Quick Guide to Shelling on Sanibel Island

Shells on Sanibel Island FloridaYou’ve probably heard about the world famous shelling beaches on Sanibel Island. If you haven’t already gone on a shelling adventure, then you haven’t fully experienced everything the island has to offer. The geography of Sanibel Island makes this the perfect area to collect gorgeous shells by the handfuls. Since the island is curved with an east-west orientation and has a broad underwater shelf, the currents from the Gulf of Mexico fill the sandy beaches with shells. Sanibel Island offers some of the best opportunities to find, observe, and collect shells from the sea.

Where to Go Shelling

You’ll find the best shelling on the gulf side beaches from the Lighthouse to North Captiva. Discover a wide variety of shells and some of the best shelling in the world on Sanibel Island. Some popular shelling beaches include Lighthouse Park, Gulfside City Park, Bowmans Beach, Blind Pass Beach, and Captiva Beach.

When to Go Shelling

The best time to collect seashells is early morning during low tide when the shells are more exposed. Low tides during a full moon or new moon and right after Gulf storms are great times to find shells. You’ll be surprised at how many shells a strong wind or storm drives up to the beaches. During the low tide summer months, it’s not unusual to find 50 to 60 different kinds of shells in a day. Because the beaches change every day, you can expect a new experience every time.

What to Do

Bring a sieve and scoop to collect and sift through the shells on the beach and, most importantly, a bucket or a bag to place them in. You might want to pick up shells with your bare hands and use your fingers to filter out the sand. Keep in mind that collecting live shells is prohibited. If you want to preserve your treasure of shells, it’s important to clean and polish them.

Types of Shells

Sanibel Island has around 250 shell species, so you’ll find an abundance of different types and sizes including conch, Junonia, Lightning Whelk, cockle, scallops, murex, and many, many more! Just imagine the hundreds of thousands of seashells ready to be found. So, kick off your shoes, put your toes in the sand, enjoy the Southwest Florida sunshine, and start shelling! 

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    Buying a Home for Retirement on Sanibel & Captiva Islands

    House in Sanibel, FloridaLots of people want to buy a new home after retirement because specific wants and needs change as you get older. Here are some of the most important things to consider when buying a home for retirement.

    Your Lifestyle

    This is probably the most important thing to consider. Think about your long term lifestyle desires. You’ll want easy access to all of the things that are important to you, so you can spend more time doing these things. Do you like golfing, biking, playing tennis, going to the beach, water activities, shelling, or boating? If any of these things are at the top of your list, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands are a great retirement destination for you. Sanibel & Captiva condo owners benefit from some great onsite amenities, convenient locations, and a low maintenance lifestyle.

    Preferred Location

    If you’re considering a move to a new town or state, be sure you’ve spent plenty of time vacationing there and getting to know the area. Do some research and talk to your realtor about the area and neighborhoods. If you’ve lived in the same place for a long time, you probably have a large social network. Are you ready to say ‘goodbye’ (or at least ‘see you later’) to everyone so you can experience a new adventure in a location you’ve always dreamed of? Just think of the beautiful beaches and the laid back atmosphere in Sanibel & Captiva.

    Home Layout

    Single story homes, first floor condos and condominium complexes with elevators are great choices for retirees who don’t want to worry about the future aches and pains associated with climbing stairs. If you’re buying a new construction home, popular features like wider doorways, hallways, and walk in showers are great amenities. Make sure your home will be easy for you to manage as far as cleaning, maintenance, and repairs.

    Financial Changes

    When you do financial planning for your new home, consider your income limitations and include pensions and social security. Include the price of the home, HOA dues, property taxes, insurance, other monthly expenses, and recreational activities in your plan. Weigh the pros and cons of putting a large down payment on your home. You could pay it off faster, but it might not be the best financial move for you.

    Our team of local real estate experts can help you find just the right property for your retirement needs on the beautiful Sanibel & Captiva Islands.

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      Where to Take Mom for Mother's Day Brunch on Sanibel Island

      Breakfast & Brunch for Mother's DaySanibel Island has some fabulous places to eat. If you’d like to treat mom to a nice Mother’s Day brunch before you head out for a relaxing day at the beach, here are some great options to consider.

      Lighthouse Cafe

      This cozy eatery claims to be “Serving the World’s Best Breakfast All Day.” Known for its friendly service, specialty pancakes, and other tasty eats.

      Blue Giraffe

      Enjoy a unique culinary experience and a pet-friendly outdoor dining area. Award winning tropical dishes served in a tropical environment.

      The Island Cow

      Here you’ll find the largest menu on the island. The cuisine provides a nice blend of Southwest Florida and southern comfort food. Enjoy outdoor family fun games and tropical dining.

