-- Sanibel & Captiva Islands are located off the coast of southwest Florida, just west of Fort Myers, Florida.
Sanibel Island measures roughly 12 miles long and three miles across at its widest. Little sister Captiva Island has more compact measurements of approximately four miles long and ½ mile wide.
-- The toll to cross the Sanibel Causeway onto the island is $6 per car; there is no toll to return to the mainland. Frequent visitors may want to opt for the transponder program, which works on a debit account system and offers discounted tolls of $2 per trip (plus an upfront charge for the transponder). For more information, contact the LeeWay Service Center at 239-931-0100. For local Taxi service click here.
-- Make the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center your first stop. You’ll find us in a colorful island-style building on your right-hand side immediately after you drive onto the island on Causeway Boulevard. Open 365 days a year, our staff is here to answer all of your questions and make you feel at home. For more information, call us at 239-472-1080.
-- Sanibel Island has two main roads that parallel each other. Periwinkle Way, located at the four-way stop immediately past the Visitor Center, is the main thoroughfare. West of the causeway, it leads to the island’s shopping and dining district. Follow it east and you’ll pass a quieter commercial section, ending up at the Sanibel Lighthouse and its beach. Gulf Drive, the other main route, roves past resorts, beaches, and homes at the water’s edge. It is segmented into East, Middle, and West Gulf Drive.
-- Periwinkle Way links, via Palm Ridge Road or Tarpon Bay Road, to Sanibel-Captiva Road, which continues on to Captiva Island. Known locally as “San-Cap,” the road passes by most of Sanibel’s natural attractions, including the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, theSanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Center (SCCF), the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, and the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (C.R.O.W.) facility.
-- Captiva Island is connected to Sanibel by San-Cap Road. Once you cross the short bridge at scenic Blind Pass, the road becomes Captiva Drive. Follow it north and you’ll find two public beach accesses, plus restaurants, shops and resorts.
What to Pack
-- Our easy-going, outdoor lifestyle translates to casual, informal attire, both day and night. Shorts and sandals are the norm. Restaurants range from simple outdoor cafes to elegant candlelit dining rooms; none requires jackets or ties. Retail establishments generally request shirts and shoes.
-- Plan for sunshine. Our winters are mild (average daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s) and dry (it rains just enough to keep our islands lush). Summer temperatures, ranging from the high 80s to low 90s, are tempered by cooling sea breezes and brief afternoon showers, followed by more sunshine and glorious sunsets.
-- Pack hats to shade your face and head, shorts, swimsuits, sunglasses, cover-ups, a sundress or two, polo shirts and t-shirts. In winter, slacks and a light wrap will complete your vacation wardrobe.
Sun Smart: Begin your days in the sun with a very high sunscreen protection factor (SPF) lotion. For children and fair skin, use no less than waterproof 30 SPF. Be sure to re-apply sunscreen after swimming and at regular intervals throughout the day. Hats and sunglasses provide additional protection for the face. Use zinc ointment for nose and other sensitive and highly exposed areas. The sun is strongest between 10:00am and 3:00pm. Don’t be fooled by clouds and haze. They intensify rather than soften the sun’s effect. Being in and around the water also increases the burning potential of the sun’s rays. Cool minor burns with an aloe vera product. If immediate blistering occurs, see a doctor.
Drink to your Health: Staying hydrated is crucial in sub-tropical climates. If you plan on biking, playing tennis, or participating in other outdoor activities, drink at least 12 ounces of water before you step out the door. Carry a water bottle with you at all times, even if you’re only walking or lying on the beach. After coming in from the sun, drink water beyond satiation, and continue to do so throughout the day. Juice and sports drinks are okay, but water is best. Remember that alcohol is very dehydrating, so limit wine, beer and liquor intake as much as possible.
Stormy Weather: Thunderstorms and lightning are common summer occurrences in Florida. They are lovely to watch – from inside. At the first rumbles of thunder, seek shelter immediately. Never stay in the water during a thunderstorm. Lightning can strike far beyond the center of a storm.
Can’t Stand the Heat: The interior of a car in Florida is comparable to the inside of an oven. Videotapes have been known to melt while left inside for a short time. Think what the heat could do to a child or pet! It is unlawful to leave small children and pets locked in cars in Florida because the heat can be fatal within a very short time. Never leave a child or pet in a car alone, even with the windows cracked, even if you’re “just running in quick” to the convenience store.
