Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sanibel Farmers Market (Vendors)

The Sanibel Island Farmers Market is held at City Hall.
Sundays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This open air market features 30 vendors including baked goods, live plants, honey, pasta, cheese, sausages, fresh fish, and fresh organic produce


24. P & J’S NUTS-R-US
37. Poco locos - coffee

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sanibel and Captiva Restaurants open on Thanksgiving

Bubble Room
– Open, reservations only.
Courntey’s – Open with specials - Reservations mot necessary.
Gamma Dots – Open, 11:30am-8pm.
Bubble Room – Open, reservations only.
Greenhouse Grill - Open with specials.

Holy Smoke BBQ – Open, 12-8pm.
Il Tesoro – Open w/regular menus and specials of pheasant, wild turkey, goose.
Island Cow – Open, with specials.
Island Pizza Company – Open.
Jerry's Foods of Sanibel - Open until 4pm; full turkey dinners to go with advanced orders.
Keylime Bistro – Open serving traditional dinner & specials.
Lighthouse Café (Sanibel) - Open for breakfast 7am-3pm; Lunch 11am-3pm.
Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant - Open, Buffet $29.99 adult/ $15.99 child. Seating's start at 11am, 12:30p, 2p, 3:30pm, and 5pm.
Old Captiva House - Open, Buffet $42.95 adult/ $18.95 child; 12-8pm.
RC Otters - Open, breakfast & lunch until 2pm.

Sandy Butler – Open, 11:30am-8pm; special menu.
Sanibel Grill - Open, 2-11pm.
Schnapper's Hots, Inc. - Open, 11am-4pm.
Sea Star Cafe & Bar - Open, 8am-10pm with specials.
Sunshine Seafood Café - Open serving traditional dinner & specials.
Timbers – Open 2pm-8pm; turkey & trimmings for $15 p/p
Thistle Lodge Restaurant - Open, Buffet $54.95 adult/ $19.95 child; 11:30am-7pm.

Locations that are closed Thursday: Blue Giraffe, Cantina Captiva, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Doc Ford's, East End Deli,
The Great White Grill, Green Flash, Mucky Duck, Over Easy Cafe, Pinocchio's Original Italian Ice Cream, Traders, Twilight Cafe, Matzaluna, Lazy Flamingo,
Lazy Flamingo II, Subway, Sunset Grill and the Sanibel Café. Stone Crab - Closed Thurs/Fri

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sanibel Island Fall Getaway

It’s the off-season here in southwest Florida, at least until Christmastime. So you can have 15 miles of beach almost to yourself—and pay less for it. There’s no neon, no loud WaveRunners, no high-rises. Just a lush island with blooming hibiscus, bike paths, and beach shacks. Crowds thin out, but it’s still warm enough to swim.
Shelling Secrets: Waves wash ashore more than 200 species of shells on Bowman’s Beach. Go an hour before low tide or the day after a storm; shells will be so thick you need to wear flip-flops.
Local Dish: Try grilled grouper tacos at Doc Ford’s, a restaurant named after the main character of local author Randy Wayne White’s 17 murder mysteries, set on Sanibel and other Gulf Coast islands.
Saturday Morning: Pedal a bike (try Billy’s Rentals) through the 4-mile drive at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge to spot wood storks and eagles or manatees in warmer months.
Sanibel Legend: If you find a rare junonia shell, nicknamed the “Prize of Sanibel,” the Islander newspaper runs your photo on the front page.
Photo Op: See the sunset on Blind Pass Beach, the island’s only west-facing beach, where Sanibel and Captiva meet.
After Sundown: Drive over to Captiva’s famous Mucky Duck (five minutes from Blind Pass) for live music and a cold beer.
Lay Your Head: Suites at Casa Ybel Resort overlook 23 acres of secluded beach. It’s built around the Thistle Lodge, the island’s first resort, now a white-tablecloth beachfront restaurant.
Closest Airport: Fort Myers (RSW), 1 hour east via Summerlin Pkwy.
Forecast: 81°/62° 
Dress Code: shorts, sundresses, and a light sweater
|From the November 2010 Magazine Issue of Southern Living 

Tickets for New Year's Eve party, bingo and 50/50 raffle available

It may only be the middle of October, but islander Barry Alan Roth is already dreaming about New Year's Eve.

