Average Monthly Temps

  • July - 91 / 74
  • Aug - 91 / 74
  • Sep - 90 / 74

The forecast is for GREAT weather!

Trying to decide the perfect time for your trip? Be sure to read through our helpful tips for Timing Your Visit.

Did You Know?

- That the Schoolhouse Theater has brought back another summer season in rep (two shows that play alternating days of the week)? Get information on this and other fun island happenings on our Special Events Calendar.

- Manatees, averaging 10 feet long and 1,000 pounds, are strict vegetarians that eat up to 10% of their body weight every day. For an average manatee, that amounts to 100-120 pounds of vegetation per day!
Fun Tip

The Deck Talks at Tarpon Bay Marina are a free and fun way to learn about the Islands in a beautiful setting. Programs vary to include the lives and habits of dolphins, manatees, alligators, sharks, sea turtles and more. All are presented by naturalists and are approximately 30 minutes long. Bring your lunch or purchase snacks there.
Shelling Tips

King's Crown, or Crown Conch, are usually found on mud flats covered with a combination of mud and slime. It works great as camouflage and protection for the live shell, but makes it tough on collectors. How can you tell if the empty shell you just found is a good specimen? Turn the shell over and look at the opening. Strong, bright bands of color there indicate a good specimen, while pale colors mean the entire shell will be faded.

King's Crown - picture courtsey of The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
Are You Ready...

...to admit your addiction to the Islands? Do it in style with apparel from BestofSanibelCaptiva.com! Visit the Cool Stuff! store and get yours today!

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  Island Happenings

Ideas for Rare Rainy Days - Libby Boren McMillan
You came to Sanibel and Captiva for the beaches, the seashells, the sunshine - and now it's raining! What are you going to do? Many of you grown-ups will quickly deduce a particularly tempting "activity" to pass the time: a good nap! But there are those of us with the proverbial ants in our pants, and others of us who are entertaining young ones. These are also great solutions for the "Now whadda' we do?" crowd.

1. Come Out of Your Shell at the Bailey - Matthews Shell Museum.
Think you've seen all the shells you can imagine, out on the beach? Stop by this one-of-a-kind museum, and you'll be amazed by what you learn about the seashells that have been catching your eye and filling your island dreams. There's more to that mysterious universe than one imagines. In addition to a dazzling array of shells from around the world, the museum has a theater, wondrous exhibits about the life of a shell and a learning lab just for kids. You'll learn about Sailor's Valentines, shells in architecture, micro-mollusks, land shells, fossils. You'll also see a breathtaking collection of scallops in styles and colors you can hardly imagine. Know this: the next time you hit the beach, you'll feel like a real smartie. You'll also have an all-new appreciation for the tiny wonders that wash ashore so abundantly on our Islands. The museum's gift shop carries lots of shell-themed goodies, including shell books and identification guides. The museum is located at 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road (between Tarpon Bay Road and the Ding Darling entrance) and is open daily from 10:00am - 5:00pm. Admission is free for children 4 and under; $4 for children 5 - 16, and $7 for those 17 and over.

2. Research Sandcastle Construction Techniques at the Library.
Libraries are a terrific resource and a wonderful place to while away a few hours, sunny or not. The Sanibel Library has protected parking and an elevator, but don't miss the grand staircase and wonderful exhibits in the lobby. Work your way to the back, and you'll find a wonderful surprise: there's actually a protected back porch with rocking chairs. Choose your favorite periodical and head on out for a relaxing, old-fashioned afternoon of reading to the sound of rain. Book lovers will find ample selection of tempting literature, including new releases, large print, and a mind-boggling assortment of tomes about Florida, on subjects ranging from history to seashells and everything in between. The children's section is delightful, with fun furnishings, and everything to a smaller scale. The library also offers programs for kids; call ahead to find out what's happening that you don't want to miss. Summer is chock full of special events, including the Summer Reading Program. Several computers offer internet access and music lovers will find CDs they can listen to, or take on loan. The Sanibel library even has a room full of bargain books - be sure to check this out for your next day of beach reading. Captiva's library is smaller, but provides lots of options, including new releases, periodicals, videos, DVDs, audio tapes and CDs, a children's section and the Summer Reading Program for kids. Internet access is available here too. The Sanibel Public Library is open 9:00am - 8:00pm Mondays and Thursdays, 9:00am - 5:00pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It's located on Dunlop Road, running from Palm Ridge Road (next to the Hungry Heron) to Periwinkle Way (near the Island Cow). The Captiva Memorial Library is located next to Chapel by the Sea, at the intersection of Chapin Lane and Wiles. Hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm, Wednesday 12:00pm - 8:00pm and Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm.