San-Cap Medical Center, on Sanibel, offers family medicine and physical therapy. In private practice, island-based physicians and caregivers specialize in dentistry, podiatry, internal medicine, ophthalmology, and other areas. HealthPark Medical Center, a full-service hospital, lies less than 15 minutes from Sanibel on the mainland. Its emergency room stays open 24 hours.
For Book Lovers
-- The Sanibel Public Library features author talks, book discussions, children’s programs and art exhibits. The library is owned and supported by island residents, and houses more than 50,000 books and 5,000 videotapes/ audiotapes/CDs, all accessible through an online card catalog. Membership is offered to both residents and visitors. High-speed Internet access available. Located at 770 Dunlop Road. Hours vary by season. For more information, call 239-472-2483 or visit www.sanlib.org.
-- The Captiva Memorial Library is part of the Lee County Public Library System, and offers residents and visitors access to the collection of the entire library system. Captiva’s collections include an emphasis on local information, and the library itself is housed in a historical building dating back to 1928. Membership is open to both residents (with I.D.) and visitors (with fee). Internet access available. Located at 11580 Chapin Lane. Hours vary by season. For more information, call 239-472-2133.
Numbers & Info to Know
Air Travel: The Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) is located off Exit 131 from Interstate 75; their general information number is 239 590 4800WiFi Internet Access
This is a list of the current nonstop cities served at RSW.
|Atlanta (ATL)||AirTran Airways||800-247-8726|
|Delta Air Lines||800-221-1212|
|Atlantic City (ACY)||Spirit Airlines||800-772-7117|
|Baltimore (BWI)||AirTran Airways||800-247-8726|
|Delta Air Lines*||800-221-1212|
|Buffalo (BUF)||AirTran Airways*||800-247-8726|
|Canton-Akron (CAK)||AirTran Airways*||800-247-8726|
|Charlotte (CLT)||US Airways||800-428-4322|
|Chicago-Midway (MDW)||Southwest Airlines||800-435-9792|
|Chicago-O'Hare (ORD)||USA 300 Airlines||877-872-3000|
|Cincinnati (CVG)||Delta Air Lines||800-221-1212|
|USA 3000 Airlines||877-872-3000|
|Cleveland (CLE)||Continental Airlines||800-525-0280|
|USA 3000 Airlines||877-872-3000|
|Columbus (CMH)||AirTran Airways||800-847-8726|
|Dallas (DFW) - Fort Worth||American Airlines||800-433-7300|
|Denver (DEN)||Frontier Airlines||800-432-1359|
|Detroit (DTW) - Metro||Delta Air Lines||800-221-1212|
|Dusseldorf, Germany (DUS)||Air Berlin||866-266-5588|
|Flint (FNT)||AirTran Airways*||800-247-8726|
|Grand Rapids (GRR)||AirTran Airways||800-247-8726|
|Hartford (BDL)||Delta Air Lines*||800-221-1212|
|Houston-Intercontinental (IAH)||Continental Airlines||800-525-0280|
|Indianapolis (IND)||AirTran Airways||800-247-8726|
|Kansas City (MCI)||Frontier Airlines/Midwest Airlines*||800-452-2022|
|Key West (EYW)||Cape Air||800-352-0714|
|Lansing (LAN) *New Service Begins 12/23/10||Sun Country||800-359-6786|
|Long Island - Islip (ISP)||Southwest Airlines*||800-435-9792|
|Memphis (MEM)||Delta Air Lines*||800-221-1212|
|Miami (MIA)||American Eagle||800-433-7300|
|Milwaukee (MKE)||AirTran Airways||800-247-8726|
|Frontier Airlines/Midwest Airlines*||800-452-2022|
|Minneapolis (MSP)||Delta Air Lines||800-221-1212|
|Moline/Quad Cities (MLI) *New Service Begins Q1 2011||800-247-8726|
|Montreal, Canada (YUL)||Air Canada*||888-247-2262|
|Nashville (BNA) *New Service Begins 1/15/11||Southwest Airlines||800-435-9792|
|New York (LGA) - LaGuardia||800-221-1212|
|New York-JFK (JFK)||JetBlue||800-538-2583|
