Sanibel Island for Families

Our trip to Sanibel Island, Florida

My daughter and I recently visited Sanibel Island to see our cousins.  It's amazing what a little sun and ocean can do for you in the middle of the winter.  Here are some of our highlights, some things we would pass on next time, and what we would like to add to our next Sanibel Island trip.

On our way from Casa Ybel to Doc Ford's.

We decided to rename Sanibel, shell-i-bel, because there are more shells here than anywhere we’ve ever been. So if you’re hoping to build sandcastles it might be difficult, but if you love searching through shells to find the perfect one. You’ve found the right place!

We are not this talented but love that somebody is.


Casa Ybel Resort was really nice. The amenities were fantastic as they offered tennis, pickle ball, basketball, beach volleyball, shuffleboard, corn hole, as well as  water activities. The rooms are well suited for families and they even had kid craft kits you could purchase! 

Casa Ybel's screened patio was the perfect breakfast spot. 

Drawbacks: The airport is 50 minutes away. I guess this is also a positive as it allows Sanibel to feel more relaxed and not just a weekend destination. 

We loved: Biking, biking, and more biking.  The roads are flat and there is a bike path anywhere you want to go.  We rode bikes to the lighthouse, ice cream, and our dinners. When we weren't on our bikes we spent most of our time at the pool and playing games as the resort.  

My nephew went fishing with a local charter and caught tons of huge fish, so if you love to fish- you should probably book a charter. 

Favorite food and treats:

Sanibel’s Best Homemade ice cream  We chose Unicorn Poop ice cream.  I wasn't my choice. 

Lighthouse Cafe for Breakfast  You must get the mimosa, it was delicious! Plus if you rode your bike there, you deserve it!

Doc Ford’s Restaurant  

Matzaluna - Italian food.  Check out their Happy Hour too! 

On our list for next time:

Kayak the Mangroves

Crab races at Tween Island. Information here

Sunset cruise and dolphin watching

Pass on:

With little kids, I would pass on the Darling Nature Preserve.  It was nicely done just not enough to hold my 3 year olds attention. 


Please send us a message at if you think we missed a "must do."  We'd love to add it to our list for our next trip to Sanibel Island.