3. Get Jiggy with a Puzzle.
Be honest. You used to LOVE working jigsaw puzzles. Now it's been 25 years, and whether or not you have kids in your condo, a puzzle is the perfect project for a relaxing week on vacation. It will entertain you if it's raining out, it will lull into a deep sleep at night, it will tempt you to stop by and find "just one piece" every time you cross the room. It never makes a noise, or asks for a thing. And when it's finished, you are RULER OF THE UNIVERSE. Several local shops carry puzzles; find one that looks tough and tackle it.

4. Choose Your Own Oscar Winner.
Now is your big chance to see that blockbuster hit you missed at home. Or perhaps you and your sweetie could watch a romantic comedy while the kids are involved in a craft project or puzzle. There is a video/DVD rental store on Sanibel in the Bailey's complex. Many hotels, inns and condo rental offices also carry a selection of videotapes, so call the front desk and see what's waiting for you! The Sanibel and Captiva Libraries have selections of classic movies and educational videos. Sanibel Island also has a small cinema, tucked in next to Bailey's Grocery, which shows first-run films.

5. Think Crafty Thoughts.
You could while away an entire rainy afternoon poking around the islands' supreme craft store; Three Crafty Ladies. But then you'd miss all the fun of picking out a project, going home and working on it while the rain falls gently outside your lanai. This amazing think-tank of a craft shop is perfect for finding a project for the kids. They have all sorts of things that can be decorated with seashells, from boxes to mirrors to frames. They have glue, shells, paint, buttons, and endless ideas on how to enhance an island object d'art. Three Crafty Ladies also has embroidery floss, as well as beads galore, and the cord to string them on, for making necklaces and bracelets. They carry lots of rubber stamps, ink pads in a rainbow of colors, and supplies for scrapbooking. Kids and grown-ups will find a full line of art supplies, including watercolors, and all the papers. Why not have a painting exhibition at your island place, and get the whole family involved. Lots of markers and all kinds of things for children to color with, complement the coloring books found in this treasure-trove of a shop. The ladies who work there can suggest projects and help figure out a perfect rainy day project. Hours are 9:30 - 5, Monday through Saturday. Call (239) 472-2893.

HOT TIP: These activities are also good for those days when you've already gotten a little more than your share of sun.

This article was originally published in Times of the Islands, 7/03 and has been updated for inclusion in this newsletter.

From the Forum
Our Message Board remains a very popular addition - many folks log on several times a day, checking to see what's new in their favorite vacation spot and taking a little armchair trip to the islands.  Come "Dream" with us at BestofSanibelCaptiva.com!

A quote from a recent visitor:

"All in all Sanibel was a whole new experience for us and we loved it. It was the most lazy and relaxed vacation we have ever had in our life...it was exactly what we all needed....It felt like another world and we embraced it...the quiet moments...long walks, beauty, serenity, and clarity. I pray I keep this clarity for months to come. To slow down and enjoy the moment of living and enjoying each other. Thank you Sanibel."

Our Mailbox
In our April 2007 newsletter we began sharing questions asked by our readers in e-mail. WOW! Your positive comments and further questions were overwhelming. Thank you to everyone for your feedback.

"Our family just came back from our first trip to Captiva and we loved it! While we were there, we saw many fiddler crabs on the mud flats. My daughter wanted to know how to tell the boys from the girls and I had no idea. Is there a way?"

There sure is! Fiddler Crabs got their name because the single large claw is thought to look like someone carrying a fiddle. The thing is - only the male crabs have the large claw. Female Fiddlers have two small claws of equal size.

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Questions or comments should be directed to Libby McMillan & Kimberly Brock. Visit our website at www.BestofSanibelCaptiva.com.