Friday Lectures at J N Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Among the lesser known attractions at J N “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge are the Friday Lectures. The lectures are free and held twice each Friday, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Coming up on January 17, Author Bob H. Lee will discuss his book, Backcountry Lawman; True Stories from a Florida Game Warden. On January 24, Charles LeBuff & Deborah Gleason take lectern to talk about their book,- Sanibel & Captiva Islands: A Look Back in Time.

Seating for the lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. As providers of the True Sanibel experience, and the nearest beach resort to “Ding” Darling NWR, West Wind Inn on Sanibel Island is both pleased and proud to be able alert guests about events, big and small, taking place there.

More information can be had at

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BIG Arts events


If you love to attend BIG Arts events
while staying at West Wind inn on Sanibel, here’s an opportunity to save. Between now and December 31, you can save 10% off admission on selected events and performances at BIG Arts. 


Eligible Concerts, Performances and Events:

Holiday Spectacular: December 19 through December 31, 2013
Calidore String Quartet: January 9, 2014
Into The Woods: January 10 through February 15, 2014
Rossano Sportiello/Nicki Parrott/Eddie Metz Trio featuring Harry Allen: January 11, 2014
Dance Alive National Ballet: January 18, 2014
Kaleidos Duo: January 19, 2014
Dmitry Kouzov: January 26, 2014
Susan Egan “The Belle of Broadway”: February 1, 2014
The Piano Men Starring Jim Witter: February 8, 2014
Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater: February 15, 2014
Defamation: February 20 through March 2, 2014
Faure Quartett: February 27, 2014
Tom Paxton: March 7, 2014
Romance/Romance: March 7 through April 5, 2014
National Geographic LIVE: March 14, 2014
Country Royalty: March 21, 2014
The Big Bang: April 11 through May 3, 2014


And you can even purchase tickets online in anticipation of your later arrival in the season. Sanibel is always special and BIG Arts makes it extra special. So what does 10% off make it? Irresistable. 

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Holiday Greetings from West Wind Inn

As Hanukkah comes to a close and the Christmas season hits fever pitch, all of us at West Wind Inn wish you happy holidays.
May great joy come to you at this exalted time year.

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Thanksgiving at West Wind Inn

NormandieSeasideWest Wind Inn guests over Thanksgiving have a special treat waiting! You’ll be walking-distance to a great restaurant serving on Thanksgiving.

We’re speaking here of the. They’ll be serving from 3:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Thanksgiving Day.

Reservations are required on this high-demand holiday – please call Ext. 310.

Hope to see you there! We all have so much to be thankful for.

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Tower Gallery Artist Reception


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Sanibel’s Taste of the Islands

Continuing the “Battle of the Tastes”…

2013-taste-logoThe 32nd Annual Taste of the Islands is scheduled for Sunday, November 10th from 11a – 4p at The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club.

Sanibel & Captiva’s “Best Island Event” is going back to its original venue, The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. This popular festival will celebrate its 32nd year with the best of food and fun as it raises awareness and financial support for Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW).  Kick back and relax with great food and a cold beverages while taking in musical entertainment from some of our area’s best bands!

For more than three decades, island restaurants have come together to put their dishes to the test at the Taste of the Islands festival.  Many different food tastings will be offered, sure to please any palate.  A local celebrity judging panel will decide which restaurant will win “Taste of the Taste”, while the “People’s Choice” award will be chosen by attending appetites.

Admission: $5 adults, children 12 & under are free
Food & beverage tickets sold separately
Visit for more information.

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Taste of the Town vs. Taste of the Islands

Yes, it’s the battle of the “Tastes”.

Taste of the Town 2013The Taste of the Town 2013, (Fort Myers style) will start it off with the 31st Annual staging of this event on Sunday, November 3rd from 11am – 5pm. It’s moving from downtown to JetBlue park, aka Fenway South. For those new to the area, it’s called Fenway South because it’s the spring training home of the Boston Red Sox.

Here’s how it works: Entrance to the park is $5, children under 12 enter FREE. Cash only is accepted the day of the event. Once in the park, you buy food and beverage tickets, which you exchange for dishes prepared by top area restaurants. After you buy tickets your money isn’t any good because no vendors will accept it. The cost of each dish is between $1 and $5 in tickets. Tickets can also be used to purchase an “all-you-can-play” wristband for the children’s entertainment area. Parking is $5 per car.

Sound like fun? If you like to eat and drink while enjoying live musical entertainment – it is! Proceeds from the event go to fund volunteer activities of the Junior League of Fort Myers, which stages the event. Beach chairs and blankets are welcome. But leave your pet, your cooler and your gun at home.

Then, on Sunday, November 10th, the Taste of the Islands takes place at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club on Sanibel. It’s closer to home if you are staying on Sanibel, but a week further away on the calendar. So we’ll tell you about that in our next blog message.

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Good News for West Wind Inn Cyclists

As the closest Sanibel beach resort to the refuge, West Wind Inn is excited by the news that J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will offer two days of free access to Wildlife Drive during Ding Days.

red-bike_2To celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week, Sanibel’s “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will open with free admission to the improved Wildlife Drive on two days during this year’s “Ding” Darling Days. In addition, on Friday, October 25, a day the Drive would normally be closed, it will be open to bikers and hikers only, except for special tram tours. (Tram passengers receive a 25% discount that day and all week long, Oct. 21-26. Adults $9.75. Children $6.)

This is especially good news for West Wind Inn guests who can rent bikes at the resort to ride the convenient distance to the Refuge.

The following day, Saturday, October 16, admission to Wildlife Drive is free for vehicular, as well as bike and foot traffic. It’s Conservation Art Day, with a free, two-hour Photography Tram Tour departing at 3 p.m. Reservations are recommended at 239-472-8900.

But first, on Sunday, Oct. 20, the drive is going to be open for free to all. It’s the rescheduled “Ding” Days’ kick-off Family Fun Day. In addition, Tarpon Bay Explorers (TBE), the refuge’s recreation concession, is offering free narrated 60-minute tram tours of the drive on a first-come basis to those who sign up that day.

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Sanibel Island Beauty

Turn up your speakers and see what we mean by True Sanibel!

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USS Mohawk: The Sinking World Exhibit

mowhawkHave you heard about the art exhibit that was placed on the sunken decks of the USS Mohawk? It has now surfaced, literally, in an exhibit at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts.

“The Sinking World Exhibit” was created by Austrian photographer, Andreas Franke, who took photographs of the ship and of models dressed in the clothing of the 1940s, secured them in water-resistant materials and had them placed on the ship. It has been reported as a great visual experience for divers who visited the ship.

Now, those photos have been retrieved from the ship and will go on display at the Alliance for the Arts 10091 McGregor Blvd (corner of Colonial Blvd.) in Fort Myers on Friday, October 4. There will be a reception from 5:00 to 7:30 pm. Mr. Franke also will conduct a Gallery Walk including his comments on Saturday, Oct 5 at 10:00 am.

The exhibit will continue through October 28, 2013. Telephone 239-939-2787 for more information or go online to

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