Sanibel Island is a perfect setting for people of all ages, making this destination especially popular with families! The island offers a wide range of activities that are both family- and wallet-friendly, and we are excited to share our love for the area with you! To help you plan your next trip to Sanibel Island, we have gathered a list of activities for you and your family to enjoy. All activities are easily accessible from our family-friendly resort, so be sure to check out these activities next time you are on the island! As each location is only a short distance from West Wind Inn, consider traveling by bicycle, which can be rented onsite from Billy’s Bike Shop!
Adventures in Paradise
Grab your swimsuits, beach shoes and shelling bag and take a local shelling cruise with Adventures in Paradise, where you can cruise to the outer islands that are only accessible by boat! Watch dolphins at play and enjoy nature as you shell along pristine beaches, with shelling and environmental education led by Adventures in Paradise’s marine biologist. You can pack a picnic lunch or enjoy the island cuisine available at Barnacle’s Waterfront Dining. Tickets for this trip are $59 for adults, $39 for children and free for children 3 years old and under.
Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
A visit to the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a great activity for all ages and interests. This unique museum showcases a variety of shells from around the world, features a variety of games and activities for you to enjoy throughout the week and you can also sign up for a guided beach walk, led by a knowledgeable marine biologist. The museum offers a cost-effective admission price, with $11 for adults, $5 for youth ages 5-17 and free for children 4 and under. Once you are done, hit the beach and go shelling to test your newly acquired knowledge with the wide array of shells on Sanibel Island!
Sanibel Historical Museum and Village
If you are interested in learning about the history of our tranquil island, stop by the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village for a glimpse into the past! Learn about the history of Sanibel Island as you tour 10 historic buildings that have their own unique stories. Once you are done, stop by the museum store to pick up a souvenir. Admission for adults 18 and over is $10, and children are free.
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation
There is nothing we love more than our beautiful island, and we hope that you become just as infatuated with the area as we are! The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation is dedicated to keeping our home beautiful, and provides an array of educational opportunities to learn about conservation. Stop by for a one of the organization’s many low-cost programs, see the sights and learn how to make a difference in the community. During your visit, don’t forget to hike the walking trails and stop by the Nature Center and Butterfly House!
Sanibel Sea School
Sanibel Sea School offers programs for children ages 6–13, adults and families, along with opportunities for schools, groups and birthday parties. Children and teens can also participate in camps held throughout the summer and during the winter holiday! Featuring education on a variety of different marine-related topics, there is something for everyone to learn. Registration for programs and camps vary, so be sure to check out the website for more information.
J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge
J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge offers a great opportunity for your family to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature. Offering both relaxing and educational experiences, you can browse through the Visitor & Education Center, go for a stroll along the nature trails or take to the water by boat, kayak, canoe or paddle board. Free admission is available for the Visitor & Education Center and the Bailey Tract. Admission is $5 per vehicle and $1 per pedestrian or bicycle for Wildlife Drive, and $1 per pedestrian or bicycle for the Indigo Trail.
The great thing about Sanibel Island is that we can mix fun, education and nature all in one action-packed adventure. Whether you are local to Southwest Florida, or here for a fun-filled vacation, we encourage you and your family to explore all that Sanibel Island has to offer. So after you hit the beach, come see your friends at West Wind Inn, and we will tell you all about the great family activities that you can find on the island.