For the second year in a row, Roth is the driving force behind the City of Sanibel's official New Year's Eve Party, returning to the Sanibel Recreation Center on Friday, Dec. 31.

"It's never too early to start making your New Year's Eve plans," said Roth. "And this year's celebration is going to be even bigger and better than last year!"

The family-friendly, alcohol-free event, sponsored by the City of Sanibel, Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Foundation, local businesses, families and individuals is an all-inclusive gathering where — according to this year's theme, "Come Together" — islanders can enjoy refreshments, live entertainment, dancing, games and prizes... as well as the traditional midnight countdown to the new year.

Beginning at 8 p.m., partygoers can dine on a wide variety of foods, including chicken fingers, cake, deli, fruit and vegetable platters (provided by Bailey's General Store), pizza (provided by Island Pizza), hot dogs (provided by Lazy Flamingo II), mini donuts (provided by Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory), soda and root beer floats (provided by Jerry's Foods), gourmet coffee and hot tea (provided by Coffee Bar @ Baileys), fresh squeezed juices (provided by Sun Harvest Citrus), water (provided by Costco) and more.
Entertainment will include live music and dancing with Gene Federico, strolling magicians Professor Patches and Robbie The Ringmaster, a Rock Band and Guitar Hero tournament, youth games and activities as well as bingo and a 50/50 raffle.

The raffle winner will receive 50 percent of all raffle proceeds and the other 50 percent of raffle proceeds will be used to provide financial assistance to children attending City of Sanibel's Recreation Center programs.

"At last year's raffle, one island resident won $1,037.50 and the Rec Center received $1,037.50," said Roth.

Tickets are sold in packets of six chances for $5. The drawing will be held on New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, 2010 at approximately 11:45 p.m. You don't need to be present to win. Raffle tickets can be purchased during normal business hours at Bank of The Islands, at 1699 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, located at 2475 Library Way, and at the Sanibel Recreation Center, at 3880 Sanibel-Captiva Road.

Raffle tickets will also be sold during Baileyfest this Sunday, Oct. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Bailey Center (corner of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road) as well as at the Sanibel Island Farmers Market, which begins on Sunday, Nov. 7 at the City Hall parking lot. Hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Sanibel Recreation Center Financial program provides financial assistance for island workers to enroll their children in the After School Program, Fun Days Program and Summer Camp. Monies raised from the New Year's Eve event and from the New Year's Eve Sponsorship Program will enable the Rec Center to provide financial assistance to qualifying parents so their children will have a safe and happy place to participate in fun and healthy activities while their parents are working.

Bingo, available to players age 18 and older, begins at 8:15 p.m., with 23 games and more than $7,500 in prizes available. Winners may walk away with 3-day, 2-night resort stays, golf outings, jewelry, boat rides, guided tours or gift certificates. The minimum prize value is $100, with most valued at more than $300.By JEFF LYSIAK

Tickets to participate in bingo are $85 per person, which includes admission to the party, refreshments, entertainment and more. Only 50 bingo tickets will be sold.

Advance tickets to attend the city's New Year's Eve party, available only at the Rec Center, are $15 for adults (18 and older) and $12 for children. Kids 6 and under are free. At the door, the cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children.

For further information, contact Event Chairperson Barry Alan Roth, a San-Cap Kiwanian and Lifetime Rec Center member, at 239-313-9591 or the Sanibel Recreation Center at 472-0345.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sanibel and Captiva Islands - Plan your beach vacation today!

20% off Featured Properties for November 2010
Ask about our Christmas Week Specials

Island Paws Howl-O-Ween Party to benefit Animal Care Trust Fund

Island Paws, located at 630 Tarpon Bay Road on Sanibel, will hold its annual Howl-O-Ween Party on Friday, Oct. 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. on the patio of the Over Easy Café at the Olde Sanibel Shoppes. 

For a $10 donation, owners and their dogs can mingle during "Yappy Hour" and sniff among friends while consuming "puptails," "yappetizers" and, of course, enjoy the annual Island Paws Howl-O-Ween Costume Contest. Judging will take place around 6:30 p.m. 

