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24 Dec 2019
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The Holidays are here on Sanibel and Captiva, which is a little different than other places.  Most Christmas decorations are of Santa leading a team of dolphins or flamingos (Check out “Rudolphin” on Palm Ridge Road.).  And there is a 200% chance of NO SNOW.

As we welcome our guests for the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s Eve, we want to make you aware of what to do and what’s available on the holidays.

Since 1979, the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ hosts a Christmas Eve service on the Lighthouse Beach for all ages at sunset.  We recommend arriving before dusk and bringing a beach chair for comfort.

Both supermarkets on Sanibel, Bailey’s and Jerry’s, will be closed, as will many others (such as Publix) on the mainland.  However, Huxter’s Market and Deli will be open (6:30am to 10pm), as will both 7-Eleven locations (all on Periwinkle Way).

The Wildlife Drive at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge will be open with FREE ADMISSION.

The following restaurants will be open for business Christmas Day (a hard copy list will be available at our front desk, as well).

On Sanibel:

The Thistle Lodge at the Casa Ybel Resort will be serving a Holiday Buffet from 11:00am to 7:00pm (reservations required, 239-472-9200).

The Sundial Beach Resort will start will serving breakfast in the Sea Breeze Café from 7:00am to 11:00am.  The Resort will also feature a grand buffet overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.  Reservations are available between 10:00am and 3:00pm and strongly recommended (239-395-6013).

The Normandie Restaurant at the West Wind Inn will be serving from 8:00am to 2:30pm for breakfast and lunch, then serving dinner from 4:30pm to 9:00pm.

The Sanddollar Restaurant at the Sanibel Island Beach Resort will have a breakfast buffet from 8:00am to 11:00am, then serving dinner from 5:00pm to 10pm (reservations recommended).

Traditions at The Island Inn will be serving from 4:00pm to 9:00pm.

The Timbers Restaurant and Fish Market and the Sanibel Grill will be serving from 4:00pm to 8:00pm (The Sanibel Grill will be open until 10:00pm).

The Sanibel Café (in Tahitian Gardens) will be open for breakfast and lunch from 7:00am to 2:00pm.

For less formal dinner ideas, Dante’s (featuring the only coal-fired pizza oven on the islands) will serve dinner from 5:00pm to 10:00pm.  Island Pizza will be open from 11:00am to 9:00pm.  Schnapper’s Hots (including their famous French fries) will be open from 11:00am to 4:00pm

If you’re into going out for something sweet after dinner and/or gifts, Dairy Queen will be open from 11:00am to 5:00pm.  Geppetto’s Beach Foodies and Pinocchio’s Original Italian Ice Cream (East end at the Seahorse Shops) will also be open from 8:00 to 10:00pm.   Joey’s Custard will also be open in the Bailey’s Shopping Plaza from 4:00pm to 9:00pm


On Captiva:

The Tween Waters Resort and Marina will be serving a Christmas buffet in The Old Captiva House from 11:30am to 8:00pm (reservations required; 239-472-5161 ext. 4).  The Crow’s Nest lounge will also be serving dinner from 4:00pm to 8:00pm

RC Otter’s Island Eats will be open all day (8:00am to 10:00pm).  The Sunshine Seafood Café will be open from 4:00 to 9:00pm

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille (Captiva location only) will be open all day (11:00pm to 10:00pm), featuring their famous Yucatan Shrimp (The sauce is available for sale in bottles and makes a good stocking stuffer…hint hint.).

Key Lime Bistro will be open from 8:00am to 10:00pm.


All of us at Sanibel Holiday hope you will have a very Merry Island Christmas! And if you see a sleigh and reindeer on the beach, please let them relax…they’ve earned a little R&R after pulling an all-nighter!