Holiday Activities on Sanibel & Captiva Island

Looking for some Holiday cheer during your stay at West Wind Inn? Sanibel and Captiva Island offers an array of holiday fun and activities great for the entire family. In celebration of the upcoming holiday season, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites!

Captiva Holiday VillageHoliday-VCB-MMG-21-

Captiva Island is a magical place for the holiday season. This charming barrier island in the tropical Gulf of Mexico transforms into a Holiday Village with events every weekend from Nov. 29 to Dec. 15. The three-weekend-long Captiva Holiday Village launches its 2014 spectacular the Saturday after Thanksgiving with fireworks, tree lightings, holiday readings, musical performances and more. Each special-themed weekend, will be a fun-filled extravaganza of sight and sound.


Check out the Captiva Holiday Village festivities from Now – Dec. 15, 2014!

Friday, December 5

Sunset Arias on the beach at ‘Tween Waters Inn 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 6

  • Decorated Golf Cart Parade from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Golf Cart Awards & Party at 5:30 p.m.
  • Captiva Luminary-Stroll the Streets and Receive Free Goodies from Various Merchants

Friday, December 12

  • Marching Mullet Band Parade leaves Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort and Marina at 5:15 p.m. and marches down Andy Rosse Lane to the beach at sunset.
  • Outdoor film night at Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort and Marina at 7:00 p.m.
  • South Seas Holiday Stroll

Saturday, December 13Holiday-VCB-MMG-5-

  • All Day Fishing and Mullet Festival at Jensen’s
  • Junkanoo Parade
  • Lighted Boat Parade at 6:00 p.m.
  • South Seas Holiday Stroll
  • Boat Parade Awards Party at Key Lime Bistro. Live Entertainment, Food and Beverages

Sunday, December 14
Community Caroling at Chapel By The Sea, 11580 Chapin Lane. All are welcome! 6:00 p.m.

Friday & Saturday, December 19 & 20
South Seas Holiday Stroll

Friday & Saturday, December 26 & 27
South Seas Holiday Stroll

For additional times and more information about Captiva Holiday Village,click here.

30th Annual Luminary Festival Weekend

Sanibel Island: Friday, December 5

Captiva Island: Saturday, December 6









For more than two decades, island businesses, organizations, residents and visitors have gathered for one of Sanibel and Captiva’s most treasured annual events, the Luminary Festival. Our tropical islands sparkle with illuminated candles from end to end as we mark the launch of the Holiday season.

For more information about this event, click here. Visit our Specials page to find out about room rate discounts!

BIG ARTS Holiday Spectacular 2014

Herb Strauss Theater
Opening Night Reception is Friday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 19 & 20, 22 & 23, 26 & 27, 29 & 30
The radiant Strauss Theater is decked out for the season, and the on-stage talent shine like never before in a breathtaking holiday show that transforms the stage into a glistening winter wonderland!

Get tickets and show times here!

BIG ARTS Community Chorus Holiday Concert

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 7:00 p.m.
Schein Performance Hall
Call for tickets: 239-395-0900

Led by director Steve Cramer, the Holiday Concert will feature iconic holiday carols, such as We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Little Drummer Boy, and Silver Bells as well as a Sanibel version of Twelve Days of Christmas, arranged by Mike Bugler, plus selections from Gustov Holst and Handel’s “Messiah,” as well as French, German, and Russian folk songs, Hanukkah songs, and an audience sing-along.

BIG ARTS Christmas in Paradise

Southwest Florida Symphony
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.
Schein Performance Hall
Call for tickets: 239-395-0900

Celebrate Christmas around the world, with an emphasis on sunny climates, and spin a dreidel or two in honor of the Festival of Lights. Outside, the weather is definitely not frightful, so come and join Santa, Rudolph, and the whole holiday gang for an evening that is sure to be delightful.

Christmas Eve Service at Lighthouse Beach

Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ
Friday, Dec. 24, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.

The annual Christmas Eve Beach Service, sponsored by Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ, will be offered again at Lighthouse Beach beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 24. Participants are encouraged to bring beach chairs, blankets, flashlights and bug spray. All are invited and welcomed to attend.  For event times, locations, and directions call (239) 472-0497.


West Wind Inn wishes you a happy holiday on Sanibel Island! If you have questions, feel free to contact the front desk at (239) 472-1541 or toll free at (800) 824-0476.

Posted in blog, Blog Post, Events & Entertainment, News

Join Us for Thanksgiving Dinner!