Other fun activities for pets and their people include a silent auction, raffle and pet food drive. All proceeds will benefit the Animal Care Trust Fund and the Lee County Domestic Animal Services Community Pet Pantry.

More information is available at Island Paws. Call them at 395-1464 or visit


25th Annual Baileyfest to offer limited edition T-shirts

When you join us for this year’s 25th Annual Baileyfest, you must pick up one of the commemorative T-shirts created especially for this event. This year’s design was originally created for the 15th Baileyfest back in 1990. It will be recreated as a tribute to the event’s founder, Sam Bailey.

The artist who created the original design is Boomer Carroll, who is a firefighter with the Sanibel Fire & Rescue District. Carroll was pleased to hear that his artwork was chosen for this year’s Baileyfest. 

“I’m honored. I can’t believe that,” said Carroll. “I love Sam to death. He was a really cool guy. It’s really cool to even be associated with an event like that.”

The T-shirts will be printed in limited quantities, so make sure to pick yours before you leave. They will be printed in two styles: a basic T-shirt and as ringer t-shirts, with the design featured on the back. Any surplus from the sale of the T-shirts and all donations at Baileyfest will benefit Sanibel and Captiva non-profit organizations.

Baileyfest will be hosted by Bailey’s Center Merchants Association (BCMA), and will be held on Sunday, Oct. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Bailey’s Center, on the corner of Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road.

Everyone is welcome to join us for the festivities that will include lots of food and beverages, the crowning of the Baileyfest King and Queen, mule and wagon rides, a bounce house, pony rides and many traditional games. Help us support them through this very special island tradition.

The Baileyfest stage will run from 1 p.m. and feature acts from local performers such as The Hat Boys, BIG Arts Community Chorus, Kellyn Celtic Arts Irish Dance Academy, Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater, Bishop Verot Band & Drumline and more.

For additional details, visit or call 472-1516.

Baer, Ventura gearing up for launch of new season with Farmers Market

The weather is growing cooler by the day, it seems, and people on the islands are looking for more outdoor activities to take part in.

One of the most popular weekly gatherings to debut in the past year, the Sanibel Island Farmers Market, is returning for its sophomore season. Its two founders, Jean Baer and Betsy Ventura, are eager to spread the word and let everyone know that the market is returning soon, bigger and better than ever!

Island Reporter (IR): Tell our readers how the Sanibel Island Farmers Market was created, growing from dream to reality.

Betsy Ventura (BV): I'm crazy about farmers markets! I grew up in a small town in Virginia that hosts the third oldest farmers market in the country, founded in 1783. We always ate fresh local vegetables bought from there or grown on our own farm. When I go on vacation, my husband and I visit the area's farmers market. I've been to farmers markets in Africa, Mexico, Central America, Europe, South America as well as towns across the United States. You can really learn a lot about a community at local markets.

Naturally, it's been a dream throughout the 26 years I have lived on Sanibel and Captiva to have a local farmers market. Finally, about two years ago, I decided to get the ball rolling. I went to Jean Baer, knowing she was the perfect person to help me organize a successful market. From that day on, we have been working together managing the market. We have a great relationship: we both work hard, we always follow through, have similar visions of the market, and we both have a mutual respect for each other.

And I must mention that the market would not be as successful as it is, without the help each Sunday of our husbands, Denny Baer and Marcel Ventura, and my mother, Sherrill Sims.

IR: What were some of your most difficult challenges in launching the market?

Jean Baer (JB): Since day one, our most difficult challenge has been location, location, location. RLR Investments, LLC and the staff of Barb Harrington and Lisa Bramm helped us to launch our first season. We quickly outgrew room for vendors and parking. With the help of the City of Sanibel, we have jumped this hurdle and will continue to be located at City Hall. We have some great green space and plenty of room for parking at BIG Arts and the Sanibel Public Library.

IR: Were you surprised that the popularity of the market continued to grow, week after week?

BV: You never know how people will react to something new. I remember the first Sunday, Jean and I were so worried that no one would come and the vendors would have to take home everything they brought over. By the end of the first few Sundays, the vendors were all so pleased, after doubling and tripling the quantities they would bring each week and still selling out.

