Average Monthly Temps

  • Oct - 86 / 68
  • Nov - 80 / 60
  • Dec - 76 / 55

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?

- "Ding" Darling Days, the Sandsculpting Festival, and Luminary are all right around the corner!

Get information on these and many other upcoming events on our Special Events Calendar.

- An alligator can control how long it can stay underwater by recycling the oxygen in its blood. It can stay submerged for 20 minutes when active and for hours when at rest!
Fun Tip

The touch tank at Tarpon Bay Explorers is hands-on fun for the entire family! Meet some of the creatures that call Tarpon Bay and the Gulf home - up close and personal. Live shells, sea stars, puffer fish and sea horses are just a few of the creatures waiting for you. Get your hands wet or just stand back, learn and enjoy. This makes a great rainy day activity!
Shelling Tips

Use mineral oil to give your shells a great "wet look" shine and bring out those beautiful colors. Use an old rag to gently rub the oil into your shells - you'll want to repeat the process every year or so. Look for the oil in the laxative section at your pharmacy or grocery. Don't use baby oil - as the fragrance breaks down, your treasures will start to smell.

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!

Coming Soon - our 2008 calender! Watch the Message Board for announcements.

Speak Out!

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Send us your suggestions

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  Island Happenings

Stepping Into Sanibel's History - Libby Boren McMillan
Among Sanibel Island's many treasures is a community spirit of preservation and cooperation. A terrific end result awaits you at the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village. Located on Dunlop Road, next door to the BIG Arts facility, this intriguing complex provides an in-depth look at the Sanibel of yesteryear.

Founded in 1984, the Historical Museum is one of several buildings added to the compound since its inception. Visitors will be amazed to find the actual 1927 version of Bailey's General Store, moved in 1992 from its bay-front location to a place of honor in the Historical Village. Sanibel's breadbox-sized post office, dating from 1889, joins the Bailey store, as does Miss Charlotta's Tea Room, the Burnap Cottage, and a 1926 Ford used by the Baileys.

Christmas in the Rutland House You need not be a history fan to appreciate the wonders of the Historical Museum and Village. The museum itself is housed in a 1913 Sanibel home. The tongue-and-groove construction of the walls and high ceilings instantly transports you to the past. Docents will gladly answer questions as you wander through the cozy parlor, practical kitchen, and oh-so-quaint bedroom; lots of interesting printed information is handy as well, so bring your reading glasses.

Anyone who loves Sanibel will appreciate this painstakingly created museum. Pioneer families of the island are documented, and most everything on display is from the early part of the century. Who ever knew there was a Sanibel Tomato Pickers baseball team in 1910? Framed aerials of Sanibel prior to its invasion by the Australian pine are an eye-opener. You can see for miles across the island.

Also on exhibit is detailed information about the Kinzie Brothers Steamship Line, which, for years, provided the only transportation to Sanibel from the mainland. Just as fascinating is the display detailing the history of the Sanibel lighthouse. Several old island names appear throughout the museum, as multiple exhibits chronicle the lives of the Woodrings, the Gavins, and the Matthews.

Other exhibits on the lives of the island's first residents, the Calusa and the Spaniards, have been created to illustrate the island's chronology of civilization. Of interest to armchair archaeologists will be the large display dedicated to Sanibel's "Mysterious Island", a site chock full of artifacts from 0-500 A.D.

A wooden boardwalk leads from the museum to the old Bailey store, filled with historic goods, such as Kellogg's Shredded Krumbles, Coffeola, old Tiddlywinks games, wooden screws, and more. A terrific (and sometimes humorous) collection of newspaper articles about Sanibel dating back to 1971 resides here.

Communication buffs will appreciate the Western Union office in the corner of the Bailey store. Cables placed on the ocean floor once connected Key West with Punta Rassa via a relay station on Sanibel. It was in this office that word first reached the United States that the Maine had been sunk in 1898. The Historical Museum has a temporary exhibit on this event and its little-known tie to Sanibel.

Too much description would take away from the surprises that await you at the Historical Village. More additions are planned, and the museum has ever-changing temporary exhibits, so even if you've been once, you should plan to go again.

The Sanibel Historical Village and Museum is located at 950 Dunlop Road.
Open: Mid-October through April - Wednesday - Saturday; 10:00am to 4:00pm and May 1 through mid-August - Wednesday - Saturday; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Donation: $5 per adult.

This article was originally published in Times of the Islands - Spring, 1998 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:

"Thank you all for your very helpful experiences and suggestions. I just love this forum. How could anyone ever make it to Sanibel or Captiva without this help. I just love reading all the posts in every category. I've been dreaming of getting my family to Sanibel ........"

Our Mailbox
Since we began sharing questions asked by our readers in e-mail, the positive comments have been pouring in. Thank you to everyone for your feedback and keep those questions coming!

"When we were on Sanibel last spring, areas of the beach were covered with tan rubbery tubes. Do you have any idea what we saw?"

parchment worm - Sanibel Island, FL. Photo courtsey of Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute It sounds like you're talking about the casings of Parchment Tube Worms. These casings, or tubes, are sometimes seen in huge numbers on the beach after a storm. When the worm is alive, it lives inside the tube buried in the sand in a U-shape so that each end sticks out just above the sand. This sets up a flow of water through the tube and allows the worm to filter out food. Neither the casing or the worm are harmful.

"We are avid birders from the U.K. planning our first trip to Sanibel. Do you have any recommendations for where we might have the best luck seeing our feathered friends?"

This is an easy one - everywhere! You'll see an abundance of birds overhead, on the beaches and even while driving down the road. Keep your binoculars handy at all times even if you are just taking a trip to Dairy Queen - you might get a close up view of a pair of nesting Bald Eagles.

Some of our favorite spots to bird watch are:
J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge including Wildlife Drive, Indigo Trail, and the Shell Mound Trail.
The Bailey Tract on Tarpon Bay Road
Any of the many Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation properties
The causeway islands approaching Sanibel from the mainland
All of the Gulf beaches on both Sanibel and Captiva
In the mangrove islands of Tarpon Bay and Pine Island Sound; consider renting a kayak or canoe
Roosevelt Channel off Captiva Island
The Lighthouse area
The Osprey platforms up above the bike paths, along Sanibel-Captiva Road and the Sanibel School

We have the latest air fare deals, the perfect home away from home and
monthly tide charts for your trip!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands are waiting for YOU!

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Copyright 1999-2007 © Studio Eleven, Inc. BestofSanibelCaptiva.com is a Division of Studio Eleven, Inc. Sanibel Island, FL
Questions or comments should be directed to Libby McMillan & Kimberly Brock. Visit our website at www.BestofSanibelCaptiva.com.