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Sanibel Island Vacations
by Caitlin Moore

Southwest Florida, Florida in general, actually, is overflowing with attractive beaches worthy of turning your head from your duties for a few days of rest and rejuvenation. Picking a place as the scene of your vacation is like deciding between amazing, spectacular, and lovely, so take a word of advice and consider Sanibel Island. Simple, straightforward, and stunningly beautiful, this destination rarely disappoints.

First and foremost, Sanibel is known for being one of the top shelling locations. Its rare orientation as an east-west barrier island gives it the superb distinction of receiving more shells than most beaches; in fact Sanibel and neighboring Captiva are essentially made out of conchs, whelks, and scallops. This makes for visitors who find themselves constantly bent over and searching for that perfect natural souvenir, so be prepared to stoop a lot during your stay here.

In addition to being preoccupied with all things shell-related, Sanibel is also perfect for a number of outdoor activities that you probably aren't accustomed to engaging in wherever you're coming from. That's the whole point of vacation, right? From biking to boating, golfing to snorkeling, no one will be at a loss for a way to spend their sunny afternoons.

The subtropical climate brings out an interesting array of wildlife, which can be explored and embraced by visiting J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This park is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystems in the country, and is one of the most popular refuges around. Over 200 species of birds can be seen here at one time or another, so if you've a passion for feathered friends, don't forget your binoculars. In particular, take note of snowy egrets, roseate spoonbills, and other long-legged fishers who tend to put on a show at feeding time.

Several bike trails make for great ways to see the island up close and personal. Rabbit Road Trail, Wildlife Drive, and Dixie Beach Road are all peaceful and family-friendly stretches that will get you moving without posing too much of a challenge. Another way to stay active is to play golf or tennis at some of the beautiful facilities nearby, and between the fine weather and charming backdrop of ocean and sand, you'll hardly notice that you're working off the calories in those beach cocktails you had last night.

Speaking of calories, there are plenty of delicious dining choices on Sanibel Island. All types of cuisine, and fresh seafood of course, will satisfy this ever important category of vacationing. Being well-fed is what its all about, and eating in view of the ocean, perhaps as the sun goes down, will make everything taste even better.

Finally, to round out the top getaway considerations, be aware that shopping on Sanibel Island is another compelling activity that will certainly strike your fancy. Shell shops abound, but the scene is far from shallow. Antiques, arts and crafts, jewelry, beachwear, furniture, and much more will tempt you away from the more natural pursuits, but don't feel bad about picking up a few mementos of a fabulous trip.

As far as accommodations, Sanibel has plenty to choose from. Yes, a number of hotels line the beach, but be brave this time around and reserve a vacation rental that will add some distinction to this trip. Avoid the kinds of pitfalls that sometimes arise by picking out a condo that you've seen online with your own eyes, complete with kitchen, patio, hot tub, and master bedroom.

Each property is a little different so spend some time choosing one of the Sanibel vacation home rentals that matches the needs of you and your companions. Following your heart to Sanibel Island will be the perfect way to liven up this vacation season, so get started today.

About the Author has a number of vacation rental listings located all over the world.
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