Fort Rock Music Festival

We love having MLB teams do their spring training in Southwest Florida. It’s a treat for the fans of Boston, Minnesota and the visiting teams they play. And there are fringe benefits from having the spring training venues. One is coming up on April 14. It’s the Fort Rock Music Festival at JetBlue Park.

Fort Rock Music FestivalThis is tipped as Southwest Florida’s largest rock festival. On the bill are The Offspring, 3 Doors Down, Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Volbeat, In This Moment, Escape The Fate, Device, Pop Evil, Otherwise, Mindset Evolution and more, appearing on two stages. Tickets and information are available at

April is a great time to be here and West Wind Inn has rooms available before and following the Festival. Visit our website to book.

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Sanibel Music Festival – Save March for Music

Oh, the excitement! It’s just two weeks until the 2013 version of what has been a beloved Sanibel musical tradition for 25 years – the Sanibel Music Festival.

Trio CavatinaThe first performance in the 26th annual Sanibel Music Festival takes place on Saturday March 2 at the Sanibel Congregational Church.  Trio Cavatina, formed by three talented women musicians – Violinist Harumi Rhodes,  Cellist Priscilla Lee and pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute – will perform Beethoven’s Piano Trio Op. 1 No. 1 in E-Flat Major, Faure’s Piano Trio in D-Minor Op. 120 and Ravel’s Piano Trio in A-minor. The performance will begin at 8:00pm.

We look forward to this and the remainder of the season’s schedule. As many of our annual guests at the West Wind Inn say, “Save March for Music.” How about you?

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Beach Balls & Baseball

In March at West Wind Inn you can play catch on the beach, in the commons grass, or – go watch the pros play catch during Spring Training!

Boston Red Sox Spring TrainingAgain this year, the Boston Red Sox will be training at JetBlue Park and the Minnesota Twins will train at Hammond Stadium, both in Fort Myers and an easy drive from Sanibel Island. Click the links to see the full Spring Training schedules.

Minnesota Twins Spring TrainingMost baseball fans want to stay close to the ballparks but they don’t consider what the West Wind Inn on the beach on Sanibel has to add to their trip. Sure, it’s a bit further to drive – and what a beautiful drive it is – but when you are here you have access to the quietest beach and the friendliest pool deck baron on the Island. And the fishing is great! Everything you want a vacation to be. Relaxation and fun.

Before you book anywhere else, check with us for vacancies. It’s the best of both worlds – beach balls and baseball.

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Museum Lecture Series Features Nudibranch Talk

NudibranchEver heard of a Nudibranch?

It’s probably not what you think…It’s a seashell, without  a shell. Actually, Nudibranches are shell-less mollusks.

Joyce Matthys will present a lecture about these extraordinary creatures at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum on February 8, 2013 as part of the “Friday Lunch Hour at the Museum” series. Matthys is a founding volunteer at the museum, and is responsible for two video documentaries that visitors to the museum see each day.

For more information, please visit or call Diane Thomas at (239) 395-2233. Contact West Wind Inn for a booking to be on Sanibel this weekend. Then before and after the informative lecture, head to the beach and find your own seashells – after the live tenants have vacated, please. Live shelling on Sanibel is illegal.

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West Wind Inn welcomes bird-watchers to Sanibel

According to Peter Greenberg, a writer known for his expertise in travel to nature attractions, Sanibel’s “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a top place to bird-watch.

The refuge’s 6,400 acres of salt marshes and mangrove forests host more than 220 species of migrating and resident birds. As a result, bird-watchers are regular visitors to the refuge. Since West Wind Inn is the closest beach resort to the refuge, we see hundreds of guests who stay with us specifically to easily get to Ding Darling NWR.

Of course, they also come here to enjoy the fabulous Sanibel shelling beach on the quiet end of the island. And let’s not forget the happy hospitality of a large heated pool, an adjacent pool deck with a congenial snack and beverage bar, tennis courts, shuffleboard and, for those hearty Normandie Beachside Pub breakfasts to start days of dedicated bird-watching.

