Sanibel/Captiva (Lee County, FL)

I opened this thread because Mjollnir and I were talking about Captiva in another thread. I wanted to open this thread in case anyone else on the board had either
-been to Sanibel/Captiva,
-lives here currently, or
-is interested in visiting, so I can answer any questions you have.

And mjollnir,
I can get you both the Ignuana Mia Tee and the Sanibel Brew Pub Tee, but give me some time, OK? Come on down whenever, but let me recommend the month of September - hardly a soul (of a tourist) on the island, and undoubtedly the best time for a native to go out and about. Unfortunately, many shops and restaurants close during that time for vacation/renovation. Just don’t come during December, or January or February. It’s hell then, with the island traffic at a standstill and 30,000 people on the island at one time.

“A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Fine. Was not joking. If you get around to it, Iguana Mia had a shirt with some bikini-clad babes and a surfer/surfboard and one of the “US Highway” signs.

I prefer XXL’s, but XL’s are fine–but nothing smaller.

I also prefer something other than white, although in the case of Iguana Mia, white was all they had.

Anyway, if you do pick up one, the minute I find out, there will be a payment and a return postage-paid package on its way to you. All you’ll need to do is stuff, seal, and mail.

One of the things I really liked about that area was the fact that it’s not overrun by “big chains” like McDonalds. It seems to be pretty much locally owned places, which is nice.

While I was in the area, I also drove down to Marco. Have you ever been there. It reminded me a little of Hilton Head SC, where they have sign ordinances to keep it from becoming a gaudy neon nightmare. That’s fine, but the trade-off is that it’s a lot harder to find places because the writing is so small. Makes it a little harder to find places, especially when it’s the first time you’ve been there.

I’ve only been to Sanibel once. Had a great time, even though it was in January and the traffic was exactly as you described it.

We stayed in a little condo that a friend’s dad had the foresight to buy about a million years ago, before the gulf-view units got so expensive.

But that was before I took up golf. How are the courses down there. Number? Quality? Prices?

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

I’ll e-mail you as soon as I get the shirts. As for the restaurants, here’s the story. A few years ago, McDonald’s decided that they wanted to open a franchise on the island. This upset many islanders to no end, so the city council decided that they would hold hearings on it. They finally decided that there would be no McDonald’s on the island. the group from McD’s came back with a more “island-friendly” design, w/o a drive thru, etc., but the council voted them out of town. Shortly after that, an ordinance was passed stating that no restaurant franchises made up of more than 3 restaurants could be built on the island. So, if you have 3 restaurants in Fort Myers, and you want to build another on the island, no dice. Of course, restaurants thet were already on the island, like Cheeburger Cheeburger, are now “grandfathered”, meaning that they can stay on the island, but if they get wiped out in a hurricane, for example, then they can’t come back. (Dairy Queen has been here since the dawn of time, and since it’s the only fast-food place on the island, they can charge $2.50 for a cheeseburger. they have plaques all over the inside walls with “Golden Awards”, which I guess means the highest-grossing Dairy Queen in the country.) As for Marco Island, no, I haven’t been down there, but I think you basically described it - all high-rises and condos - Ft. Lauderdale without the signs.
Manhattan: The island has 2 public/private courses and 1 private only course. The 2 public courses are Beachview and The Dunes. Both are 18 holes and cost from $25-70, depending on what time of year you want to play. The Sanctuary is the private course, and you have to live there to play. The membership fees (just for living in the neighborhood) are $100,000. So that’s up to you. Of course, there are a gazillion public/private courses in Fort Myers, which may have lower rates. You’d have to shop around. All are high quality, however.

“A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Sanibel and Captiva are overated. I lived off of Estero Island. That is much more down to earth. Marco Island is too rich. Pine Island is nice. That was supposed to be the big happening place in SW FL. Lee Memorial had plans to build a hospital out there on the island. But it never materialized. I guess every one went to the Cape instead.

I did also drive to Pine Island while I was there, and it is totally different from Captiva/Sanibel. IIRC, it’s fairly large and not overly-developed.

I didn’t specifically go to Estero, but I thought that it was mainly an extension fo Fort Myers Beach–ie, one big hotel on the waterfront after another.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

I’ve been all over that area. It’s nice if you can get away from where the mummies (retirees) meander about.

Captiva is a nice little densely forested place with white sandy beaches. The waters are infested with stingrays, so that discourages going in the water too much. There aren’t so many people out there because it’s such an ordeal to drive there.

There’s a bar out there, the Bubble Room, no great shakes but lots of character.

Famous artist Robert Rauschenberg lives and works on Captiva and I have had occasion to visit his studio a few times. There is also a VERY posh resort on the north side of the island called the South Seas Plantation, I spent a 3-day weekend there once, oo-la-la, wish I was back there right now.

Yeah, I’ve been to Sanibel. Sat in the co-op all week and read DAVID COPPERFIELD.

I’m not a beach person. I’m a bar person. Wanted to go to the Keys, but nooooooo.


I went to Sanibel every summer for a week or so between, say, 1979-1985 (summer visitation with my Dad who was living in Jacksonville).

I always enjoyed the trips. Love the ocean. Liked the fact that the shelf was shallow for a long way out. We stayed in the Ramada on Periwinkle Drive (am I remembering this correctly?) every year. They had an alligator in a little pond.

I still have a lot of the shells I collected there. Probably still have scars from the mosquito bites when in Ding Darling Preserve.

I’ve always wondered how built up and touristy it has become. There sure wasn’t a any garishness back when I was there. Hell, I always thought the place was almost deserted.

Hey Mjollnir, did you still want those t-shirts? I have a driver’s license now, so I can stop by Iguana Mia sometime and get one for you. Did you also want one from the Sanibel Brew Pub?

Of course!

Iguana Mia is for sure.

I don’t know whether or not Sanibel Brewing had any.

But if not–Green Flash definitely did. However, at the time, they were out.

So, it’s still a go. You can email me privately for any other details.

I’ve detailed the kind that I like earlier in this thread.

So, thanks, in advance.