I remember one vendor almost in tears saying she had two customers that gave her more money than what she was charging for her plants because she was "not charging enough" for her work. It is so gratifying to see the hard work of these individuals being appreciated by the guests and residents of Sanibel. It warms our heart because many of our vendors participate in farmers markets to support their family.

IR: What comments have your heard from your customers that make you proud?

JB: I am proud on so many different levels. When I see a local restaurant coming by the market to buy freshly grown produce to then use in their recipes it really brings full circle the movement to strengthening the local economy and supporting our Florida farmers.

It is also so gratifying to hear the local residents comment on how much fun they have each Sunday morning catching up with friends and buying new and different products. Both Betsy and I have been told by visitors that attending the Sanibel Island Farmers Market was one of the highlights of their trip. How great is that?

IR: What are the most popular items sold at the market?
BV: Without a doubt, Worden Farm is the most popular vendor. They are a local organic farm from Punta Gorda. There produce is top notch and from the time the market opens to when everyone is packing up, there is always a line in front of their tent.
Other items that seem to be a hit are the lasagna from The Sauce Lady, fresh bagels, the jams and jellies that are made from fruits grown on Pine Island, stone crabs (always caught the day before), the artisanal cheeses from The Big Cheese and 55 Degrees Cheese... I could go on and on.

Of course, Jean and I really try to balance our vendors so that there are a variety of choices for the customers while providing an environment where the vendor can also be successful. We truly hope that we have accomplished this goal.

IR: What will be new at the market this season?

JB: Some new items at the market this year will be BBQ Ribs smoked right on site, freshly baked pies, orchids, donuts from Sanibel Deli, fresh coffee from Poco Loco, and one that we are especially excited about — Pete’s fresh mozzarella.

BV: Local resident, Arlene Dillon, recommended the mozzarella to us last year after buying it at a market in Bonita Springs. We both met up with Pete's Mozzarella and had a sample... and boy, was Arlene right. It is the best mozzarella we have ever had. Yum!

IR: When does the market start, where will it be located, and what are the hours of operation?

BV: We start Nov. 7 and run each Sunday through April. The market will continue to be located at City Hall on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is plenty of parking at the front two parking lots of City Hall, the Sanibel Public Library and BIG Arts but we do encourage people to "go green" and bike to the market.

IR: What are you most looking forward to this season?

JB: I am looking forward to the positive energy that we feel each Sunday at the market. At a time when so many are struggling to keep their spirits up, it is good to know that wonderful things are still happening in communities across America and that neighbors are helping neighbors. Being in a permanent location that seems to work best for the residents, visitors, city officials and local businesses is sure to be an added bonus!

IR: If somebody would like to become a vendor at the market, how can they do that?

BV: Right now, due to space limitations, we have a wait to become a vendor. We may have spaces open up later in the season, so contact either Jean Baer ( or Betsy Ventura ( so we can discuss the details. Keep in mind that we are a market that offers products that are grown or produced locally. We do not offer arts and crafts.

IR: If you were speaking to somebody who has never been to the market, what would you say to them that would encourage them to attend?

JB: It is hard to explain, but the energy at the market is amazing and something I hope everyone in the area can experience. Everyone is shopping for healthy local foods and goods grown in the area. It is a wonderful event that draws people — and pets! — of all ages, week after week.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sanibel Public Library Earns Highest Ranking

Sanibel Public Library has been named one of America's Star Libraries 2010 by Library Journal.  The Library Journal Index rated 7,407 public libraries, and identified the 258 star libraries. The ratings are based on data libraries reported for four per capita service outputs-visits, circulation, program attendance, and public Internet terminal use.  Sanibel Public Library received 3 stars. The Sanibel Public Library is the only library in Florida to be recognized with the highest 3-star rating on the list.

The Library Journal Index is a national rating system designed to recognize and promote America's public libraries, to help improve the pool of nationally collected library statistics, and to encourage library self-evaluation. The rankings are based on data from 2008.

This ranking is the result of a supportive public, an encouraging citizen-elected board, a dedicated staff, and the Library Foundation whose members are strong library allies.

