Sanibel Island

The best time to visit Sanibel Island is during the winter and early spring months, from December to April. This is the peak season so hotel room rates will be higher than at other times of the year, but with a little early planning you should be able to find an affordable room. The late fall is a good time to visit: it’s a little easier to find a room, but the Gulf water will be chilly. May through early June is also a good time to visit Sanibel Island. But after this the hurricane season begins and this is not the best time to visit.

»Sanibel Island Weather & Temperature by Month

Sanibel Island Weather & Temperature by Month

Sanibel Island Weather in January: The coldest month of the year in Sanibel Island is January where the average low temperature and the average high temperature range between 53°F (12°C) and 74°F (23°C).

In February, the average high and average low temperatures increase by a single degree each to 75°F (24°C) and 54°F (12°C) respectively. Expected rainfall is at 2 inches (59 mm).

March marks the arrival of spring. Spring in Sanibel Island quite warm with an average high temperature of 80°F (27°C). The average low temperature is 58°F (14°C).

Sanibel Island Weather in April: It’s the driest month of the year in April with the precipitation levels averaging at 1 inch (25 mm). Average high temperatures measure in at 85°F (29°C) while the average low temperature is 62°F (17°C).

In May, the average high temperature increases to 89°F (32°C). The low temperature average also sees a significant increase to 68°F (20°C).

June marks the beginning of summer and the peak tourist season in Sanibel Island. It’s arguably the best time of the year to hit the beach with the average high and average low temperatures ranging between 91°F (33°C) and 73°F (23°C).

Sanibel Island Weather in July: The hottest month of the year in Sanibel Island is July when the average low temperature peaks at 75°F (24°C) and the average high temperature holds steady at 91°F (33°C).

In August, Sanibel Island receives the most rain annually with 10 inches (254 mm) of rain. The temperature hold steady at 75°F (24°C) for the average low and 91°F (33°C) for the average high.

September brings in the autumn season with the average high and the average low temperature both dropping by a single degree to 90°F (32°C) and 74°F (23°C) respectively.

Sanibel Island Weather in October: Precipitation levels measure in at 3 inches (76 mm) in October. High temperatures decrease to 86°F (30°C) while the low temperatures drop by 5 degrees to 69°F (21°C).

In November, the temperatures continue the downward trend with the average high and average low temperatures both decreasing handful. High temperatures measure in at 80°F (27°C) while the low temperature average is 61°F (16°C).

December brings in the winter season with temperatures cooling down to a mild climate. The average low temperatures and average high temperatures range between 55°F (13°C) and 76°F (24°C), while the precipitation rate is 2 inches (59 mm).

Despite being the most expensive time of the year to visit, the best time to visit is during the peak months of December through April. During these months, the island gets the best weather out of the year and even plays host to the Sanibel Music Festival. For travelers who want to come by when the prices are at their cheapest, shoot for a visit during May. If shelling is your activity of choice at Sanibel Island, the best time to visit is in October or November when the tides are generally low. Just make sure to pack a sweater for the chilly evenings.

»Getting to Sanibel Island

Getting to Sanibel Island

There are several ways to get to Sanibel Island. The closest airport is the Southwest Florida International Airport located about 22 miles from Sanibel Island in Fort Myers. There are several direct domestic flights from East Coast and Midwest cities as well as several Canadian and European cities. The Punta Gorda Airport in Charlotte County is located north of Fort Myers and is about 32 miles from Sanibel Island. AllegiantAir flies to this airport from many cities across the nation. It is easy to get to Sanibel Island by car. It is approximately a 30 to 45 minute drive from Interstate I-75.

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»Getting From the Airport

Getting From the Airport

The easiest and quickest way to get from the Southwest Florida International Airport to Sanibel Island is by renting a car at the airport. It is probably best to make a reservation in advance. There are more than a dozen car rental agencies located at the airport. Most of these agencies have check-in counters at the airport: the airport’s Rental Car Service Center is a short walk from the baggage claim area. There are a few airport shuttle companies that will take passengers from the airport to some hotels on Sanibel Island. Using a taxi is another option: MBA Airport Transportation operates the taxi service at the Southwest Florida International Airport.