Thanksgiving Dinner at Normandie’s
$44.95 per person

shutterstock_169032956 (1)Choose from our Traditional and Non-Traditional Menu Items for your Thanksgiving Feast!

Traditional Menu

Starter – Wild Mushroom Tartlets and Deviled Eggs

Soup – Butternut Squash Soup

Salad – Festive Cafe Salad

Entrée – Oven roasted turkey breast with homemade gravy, homemade stuffing, mashed Yukon gold potatoes, green beans, and cranberry dressing

Dessert – Pumpkin cheese cake


Non-Traditional Menu

Starter – Butternut squash ravioli with a burnt butter sage sauce

Soup – Candied pecans and butternut squash soup

Salad – Beet, Candied walnuts and blue cheese

Entrée – Stuffed pumpkin with a saffron cream sauce and a Portobello wild rice stuffing

Dessert – Homemade apple pie

Posted in Events & Entertainment

West Wind Inn Voted BEST Inn on Sanibel & Captiva Islands!

p1020359On Tuesday, September 23, 2014, West Wind Inn was honored at the Best of the Islands Awards Banquet hosted by The Islander and Sanibel Island Reporter for being voted the BEST Inn on Sanibel and Captiva. With so many different properties on Sanibel & Captiva, it is quite the honor.

“West Wind Inn is really guest’s key to experiencing true Sanibel,” said Brett Gooch, General Manager accepting award. “Our property is beautiful and quaint, and with the beach as your backyard, what more could you ask for?”

Readers of the Islander and Sanibel Island Reporter were invited to vote for the BEST categories of hospitality, including an array of sub-categories of attractions and accommodations. Voting took place from mid-July and ended in August, with the publications receiving more than 1,000 ballots via mail and drop off. Votes were tallied by a separate entity to ensure anonymity and an unbiased result.

BestOfIslands2014FlatGuests of West Wind Inn are able to eat on-site at the Upper Deck Pool Bar or Normandie’s Restaurant. The property also provides guests with tennis courts and an outdoor pool. Staff at West Wind Inn serve as the Island’s experts, helping guests get the most out of their experience while they are with them.

With Sanibel and Captiva Islands home to more than 100 inns, West Wind Inn thanks YOU for voting them the BEST Inn on Sanibel and Captiva Islands. We look forward to continuing to provide you the BEST experience in the area!

Posted in Blog Post, News

Guide to the Island Hopper Songwriter’s Festival

Island Hopper Songwriter’s Festival, a two-week event throughout Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers beaches, is kicking off this upcoming weekend! We invite you to enjoy exclusive performances from more than 40 nationally-acclaimed songwriters at venues across our islands—with West Wind Inn as the perfect spot to relax and retreat between the non-stop entertainment.With FREE performances from some of the greatest nationally-acclaimed and Billboard chart songwriters, you sure won’t want to miss this event!

In celebration for the upcoming festival, we’ve compiled the ultimate “411” guide to your weekend at the Island Hopper Songwriters Fest including a list of venues with distance from West Wind Inn, schedule of events, transportation information, and other useful tips to make your first Island Hopper experience something to remember! Island Hopper Logo


West Wind Inn is less than 20 minutes away from each venue (which is only about a 50-minute bike ride), but far enough away so you can still find that peaceful beach setting when you need it when you stay with us. For a printable version of the full schedule of events, Click here!

Old Captiva House and Crow’s Nest
15951 Captiva Dr. Captiva, 16 min car ride

Doc Fords
5400 Plantation Road, Captiva, 20 min car ride

Captiva Island Inn
11508 Andy Rosse Ln., Captiva, 20 min car ride

Cantina Captiva
14970 Captiva Drive, Captiva, 19 min car ride

Key Lime Bistro
11509 Andy Rosse Ln., Captiva, 20 min car ride

Mucky Duck
11546 Andy Rosse Ln., Captiva, 20 min car ride

RC Otters
11509 Andy Rosse Ln., Captiva, 19 min car ride

South Seas Island Resort
5400 Plantation Rd., Captiva, 21 min car ride


Toll Info

If you’re planning on going off and on the island, don’t forget to have some cash on you for the Sanibel Causeway Toll. There are no performances off Island for the first weekend, but just in case you feel like exploring the area, make sure to have the $6 on you.



Bicycling is a very popular activity on the island. While you may not be able to walk to and from these destinations, we have plenty of recommendations on how to get you where you need to go!