21st annual ‘Ding’ Darling Days offers outdoor family fun all week long

On Sunday, Oct. 17, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will host its 21st annual “Ding” Darling Days, a week-long festival of fun, family-oriented attractions and events that, according to “Ding” Lead Refuge Ranger Toni Westland, are all designed to help families connect with nature — and reconnect with each other. 

“The purpose of the event is to give families a free way to connect with nature — to unplug themselves and their kids from computers, iPods, phones and all that technology and get outside and have fun learning about our beautiful world,” Westland said. 

The event begins with Family Fun Day, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a full line-up of free, educational — and of course, fun — activities and programs, presented by the Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary at Flamingo Gardens, the Calusa Herpetological Society. Throughout Family Fun Day, attendees can make their own nature crafts, take naturalist-narrated Refuge tram tours, browse environmental displays and informational booths, enjoy a butterfly house, have their faces painted and partake in hot dogs and soda, all free of charge. The first 500 youngsters to arrive on Family Fun Day will also receive a free “Ding” Days goodie bag.

“New this year to Family Fun Day is the free touch tank at Tarpon Bay Explorers, the official refuge concessionaire, located on the refuge at the north end of Tarpon Bay Road,” Westland said. The Tarpon Bay Explorers touch tank will be open to visitors from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Throughout the week, Tarpon Bay Explorers will offer their many nature cruise and kayak tour opportunities at a 25 percent off discount. TBE activities include the breakfast and evening “Nature and Sea Life” cruises ($18.75 for adults, $11.25 for children), guided kayak tours ($22.50 for adults, $15 for children), afternoon “Sea Life and Nature” cruises ($15 for adults, $9 for children) and the “Sunset Paddle” ($30 for adults, $18.75 for children). 

Monday through Friday at 12:45 p.m., Tarpon Bay Explorers will also host free deck talks on topics such as dolphins, sea turtles, sharks and the Calusa indians. 

There will also be plenty of daily opportunities to tour and take in the beauty of the Refuge by bike or tram, including free access to Wildlife Drive for hikers and bikers from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Conservation Art Day on Saturday, Oct. 23, will bring “Ding” Days to a close with activities including family nature art workshops, cartooning and the first-ever free tram photography workshop, available to the first 30 people who sign up that day at the tram booth in the refuge parking lot. 

A presentation and stamp-signing by the current Federal Duck Stamp Artist Robert Bealle will be Conservation Art Day’s feature event. 

And as an added bonus, the first 200 kids who arrive on Conservation Art Day will receive a free art kit!

But there’s more — wildlife cartoonist Dave Horton will draw caricatures for the first 50 guests who arrive at the education center on Conservation Art Day. 

“I'm excited and yes, everyone else should be too! If families are looking for free, fun, educational ways to connect and spend time together, making memories that will last a long time, then they should come — and bring a camera to capture the memories,” Westland said. “Paige the Bald Eagle, a rehabilitated eagle that can't be released back into the wild, will be back, so come take a picture of our national symbol.”

Paige will make an appearance on Family Fun Day at 2 p.m. in the “Ding” Education Center parking lot. 

“The ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge is one of the crown jewels of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a huge driving force of conservation and visitation to this area, but we could not do this event without the support of our local businesses and partners on the islands,” Westland said. “This event is truly a community event.”

For more information about the 21st annual “Ding” Darling Days, go to

Business is blossoming at Captiva Blooms

Nine months have passed since Captiva Blooms — the island’s only flower shop — opened its doors to the public and Manager and Lead Designer Ruth Thompson says business is great.

“It’s been a lot of hard work but very enjoyable. Business has been wonderful. For the short time I was open in season, Captiva people were very supportive of me and I appreciate that. I’m looking forward to them coming back again this year,” Thompson said. “I’ve started doing some corporate events for people coming in for their business meetings and dinners at the resort and, so far, I’ve done 35 weddings at South Seas and ’Tween Waters so far. Right now I’m working with 42 brides for upcoming weddings.”

While flowers are an essential part of any standard wedding, for people who aren’t getting married, purchasing flowers might be considered a luxury, especially in tough economic times.

But Thompson said that’s not necessarily the case.

“People are still celebrating anniversaries and birthdays. You don’t have to buy elaborate arrangements to enjoy the luxury of flowers. There’s a lot you can do to make that luxury less expensive,” Thompson said. “Of course, it’s hard to tell in the first year — but so far, so good.”

