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When is turtle hatching season on Sanibel?

Most species of turtles lay their eggs beginning between April 15 and May 1 and lasts until October 31.  The season tends to peak in June.  Learn more about turtle nesting and hatching on our blog.

Do I need a fishing license to fish off the beach on Sanibel Island?

Yes, if you are between the ages of 16 - 65.  There are several locations on Sanibel and Captiva to obtain a fishing license for a day or longer.  Among them are The Bait Box, Bailey's General Store, Tarpon Bay Explorers, Adventures in Paradise, Norm Ziegler's Fly Shop, and Whitney's Bait & Tackle. To find out more about fishing on Sanibel Island, check out our blog postwhere we chat important information for Sanibel Island fishing.

What is the best insect repellant to use in this area?

Usually, anything with 25 - 30 % DEET is preferable (Deep Woods OFF!).  For no-see-ums, Avon Skin-So-Soft has proven quite effective.  Other products include Cactus Juice and No No-See-Ums.  For after-bite recovery, witch hazel and Benadryl are recommended.  Learn more about No-see-ums and prevention and treatment.

Is there a golf course near Sanibel Island?

There are two public golf courses, both not far off Periwinkle Way.  The Dunes (off Bailey Road, first right when you turn onto Periwinkle Way from the Causeway) and the Sanibel Island Golf Club (formerly Beachview Golf Club, off Donax and Middle Gulf Drive).  The Sanctuary Golf Club is a private golf community off Sanibel-Captiva Road, near the exit from the Wildlife Refuge.

Where can I rent a golf cart on Sanibel Island?

Sanibel Carts ( provides street-legal electric vehicles of various sizes for use on Sanibel and Captiva.  Also, YOLO on Captiva ( rents 2-person "Scoot Coupes" that are fun to drive throughout the islands.

What are the must-see attractions on Sanibel/Captiva Islands?

You mean, BESIDES the beach and shelling? Well, there's the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the newly-renovated Bailey National Shell Museum, the Sanibel Historical Museum, the various cruises where you might see DOLPHINS AND MANATEES...the list goes on.  Please go to our website's "Explore Sanibel Island"  and our Beach Blog section for more details.

When is the best time to visit Sanibel/Captiva Islands?

There never really is a bad time to visit.  Most people come down in the winter months to escape the snow and ice, others in the summer when there is less traffic.  September and October are the slowest times of the year, but can also be a great time to visit, as temperatures and humidity start to decrease in October and November.  Southwest Florida has unique Holiday celebrations in November and December.  We have several articles on happenings throughout the year on the Sanibel Beach Blog.

What is the difference between Sanibel Island and Captiva Island?

Mainly the size.  Sanibel is about 12 - 14 miles long and about 3 miles wide at its widest point, while Captiva is about 5 miles long and 200 yards to half a mile wide.  Sanibel stretches east to west (unlike Captiva and most islands that stretch north to south), which helps to collect the millions of shells it's famous for.  Also, Sanibel is actually a city, while Captiva is part of unincorporated Lee County (and thus under county jurisdiction).

Are there crocodiles in Sanibel Island?

Though rare, crocodiles have been known to inhabit the island.  The most famous Sanibel Crocodile was "Wilma," a female that lived in the Wildlife Refuge and was quite an attraction for visitors.  Sadly, Wilma passed away in January 2010 during an unusual blast of cold weather.  She was preserved and is on display in the Refuge's Wildlife Center.

Which is better; Sanibel or Captiva Island?

Seriously, it's not a contest (though Sanibel could totally take Captiva).  You can't enjoy Captiva without going through Sanibel to get there.