Sanibel is a barrier island, angled perfectly to do its natural purpose — to protect inland Florida from any incoming powerful surge.  

Because of its unique position, Sanibel splits into two ends — East and West.  While both sides are easily accessible by car or bike and have an ample number of things to do, both are set aside in terms of personality.   

You’ll realize when planning your stay, that one end may have more things that you’ll want to do than the other. So, let’s take a look at how each side is unique and which one fits best with your vacation plans.   

East End of Sanibel 

After crossing the causeway you’ll find yourself on the East End of Sanibel. Whether you’re staying at Shell Island Beach Club or Coquina Beach, you’ll be front and center to Sanibel’s commerce area.   

With numerous places to catch your next Instagram or Snapchat picture, you’ll realize the East End is a selfie lover’s paradise. With things to do like peruse the unique island shops, stay cultured at Sanibel Historical Museum or grab a bite to eat at one of the terrific different style restaurants Sanibel has — boredom does not exist here.   

Or, if it’s a nice sunny day (which most are) you could spend the day outside and bike ride to Lighthouse Beach Park, home of the Sanibel Lighthouse. There you can see the lighthouse that’s kept ships safe since 1884 and enjoy the beach which overlooks the Gulf towards Fort Myers and San Carlos Bay.   

West End of Sanibel  

On the West End of Sanibel, things quiet down a bit. If you’re staying at East Rocks Community or Sea Shells of Sanibel, you’ll see fewer shops and more green space. This is due to the number of wildlife conservations that reside on this end.   

Whether you plan on taking a guided tour, driving or biking through – there’s no wrong way to experience the many wildlife conservations West End has. All three conservations (Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) have tours and allow guests to experience nature up close and personally. 

The one aspect both ends of the island share is the beaches. Both ends have an abundance of beaches, waiting for you to dip your feet in the Gulf, explore Sanibel’s unique shells and watch the sun dip down below the sea’s horizon.  

Whether East or West, you’re bound to have a great time during your stay. Let us help you by finding the perfect place for your next island adventure. Visit our link here to find available locations when you visit next!