|New York-Newark (EWR)||Continental Airlines||800-525-0280|
|New York-White Plains (HPN)||JetBlue||800-538-2583|
|Orlando-McCoy (MCO)||Southwest Airlines||800-435-9792|
|Philadelphia (PHL)||US Airways||800-428-4322|
|Pittsburgh (PIT)||AirTran Airways||800-247-8726|
|Rochester (ROC) *New Service Begins 10/20/10||800-247-8726|
St. Louis (STL)
|USA 3000 Airlines||877-872-3000|
|Toronto, Canada (YYZ)||Air Canada||888-247-2262|
|Washington, DC-Dulles (IAD)||United Airlines*||800-241-6522|
|Washington, DC-National (DCA)||AirTran Airways||800-247-8726|
Many island accommodations now have Internet access, check with your accommodation first. Other known locations include:
Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce - 1159 Causeway Road
Sanibel Public Library - 770 Dunlop Road
Coffee Bar @ Bailey's - 2477 Periwinkle Way
Sanibel Cafe - 2007 Periwinkle Way
Jerry's Foods - 1700 Periwinkle Way
Cantina Captiva - 14970 Captiva Drive
Green Flash - 15183 Captiva Drive
Captiva Memorial Library - 11560 Chapin Lane
Banking and Cash Advances: The following Member banks offer ATMs and cash advances against credit cards:
|Bank of America:||2450 Periwinkle Way|
|Bailey's General Store||2477 Periwinkle Way|
|Bank of the Islands:||1699 Periwinkle Way|
|BB&T Bank:||20251 Summerlin Road|
|Captiva Island Store||11500 Andy Rosse Lane|
|Jerry's Foods of Sanibel:||1700 Periwinkle Way|
|Huxters Market||1203 Periwinkle Way|
|Periwinkle Place||2074 Periwinkle Way|
|Rosie's Deli||362 Periwinkle Way|
|Sanibel Captiva Community Bank:||2474 Library Way|
|SunTrust Bank:||2408 Periwinkle Way|
|Tween Waters Inn||15951 Captiva Drive|
|Wachovia:||2407 Palm Ridge Road|
Cablegrams/Telegrams:Western Union: 800-325-6000; available at Bailey’s General Store, 2477 Periwinkle Way at Tarpon Bay Road.
City of Sanibel:City Hall is located at 800 Dunlop Road, 239-472-3700. Information on city services can be found on their website at www.mysanibel.com.
Courier Services:Federal Express: 800-238-5355. Drop boxes are located at:
1101 Periwinkle Way
1456 Periwinkle Way
1626 Periwinkle Way (Arundel’s Hallmark Shoppe)
1713 Periwinkle Way
2402 Palm Ridge Road
650 Tarpon Bay Road (Post Office)
695 Tarpon Bay Road
Emergency Numbers:Police / Fire / Medical Emergencies: Dial 911.
For non-emergencies, the Sanibel Police Department can be reached at 472-3111, and the Lee County Sheriff’s Department on Captiva can be reached at 477-1200.
Parking: Public parking lots have park-and-pay machines. The cost is $2 per hour, and each machine produces a receipt for you to put on your dash. The machines do not make change, but they accept $1, $5 and $10 bills, as well as Visa and MasterCard credit cards. Handicapped parking is free.
Roadside parking is not allowed, and some areas are restricted to those with permits. Permits are available to non-residents at a cost of $80 to $160. They are available at the Sanibel Police Department located at City Hall, 800 Dunlop Road.
Postal Service:Main Sanibel Post Office: 650 Tarpon Bay Road: 800-275-8777. Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm Monday-Friday; 10:00am-noon Saturday.
Captiva Post Office: Captiva Drive S.W.; 239-472-1674. Hours: 9:00am-noon and 2:00-4:00pm Monday-Friday.
A contract Post Office is located at Jerry’s Supermarket: 1700 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel; 239-472-9300. Post Office hours: 8:00am-4:30pm Monday-Friday; 8:00-10:00am Saturday.
Relocation:Interested in moving to paradise? Check out our Relocation / Real Estate page for information on schools, employment, island organizations, religious services, and more. from the Sanibel Chamber of Commerce