For Thompson, a way to make an arrangement less expensive — but still beautiful to look at — is by accentuating with natural elements found on the islands.

“I definitely see a trend going towards more natural arrangements — lots of brides are going with more natural, beachy themes for their wedding arrangements. I like using a lot of pieces from nature, things like driftwood, sea stars, shells and sea grasses,” Thompson said.

For the upcoming holiday season, Thompson said she have lots of festive new merchandise.

She also plans to play an active role in helping decorate in preparation for the month-long holiday event plan that Captiva business owners and employees are working on putting together to increase commerce — and holiday spirit — from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Captiva Blooms, located in Chadwick’s Square, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or to place an order, call 239-579-1468.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sanibel Farmers Market Opens November 7th!

#Sanibel Farmers Market returns to Sanibel City Hall
on Sunday Nov. 7th  - 8am - 1 Pm every Sunday through April ☺☺☺

Returning vendors include Worden Farms - Gallego's Farms (organic growers). Pepernatta Pasta, the Big Cheese, Ralph's Seafood, Paradise Soaps, Venus veggies, Lees Bees, the French Bread Oven and the Sanibel Beet. A few new vendors will be joining too!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hallo'Tween Costume Party theme 'Voodoo Island' on Oct. 30

Risk a hex or curse and plan to join ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort for Captiva Island’s most notorious Halloween event — “Voodoo Island” — held on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Be ready for good times, great music, friendly conversation and — oh yeah — those famous (and infamous) costumes.

With tickets available at the door for $15 to anyone over the age of 21, the Voodoo Island Party will start out the night rocking the beach with music by an island favorite, Deb and the Dynamics. This high-energy band covers your favorite songs including a range of rock, R&B and "Jump Blues," and is known as the ultimate dance-party band.

‘Tween Waters Inn also offers a $1,000 costume contest, with judging at midnight, and the promise of a notoriously good time.

Halloween at ‘Tween Waters Inn is also filled with great discounts and prizes during and before the big event. Become a follower on Facebook by visiting — and share the page with your friends — and automatically be entered to win two free tickets to the Voodoo Island event.

Also, when guests stay two nights or more Halloween weekend, they’ll receive two free admissions to the party (a $30 value). For reservations, call 800-223-5865.

“Every year, ‘Tween Waters Inn works hard to throw the biggest, best Hallo’Tween bash around,” said ‘Tween Waters Inn general manager Jeff Shuff. “This year will be no different — with great costumes, discounts and prizes as always, ‘Tween Waters Inn is sure to hit a record-high turnout.”

The ‘Tween Waters Inn annual Halloween bash is traditionally the largest and most famous Halloween party on Sanibel and Captiva, regularly attracting more than 800 colorfully costumed guests. The outdoor event, staged on ‘Tween Waters Inn’s beautiful 13 acres nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Pine Island Sound, is adults only and infamous for the scope, size, scariness, outrageousness, raciness, zaniness, variety and creativity of EMILY KETTNER

For more information on ’Tween Waters Inn, visit

The Stone Crab Grand Opening - danny morgan and friends.AVI

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sanibel Taste of the Islands - November 21st

Sanibel Island-based Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, Inc. (CROW) will host one of the island’s best-loved community events this fall. The 29th annual Taste of the Islands will be held November 21 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. at Sanibel Community Park.
Voted “Best Island Event” for several years, Taste of the Islands brings together the island’s finest restaurants in a celebration of Sanibel style cuisine, all while raising money for CROW’s mission to care for sick and injured native and migratory wildlife. Attendees will enjoy delicious dishes from local establishments, live music and a recipe competition that will challenge the island’s finest chefs to come up with a new dish featuring a yet-to-be-named native ingredient. Event goers can also vote for their favorites in categories in the People’s Choice Awards for categories as Best Vegetarian, Best Appetizer, Best Meat, Best Seafood, Best Dessert, and Best Booth Presentation.
“Taste of the Islands has become a signature of island life,” says CROW board president Susan Petersen Tucker. “CROW is always pleased with the turnout not just from island residents, but also from local community members, businesses and volunteers. The event is a vital way we raise funds to further our mission to save wildlife through compassion, care and education.”
For more than 40 years, CROW has provided high-quality medical care to as many as 4,000 patients each year covering 200 species. The clinic also provides a series of ongoing in-house and offsite educational programs for island visitors and a variety of local groups.
“Through our efforts, we strive to increase public awareness of the impact things like land development, habitat destruction and environmental hazards have on animals,” Tucker continues. “Through compassion, care and education, we hope to help preserve native species and balance their need for natural habitat with our needs as people.”
For more information, call 239-395-0048.