  • Park and Ride from Chadwicks Square, stopping at Andy Rosse Lane, which will get you to Keylime Bistro, Mucky Duck and RC Otters. (5400 Plantation Rd, Captiva, FL)
  • Eat at RC Otters, Cantina Captiva, Captiva Pizza or Keylime Bistro and get a free ride on the S Car Go back to your hotel, or the beach!
  • Bicycle or Segway Rentals

o   Billy’s Bikes & Rentals located at 1509 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel (Closed Sunday)

o   Finnimore’s Cycle Shop located at 2353 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel (Open 7 days a week


Need a taxi?

o   Sanibel Taxi Toll Free: (888) 527-7806

o   Sanibel Cab Company Phone: (239) 472-0151

o   Tip: the cost of a taxi from Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) to Fort Myers would be approximately $35 for 1 to 3 passengers


Biking Info

If you are going to be biking to and from your destinations, click here to view more information on biking paths and road rules.

Click here for a map of Sanibel and Captiva, provided by The Sanibel Chamber of Commerce.



If you’re heading to the beach, public parking lots have park-and-pay machines. The cost is $2 per hour, and each machine produces a receipt for you to put on your dash.  The machines do not make change, but they accept $1, $5 and $10 bills, as well as Visa and MasterCard credit cards. Handicapped parking is free on Sanibel.

Roadside parking is not allowed, and some areas are restricted to those with permits.  Permits are available to non-residents at a cost of $80 to $160.  They are available at the Sanibel Recreation Center located at 3880 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, FL.

Shopping, restaurants, and local attractions have their own free parking available, but it may be limited if a performance is popular. It’s best to carpool, take a taxi, or carve out some extra time for a bike ride if the event is packed.


Local Tips

  • Be sure to apply sunscreen frequently avoid getting a sunburn while outdoors. Even if it seems overcast for a while, it’s still important to protect your skin from harmful rays. In addition to sunscreen, wearing a hat would also be a good idea.
  • Hydrate often. Don’t go on a long bike ride without a bottle of water or sports drink.
  • Turns out, it’s pretty sunny in the sunshine state. Especially on Sanibel Island! Don’t forget to protect your eyes with shades.
  • Attire is pretty casual and laid back on Sanibel Island.
  • Up until October 31st, it’s turtle nesting season. Please do not pick up or move any of the turtles you may find on the beach.


If you need downtime from all of the festivities, enjoy relaxing by our pool, take a walk down the beach, or click here to find out more about the different adventures that await you in the Southwest Florida area.

If you still haven’t booked your room for the festival, there is still time! Take advantage of our specials and receive a free night’s stay—click here for details.


…And most importantly, Enjoy!

Contact our front desk at (800) 824-0476 or (239) 472-1541 check on room availability, so you can TRULY enjoy this great event while experiencing TRUE Sanibel at West Wind Inn.



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Posted in Blog Post, Events & Entertainment

Preventive Maintenance Repairs to The Sanibel Causeway

If you are arriving on Sanibel Island in the next few weeks for a beach vacation or getaway at Sanibel’s West Wind Inn island resort, you may incur some minor traffic delays on the Causeway. bridge maintenance
Lee County, which owns the Causeway and collects the tolls for its use, has contracted with a firm to make small, preventive maintenance repairs to the bridge structures, starting Monday August 18, with work expected to continue until September 30.

According to a notice from the City of Sanibel, work will be done on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from the bridges’ shoulders. Slight lane shifting may be required, but no lane closures are expected. Short traffic disruptions during the daily set-up and breakdown of the maintenance of traffic devices is likely. There will be variable message signs to alert drivers to the roadway traffic conditions.

Most repairs will involve sealing smaller cracks and injecting epoxy into larger cracks identified within the bridge superstructure in two earlier inspections. The work will also include repair of previously identified delaminations and spalls within the bridge superstructure. These can occur when small sections of concrete detach from a slab.

The repairs themselves are not safety issues, according to the City. The Causeway is structurally sound and remains safe. These repairs are to seal the cracks so that saltwater will not intrude and affect the integrity of structural steel. The goal is to ensure the Causeway bridges reach their targeted 75-year life span. Questions may addressed to 239-533-9400.

Posted in blog, Blog Post, Uncategorized

Ho-hum. Another award for Sanibel.

Let us take that back. Every time Sanibel Island gets an award it means some Islanders worked very hard and have been recognized for it. In this case, it’s the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF).

SCCF received the Conservation Organization of the Year award by the Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) at the 77th annual conservation awards banquet in June at the Naples Hilton.


