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Best Things To Do in Sanibel Island

You're probably in town to pick up a few shells -- and everyone agrees that Bowman's Beach is the best place to try the Sanibel stoop. Identify your pickings at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, then buy a piece of the best conch art somewhere along Periwinkle Way. Of course, not everything in town is about seashells. The popular J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a terrific diversion for families, and romancing couples should catch a sunset over on Captiva Island

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How We Rank Things to Do
#1
Captiva Island Free attraction
Beaches, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Most people think of Sanibel and its quirky little sister island, Captiva, as interchangeable. True, they're both quiet spots ... read more»

#2
Periwinkle Way Free attraction
Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: The island's main thoroughfare is home to several restaurants, shopping opportunities and some of the choicest hotels. So there ... read more»

#3
Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum is small but packs quite a punch. In just a few choice exhibits, you'll be ... read more»

#4
Schoolhouse Theater
Entertainment and Nightlife | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: This bright-pink Sanibel landmark started out as a one-room schoolhouse in 1896. Now, it’s the 90-seat BIG ARTS Herb ... read more»

#5
J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Hiking, Parks and Gardens, Zoos and Aquariums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Named after a political cartoonist and conservationist, the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge was originally meant to conserve ... read more»

#6
Bowman's Beach
Beaches | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: Bowman's is well known for having beautiful, unusual shells, but you'll have to put a little effort into ... read more»

#7
Sanibel Lighthouse Free attraction
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.0

Why go: One of the first lighthouses on Florida's Gulf Coast, this station on the island's eastern end used to ... read more»

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