So here’s the low down on some of my favourite go-to spots when I’m visiting Sanibel Island and the surrounding area. Some of these spots are well-known to tourists, while others are definitely off the beaten path.
Every Canadian will tell you that one of their favourite things to do while visiting the US is to go shopping. And I must confess, I am no exception. There are so many places to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. If you want to make a day out of it, Miromar Outlets is the perfect destination.
Miromar Outlets – Estereo, Florida
The 45 minute drive from Sanibel Island is well worth the trip as Miromar boasts that it has over 140 top designer and brand name outlets. But do not fret, if you prefer to stay local you can always visit Tanger Outlets, which is located just a couple of miles from the Sanibel causeway. Tangers outlet does not have as many stores as Miromar does, but will still satisfy that oh so well-known ‘shopping itch’.
Tanger Outlets – Ft. Myers, Florida
But, if you’re after some real treasures then it’s the thrift stores you want to hit. I have to confess, I became somewhat of a thrift store junkie while I was visiting Florida. Although you will only find one thrift store on Sanibel Island, a Goodwill store, there is one other place you might try. A very well-kept secret, Noah’s Ark Thrift Shop, operates out of the back of St. Michael and all Angels Episcopal Church. The shop is open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 12:30pm, and is always teeming with local church-goers and volunteers. But be sure to get there early, as there is almost always a mile-long line-up.
Noah’s Ark Thrift Store – Sanibel Island, Florida
On Sanibel Island there are certainly no shortage of options when it comes to dining out, and if time permits, I suggest trying as many of them as possible. That being said, I’m going to give you the low-down on what I consider to be absolute essential places to visit. Jerry’s Foods, one of two grocery stores on the island, is located conveniently on Sanibel’s main road.
Jerry’s Foods and Restaurant – Sanibel Island, Florida
Inside Jerry’s market, you will find Jerry’s Restaurant, a low-key diner style joint that provides a relief from some of the pricier restaurants on the island. If you do visit Jerry’s and order nothing else but the chocolate cake, you will leave there absolutely delighted! While we’re on the topic of desserts, I would be doing you a disservice if I neglected to mention Mel’s Diner.
Mel’s Diner, Ft. Myers location
Mel’s Diner is a fantastic diner that is a complete throwback to the 1950’s! Everything I’ve had there has been fantastic! But the best thing on the menu? The coconut cream pie. I like to consider myself somewhat of a pie aficionado, and this pie tops the charts! Coconut and mile high whipped cream, do you need to know anything else? For a great snack, my go-to place on the island is Rosie’s Island Market & Deli. The owner, Rosie, will make you a delicious fresh sandwich right in front of you! But don’t worry, it’s worth the wait, as she only uses the best ingredients. I could go on and on, but it’s become quite clear to me that I spent a lot of time shopping and eating…..Oh well, that’s what vacations are for, right?
Rosie’s Deli – Sanibel Island, Florida