This was my favourite part of the whole trip, I absolutely love dolphins. They are such a majestical animal. They often like to swim and jump in the wake of large boats, and they will perform the most amazing acrobatics, it’s hard to believe their not trained! The best part, for me, was stopping on the causeway beach to watch the dolphins play in the warmer shallow water. So be sure to keep an eye out while crossing the causeway, because there is almost always a show going on beneath you!
Aerial view of Lighthouse Beach, Sanibel Island, Florida