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Annual 4th of July fireworks display on Sanibel Island

After two years of fund-raising struggle, the annual 4th of July fireworks display on Sanibel Island will be manged by the Chamber of Commerce. God bless them and the Presenting Sponsor this year –  John & Jay at John R Wood Realtors. 

This year’s display will be at dusk Wednesday Night, July 4th, 2012. Usually, the display is launched over water from the foot of Bailey Road. As a result, hundreds of cars will park on the Causeway Islands to view. Another option is to watch from boats. But, there is a safety zone patrolled by the authorities to assure compliance.

There also is an island 4th of July parade. Since everyone in the parade and along the route (Periwinkle Way) knows each other, it’s home town affair. Watch for water pistols coming from the parade and the audience. You have been warned.

We can’t think of anything that is more TRUE SANIBEL than this. Book now at the  the West Wind Inn to assure you have a room.

Sanibel Fireworks

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The Quest for the Illusive Mangrove Cuckoo

They have been busy at “Ding” Darling, tracking Mangrove Cuckoo. This bird is difficult to spot because it stays in the mangroves and getting in there to to spot one usually requires a boat and some special skills.


As part of a special wildlife grant, researchers have ben hanging out in the Refuge, hoping to spot one. Well, they more than succeeded. By playing a recording of the Cuckoo’s call, they were able to coax one to show on a mangrove branch. Then, moving deeper into the mangrove forest they were able to get two to present. This was unprecedented in the experience of the researchers.

One of those birds was captured and fitted with a leg band and a miniature radio transmitter, These will be used to track the bird to see where it goes and whether or not it leaves the immediate habitat.


As most birders know, using bird calls to attract birds is not allowed in “Ding” Darling NWR, without a special permit. As most birders also know, even without the assistance of bird calls, the refuge is a fertile area for watching and photographing birds of many species. We have many guests who stay at West Wind Inn specifically because our proximity to Ding Darling makes it convenient to bird-watch there.


Of course, they also love the beach (who doesn’t), which swarms with seabirds, and the heated pool, which attracts fellow birders to relax at poolside and at the pool-deck snack and beverage bar.  This is TRUE SANIBEL.


We truly love having them here, too.

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Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival

One of the great events in our area is  the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival . This year’s event is in November, from the 1st to the 4th.


It will offer on-water instruction, demonstrations, seminars, races, social events for participants and a film festival.


The Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail extends for 190 miles along west coast of SouthwestFlorida. It includes saltwater mangrove trails and inland rivers that access the saltwater trails. The event was selected as a Top Event by the Southeast Tourism Society for two years in a row.


You can access the Blueway from “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and TarponBay. Since West Wind Inn is the nearest resort to “Ding” Darling, it makes sense for any kayakers, canoers and other paddlers to book into a West Wind Inn room or suite during November 1-4, 2012. Join us.




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With Easter Sunday just hours away,

With Easter Sunday just hours away, it occurs to us that some of our guests and others who read this blog may be looking for a church on Sanibel Island to celebrate the event. Here’s a list, including phone numbers and website addresses (where available) for reference.

Sanibel Community Church
(239) 472-2684
1740 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

St Isabel Catholic Church
(239 Live Sex) 472-2763
3559 Sanibel-Captiva Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957

Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church
(239) 245-9727
2304 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

Sanibel Congregational United
(239) 472-0497
2050 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

First Church-Christ Scientist
(239) 472-8684
2950 W Gulf Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957

Happy Easter from West Wind Inn True Sanibel

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Should Sanibel be a synonym for "the best"?

Sanibelians are justifiably proud that Arthur Frommer called their island his #1 favorite place to vacation. Add to that the pride of being the location of a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon public school. Now comes news that the Sanibel Public Library has been recognized by the Library Journal as a 5-star Library. It’s part of the magazine’s America’s Star Libraries of 2011.


The recognition is based on stellar service and the importance of the library to the community. Technological innovation also is factored in. That’s where the Sanibel Public Library’s work in developing, upgrading and offering wireless internet access, access to library resources online and allowing the downloading of e-books and audio books.


If you need an internet connection, an ebook or a librarian’s help researching a book, stop by the Sanibel Public Library, 770 Dunlop Road. Call 239-472-2483 for hours and information.

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