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The Baltimore Sun

Sanibel and Captiva Getaway Guide

These two charming islands lie on the Gulf of Mexico just west of Fort Myers, on the opposite side of the state. The beaches are world famous for their beauty, tranquility and seashells. Sanibel and Captiva are sometimes called "the Shell Islands," not because of the abundance of shells on the beach, but because the islands themselves are made out of shells.


  • Relax on remote island of Cabbage Key

    When you pull up to the sleepy dock and tiny marina at Cabbage Key, especially in the pouring rain, you get a good taste of the resort's personality, located as it is on a 100-acre, isolated island. Local sport fishermen, who'd rather be swilling beers on their skiffs offshore, mill around under...

  • Captiva Island Inn captures islands' natural style

    Captiva Island Inn captures islands' natural style

    Another season is upon us and it's time to check your supply of jewel boxes, lion's paws, Scotch bonnets, lettered olives and banded wentletraps. Time to do a few hip bends to get ready for some serious "Sanibel Stoop" shell collecting. Time to head for Sanibel and Captiva, those barrier islands...

  • Sanibel: The treasure is sun, shells and simple pleasures

    Seen on the beach here: Florida fighting conchs, sand dollars, tapering lightning whelks, calico scallops, spiky murexes, kitten's paws, all abundant and free for the taking, assuming the little critters these shells once housed have moved on. Shells may be hard to find on other beaches, but they...

  • Useppa: A secluded island for the slow life

    After you've collected shells on Sanibel beach, another west Florida delight awaits: Useppa, tucked like a pearl in an oyster shell between the mainland and its barrier beach islands. The 100-acre islet is surrounded by mangroves and by Pine Island Sound, the body of water that separates the mainland...

  • Sanibel: Florida's Gulf coast offers seashells, shark teeth and gators galore

    SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. -- Florida's southwest coast has bargains to offer the budget-minded traveler, much more than just "early bird" dinners and 2-for-1 happy hours. Shells by the zillions, exotic birds, gentle manatees surfacing like huggable air mattresses, shark's teeth from predators with chronic...

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