      Totally Baked on Sanibel

      Featuring delicious foods and baked goods prepared locally with the freshest ingredients. The bakery & cafe offers tasty homemade breads & pastries as well as sandwiches, soups & specialty items.

      The Sanibel Cafe

      Offers a variety of classic American cuisine, southern classics and island favorites. Also has a special children’s menu with a coloring page and crayons. Enjoy your meal on marvelous fossilized seashell table tops.

      Over Easy Cafe

      This casual dining spot features an extensive breakfast menu. Kid’s menus and gluten free menus are available. Award winning daily specials and delicious homemade blueberry cobbler.

      Be sure to contact Kingfisher Real Estate
      if you have any questions about buying or selling a home on Sanibel Island!


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        Why Visit Sanibel & Captiva Islands?

        Sanibel Island in FloridaThere are SO many reasons to visit the Sanibel & Captiva Islands, whether you’re looking for a retirement destination, a seasonal home, or you just need to get away for a while. You’ll find beautiful beaches and a laid back atmosphere with plenty of shelling, bird watching, and water sports opportunities to enjoy. The sister islands have received a multitude of awards over the years and here’s just a glimpse of those accolades.

        2018 Travel & Leisure: The Best Small Beach Towns for People Who Want to Escape the Crowds (Sanibel Island)

        2018 U.S. News: Sanibel Island #3 in Best Florida Beaches

        2018 U.S. News: Sanibel Island #6 in Best Relaxing Getaways in the USA

        2017 Coastal Living: Sanibel Island Named Best Beaches for Shelling

        2017 Expedia: 25 Friendliest Cities in America (Sanibel is #5)

        2017 National Geographic: 21 Best Beaches in the World (Sanibel Island is #7)

        2017 Culture Trip: The Most Beautiful Spots In Florida (Sanibel Island tops the list)

        2014 Coastal Living: America's Happiest Seaside Towns 2014 (Captiva Island is #2)

        And the list goes on! You can view more Sanibel & Captiva awards here.

        If you have any questions about the islands or if you’d like to learn about local real estate opportunities, call Kingfisher Real Estate at 239-472-4411.

        Browse Sanibel & Captiva Real Estate by Category


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          Outdoor Dining on Sanibel & Captiva Island

          Outdoor Dining in FloridaIf you love the outdoors, you’ll want to explore some of these great outdoor dining spots in Sanibel & Captiva, Florida. Find fantastic patios, beautiful views, and a variety of foods to suit everyone’s taste.

          Sanibel Restaurants

          Doc Ford's Sanibel Rum Bar & Grille

          If you’re looking for a sports bar with gourmet food, you’ll find it at Doc Ford’s! From sports heroes to world travelers and Randy Wayne White, you’ll discover some famous - and not so famous - people here.

          The Island Cow

          Enjoy outdoor games, live entertainment, tropical beverages, and delicious comfort food in a relaxed atmosphere. Best of the Islands Award Winner for 14 years and counting!

          Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant

          This award winning upscale restaurant provides exquisite Floridian and European culinary masterpieces, once enjoyed by Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

          The Clam Shack

          A casual family owned restaurant featuring fresh New England seafood with daily specials and a kids menu.

          Blue Giraffe Island Dining

          The menu includes island-inspired cuisine with seafood, chowders, sandwiches, salads, burgers, and more. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.

          Cip's Place

          Named after long time Islander Jimmy Cipriani, the restaurant is still the kind of place he would want to go to find great food and good times in a casual, comfortable, and relaxing atmosphere.

          Captiva Restaurants

          Keylime Bistro

          Located in Historic Captiva Island Village, the bistro serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll find live music, a full service bar, and a variety of options on the menu.

          Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille

          Officially opened in August 2013, this is Doc Ford’s newest location. Award winning restaurant with fresh local seafood and live music.

          RC Otter's Island Eats

          You’ll find around 100 items on the menu, live music, and a game room. This restaurant is in the heart of Old Captiva Village with easy access to lots of great shops.

          Cantina Captiva

          Choose from a variety of unique and spicy Mexican/Southwestern dishes along with some traditional favorites like fajitas, tacos, and burritos. Sit back and enjoy a refreshing margarita with your meal.

          Barnacle's Restaurant

          Unwind under the tiki hut with a fresh fish meal and a cold beverage. For dessert? Homemade ice cream, of course!

          Sunshine Seafood Café & Wine Bar

          Offering a great assortment of seafood items, this casual cafe specializes in fine dining. The menu has lighter fare options as well as heartier meals.

          If you’d like to get information on Sanibel & Captiva Island real estate opportunities, contact Kingfisher Real Estate today!


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