It's Time to plan your beach vacation on Sanibel and Captiva Islands!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Sanibel Island Restaurant Scene

We are all so excited about the new restaurants opening on Sanibel! There have not been changes like
this for many years. Some are closing and new ones are filling the void.

Twilight Cafe is in the process of moving to 2430 Periwinkle Way, former home of Sweet Treats. It will reopen late October as Twilight Restaurant & Wine Bar.

Twilight's former location at 2761 West Gulf Drive will be a sister restaurant called, The Stone Crab - A Shrimp & Seafood House trying to open Oct 12th. It will have a fresh new look and will be family-friendly.
Daily specials, extensive appetizer and late night menu and live entertainment. It will offer a Whale Burger (two pound monster).

Cip's Place is in the forever Green Center at 2025 Periwinkle Way, former Mermaid Kitchen location.
Menu is still being created with no opening date set although it will be this winter and it will retain its island history theme.

Il Tesoro has gone all-organic, exclusively using free -range meats and seasonal produce grown without pesticides.

The former Biddles Bucket at Periwinkle Way and Tarpon Bay Road is still under renovation but will emerge as George & Wendy's Corner Grill. The Schnapps are hoping for an early December opening. They describe  the new restaurant as family-friendly, casual but elegant.

McT's Shrimp House & Tavern closed last month and is scheduled to open this winter, also under new ownership.

Beachview restaurant Golf & Country Club is currently closed

Traders Store & Cafe at 1551 Periwinkle Way reopened this week after being closed for the month of September.

Sea Star Cafe & Bar at 937 East Gulf Drive, at the Sanibel Inn (formerly Ellington's Jazz Club)  opened this summer to great reviews.

Live entertainment on the Island 

Courtney's on Sanibel  Thursdays and Fridays  7 - 10pm   Gene Federico

'Tween Waters Inn" on Captiva - Friday and and Saturday - The Cornbread Brothers  9-1am.

Island Cow  6 to 9:30pm nightly

Ellington's Jazz Bar and Restaurant has live jazz seven nights a week from 7pm to 11pm.
1244 Periwinkle way

RC Otter's  11506 Andy Rosse Lane, Captive, has live music daily with dining inside and out

Keylime Bistro on Captiva features live entertainment seven days and nights each week.

Trader's Store & Cafe - Danny Morgan plays on Thursdays

The Jacaranda has entertainment nightly from 8pm to midnight

Halloween on Sanibel - Island Paws Annual Party

More Halloween fun!!
Island Paws Annual HOWL-O-WEEN PARTY will take place at the Over Easy Patio on Friday, October 29th  5-7pm.
Costume Contest
Silent Auction
Food Drive
Yappy Hour

For more information 239 395 1464

Olde Sanibel Shoppes
630 Tarpon Bay Road

Halloween on Sanibel

Fall Family Carnival Returns!

If you are looking for a great place to spend Halloween, The Community House is the place to be. The fall Family Carnival will take place on Sunday Oct.31 from 5 - 7 pm. Admission is one bag of wrapped candy per family.
There will be trick or treating at carnival booths, crafts, games and food. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes and there will be a hayride. visit or check out The Community House on facebook!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sanibel Luminary Festival - Dec. 3rd - Captiva - Dec. 4th

Sanibel Luminary Festival - December 3rd and 4th 
The Chamber is proud to host its 26th annual Luminary Festival on Sanibel and Captiva Islands Friday, December 3rd, on Sanibel and Saturday December 4th, on Captiva. Luminary Festival is a community-wide holiday event that brings together residents, visitors, businesses and organizations, promoting goodwill and community spirit. Some of our visitors make early hotel reservations especially for the event.
As you "travel the trail", look for the many fun places to stop and enjoy. There will be complementary trolley service, Santa visits, photos with Santa, a live nativity scene, music and activities for the entire family.
Our goal is to offer recognition to island businesses and encourage local shopping while providing a fun-filled evening for family and friends. All chamber merchants are invited to participate and show off their creative decorated storefronts and host holiday celebrations at their center.

The Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater’s 2010-11 season

Schoolhouse Theater begins 2010-11 season with ‘Songs for a New World’

The Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater’s 2010-11 season

The Sunshine Boys
Nov. 13 – Dec. 4 
Performances run Tuesday through Saturday, 8 p.m. 
(No performances November 25 and December 3)
Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” pays homage to the history of comic theater and tribute to the performers who make it so memorable. This is the comedic story of a once-popular vaudeville comedy team known as The Sunshine Boys. After 43 years together, they parted company on not-too-friendly terms when one partner wanted to continue his career and the other wanted to retire. When a lucrative opportunity comes up with a major TV network more than a decade later, their agent has to try and convince the comedy team to reunite for just this one gig. But first, there are a lot of skeletons to be cleaned out of their closets. Perhaps one of Simon’s greatest plays, “The Sunshine Boys” is a poignant look at human relationships, complete with the laugh-a-minute dialogue and strong characters that are Simon’s trademark.
Sponsored by Bank of the Islands and The Royal Shell Companies.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)
Dec. 16 – Dec. 31 
Performances run Monday through Saturday, 8 p.m. (7 p.m. on Dec. 31) 
(No performances Dec. 24 and 25)
This production, written by Michael Carleton, John Alvarez and Jim Fitzgerald, is a non-stop holiday romp through everyone’s favorite Christmas stories. Three quick-witted actors put the audience to the test as they portray as many holiday traditions and stories as they can remember. Say "Bah!" to classic Tiny Tim (there’s always next year) and "Ha!" to a show that takes Christmas customs to the extreme. The Grinch, Frosty, Linus, Rudolph, Marley and more — all in one night! If you liked “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” you’ll enjoy this show that fits all your favorite classic (and not-so-classic) holiday stories into a hysterical sleigh ride of fun.
Sponsored by Brian Johnson VIP Realty and Pinocchio's Original Italian Ice Cream.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Jan. 15 – Feb. 12
Performances run Monday through Saturday, 8 p.m. 
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” written by William Finn, Rachel Sheinkin and Rebecca Feldman, is making its Sanibel debut. In this fantastic new musical, six over-achieving students are brought together to compete for the spelling bee championship, but what they take away will be a lot more important than a trophy. Selected members of the audience may also get a chance to participate, so you might want to bring your thinking cap! This two-time Tony Award-winning musical is not to be missed.
Sponsored by ’Tween Waters Inn.

It Runs in the Family
Feb. 19 – March 26 
Performances run Monday through Saturday, 8 p.m.
The master of farce, Ray Cooney, is back on stage at the Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater with “It Runs in the Family.” Dr. David Mortimer is about to face a tough crowd — 200 neurologists — for a presentation, when in walks his former nurse, whom he hasn’t seen in 18 years. What she tells him will turn his life upside down: he has an 18-year-old son, who is in trouble with the law and is waiting for him in the lobby. This play is perhaps the funniest of the Cooney collection, which includes “Run for Your Wife” and “Caught in the Net,” presented at the Herb Strauss Schoolhouse Theater during past seasons.
Sponsored by John Grey Painting and The Cedar Chest Fine Jewelry.

Ain’t Misbehavin’
April 2 - April 30
(no performance April 23)
Performances run Tuesday through Saturday, 8 p.m.
At the height of the historic Harlem Renaissance, venues like The Cotton Club were jumpin’ to a new beat called "swing." Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a finger-snapping, toe-tapping, Tony Award-winning musical revue — a tribute to the black entertainers of the early 1900’s — that centers on the music of one of the most prolific musicians of the time, Thomas "Fats" Waller. Featuring many famous tunes including Ain’t Misbehavin’, “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Black and Blue” and “The Joint is Jumpin’.”
Sponsored by Congress Jewelers.

For more information about upcoming productions, go to