Sanibel Island Natural Attractions: Escape Into Tropical Beauty

Located off the Florida west coast, Sanibel Island’s natural beauty mesmerizes travelers. Become one with nature while paddling along waterways once traveled by southwest Florida’s original inhabitants, the Calusa Indians. Walk along trails that wind through different ecosystems and search for wildlife. To unwind, simply relax on the beach. In this spot, visitors can enjoy many Sanibel Island natural attractions and get away from it all. Here are some ideas.

Top Sanibel Island Natural Attractions and Eco-tourism Ideas

Great Calusa Blueway

The 190-mile marked Great Calusa Blueway welcomes canoes and kayaks. Meander through unspoiled wilderness dotted with sheltered bays and white-sand beaches untouched by man. While paddling alongside swimming dolphins and manatees, immerse in Florida’s wilderness.

Calusa Heritage Trail

Explore tropical vegetation and abundant bird and wildlife populations as you hike along the Calusa Heritage Trail. This trail measures less than a mile with signs, benches and bridges to guide hikers along the way.

J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

At J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge experience Sanibel Island as the Calusa did. Stop by the visitors’ center and let kids try interactive exhibits. Take time to bike, hike or drive the 4-mile Wildlife Drive, which is open every day except for Friday. In addition, bring binoculars and cameras to see over 245 species of birds that call the refuge home.

Six-Mile Cypress Slough

The Six-Mile Cypress Slough boardwalk trail in nearby Fort Myers takes visitors deep into the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the U.S. While strolling, see blue herons, anhingas and alligators thrive. During spring and fall migrations, more than 300 migratory birds stop at Sanibel Island.

Sanibel Island Beaches

While hiking and water activities provide a great way to see the area, sometimes everyone just wants to relax. That’s why beaches rank among the top Sanibel Island natural attractions. The island offers six beaches ranging in popularity and scenery. Bowman’s remains the most popular, or head to Lighthouse Beach State Park to play, look for shells and picnic. Read about the top Sanibel Island beaches.

Book Sanibel Island rental accommodations and get ready to explore.