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»Information for Visitors

Information for Visitors

The Sanibel Island and Captiva Island “Francis P. Bailey Jr.” Visitor Center is the official visitor center for the Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce. Named after one of the founding fathers of Sanibel Island, it is conveniently located on Causeway Road as you drive onto the island from Fort Myers and this should be your first stop. The visitor center is open 365 days a year. The professional staff can help visitors with questions about accommodations, attractions, restaurants, shopping, and how to get around the island. At the center visitors will also find more than 400 free brochures, guides, and discount coupons.

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»Getting Around Sanibel Island

Getting Around Sanibel Island

One of the slogans of Sanibel Island is “0 Traffic Lights.” The island is approximately 12 miles long and, at its widest, it is a mere three miles across. There is no public transportation on Sanibel Island and there is no parking permitted on any road or street on the island. There is free beach parking on the Sanibel Causeway, the only way to get from the mainland to the island. Most visitors get around the island on foot or by bicycle. There are two main roads on Sanibel Island that run parallel to each other. For visitors who need a taxi there is one taxi company called Sanibel Taxi.

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»Sanibel Island Restaurants

Sanibel Island Restaurants

For such a small island, Sanibel Island offer many dining options for hungry visitors. It is known as an affluent island so prices at some of the restaurants can be high. Some of the higher priced restaurants include the Bubble Room, Jacaranda, Keylime Bistro, Mad Hatter, the Sandbar, and several others. There are less expensive places to eat such as Jerry’s Family Restaurant, the Lazy Flamingo II, and the Sanibel Grill. Many of the restaurants specialize in American food and freshly caught seafood such as George and Wendy’s Sanibel Seafood Grille and the Sanibel Fish House Inc. Matzuluna boasts the only wood fired pizza oven on the island.

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»Shopping on Sanibel Island

Shopping on Sanibel Island

Looking for sea shells along the beaches is the number one past time for visitors to Sanibel Island. But when you need a break from shelling, try shopping. Shopping is one of the top five things to do on the island. Tiny Sanibel Island boasts four conveniently located shopping centers just off Periwinkle Way. There are art galleries, artisan shops, boutiques, clothing stores, gifts shops, home decor stores selling unique items, jewelry shops, a pet accessory store, and wine shops. Popular souvenirs include t-shirts and shell art. Some of the stores on Sanibel Island include Bailey’s General Store, Island Gifts and Shells, the Islander Trading Post, and more.

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»Getting Married on Sanibel Island

Getting Married on Sanibel Island

With its perfect climate and unique charm, it’s no wonder that Sanibel Island is a popular place for a wedding. Marriage licenses can be obtained at the Clerk of Courts Office. Weddings can be performed by a Notary Public, a member of the clergy, or a member of the judiciary or a Clerk of Courts. Beach weddings are popular as are sunset weddings. Some of the companies that offer beach wedding services include Patricia Slater’s Weddings by the Sea and Weddings by Earth Air and Sea. Some of the hotel venues include Cottages to Castles and Waterside Inn on the Beach. The Sanctuary Gold Club is another option for a wedding.

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»Where to Stay on Sanibel Island

Where to Stay on Sanibel Island


Sanibel Island offers a wide range of accommodations: there are hotels, motels, and resorts; cottages and small inns; vacation rental condos and houses; pet-friendly lodging; a campground; and an RV park. Two of the best hotels are Sanibel Moorings and the Seaside Inn. Other hotels and resorts include the Casa Ybel Resort, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel, Sanibel Arms West, Sanibel Siesta on the Beach, and the Shalimar Resort. Sanibel Island is known for its Old Florida-style cottages. These are popular places to stay because of their charm and quaintness and include the Beachview Cottages, Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages, and Gulf Breeze Cottages. Rates are highest from February to April.

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Best Time to Visit Sanibel Island, Florida & Other Travel Tips