Florida Wildlife Federation District VIII Director Franklin Adams, FWF President Manley K. Fuller, SCCF Executive Director Erick Lindblad and FWF Chair Jenny Brock with the award for Conservation Organization of the Year

According to the FWF, the award was granted “because of SCCF’s outstanding accomplishments on water quality, land use policy, sea turtle monitoring, and conservation education, among other important issues.”

In coverage about the award ceremony, the Island Sun newspaper reported that SCCF Executive Director Erick Lindblad paid tribute to SCCF’s founders, those who formed the organization in 1967, and to all who have worked since then to forward its mission to preserve coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel Island and Captiva Island and in the surrounding watershed.

As the Sanibel Island beach resort so close and convenient in proximity to SCCF, West Wind Inn salutes the organization and encourages any guest at West Wind Inn to put a visit to the SCCF on their to-do list when here.

Posted in blog, Blog Post

25th annual “Ding” Darling Days

With August just one day a way, it’s time to remind potential visitors that Ding Darling Days will soon be with us. This week-long, Oct. 19-25, is a truly extraordinary opportunity to experience all the nature that “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge has to offer. Our recommendation is to make your booking now to be at the West Wind Inn in October.

ding spoonbills
First, because this is the 25th annual “Ding” Darling Days event and promises to be the most rewarding ever.
Second, because the West Wind Inn island beach resort and inn is the closest Sanibel Island resort to Ding Darling NWR, making visits from here to the refuge about as convenient as it can get.
Third, as official sponsor of Ding Darling Days, West Wind Inn is eager to see as many visitors as possible have the “Ding” experience, regardless of where they stay on Sanibel Island.
With all humility, we feel West Wind Inn is the best place for Ding devotees to rest their heads at night. (And, when not being immersed in “Ding” nature, they can enjoy the nature of Sanibel’s extended shelling beach from a access point that is relatively sequestered.
See you in October.

Posted in blog, Blog Post

“Ding” Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest for 2014

First Place Michael Dougherty_2

– Last year’s first place winner by Michael Dougherty of Clarkston, Michigan

If you will be relaxing at West Wind Inn on Sanibel Island anytime through Sept 15, 2014, be sure to visit “Ding” Darling NWR and be sure to take your camera. A photograph of nature you shoot in the Refuge may win the”Ding” Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest for 2014. For more information, including rules and entry requirements, go to “Ding” Darling Society web page. West Wind Inn is the ideal place for anyone visiting the Refuge to stay since it is the nearest Sanibel beach resort to the entrance.

Posted in Uncategorized

Sanibel Stars

Sanibel Stars are worth a visit.starlit skies
In 2000, the City of Sanibel passed a regulation that required restrictions on all man-made light. The original intent was to prevent such illumination from confusing baby turtles as they emerge from their nests on the Sanibel Island Gulf beaches. When the baby turtles emerges from their shells and leave the nests, they instinctively “go to the light”, which is on the western horizon. With dispatch, they can reach the water where they are much safer from airborne predators. This concept has worked during the May-October nesting season ever since.
But there was a fringe benefit for human residents and visitors. By reducing the amount of light leaking upward, the island created a magical viewing gallery for experiencing the celestial glory of massed stars in the night sky. Overnight visitors who come from urban area are stunned by the number visible stars over Sanibel Island. They see scenes that tall buildings & urban light pollution at home has masked for much of their existence.
As result, sky-watchers are drawn to Sanibel almost as much by the “Dark Skies” policy as the magnificent shell beaches.
Now, with the realization that, even with the results from the original ordinance, some 90% of homes and buildings away from the beach are not in full compliance. Recently, the City Council voted to extend the final date for full compliance until 2018. So as good as it is now for night shy viewing, i will be even better in the coming months.
The West Wind Inn, as a “partner” in maintaining the natural attraction of True Sanibel, goes to extensive lengths to provide a “Dark Skies” environment, in keeping with the safety standards guests deserve and expect. When you stay at Sanibel’s West Wind Inn beach resort, plan on staying up past bedtime to see the show.

Posted in Uncategorized

Prepare to be “stunned”

beach umbrellas-crop-chamberOnline rating service, “Buzzfeed,” has named Sanibel at the top of its list of America’s most “stunning small towns. We agre. Buzzfeed lists Sanibel’s “seclusion and untouched beauty as its strong-points and mentions the absence of tall buildings (we call them “high-rises”). And yes, we said “top” as in #1.
We present our spectacular beach and beautiful Gulf at West Wind Inn’s backdoor as evidence exhibit number one. Come and see.
Posted in Uncategorized