Sunday, June 26, 2016

Best Lunch Picks for Beaching on Sanibel

These days the beach on Sanibel has more appeal than ever.

The heat and humidity is greatly diminished by the cool breezes at the shore.

A variety of beautiful birds can be found scurrying around the sand.

Dolphins are frequently seen displaying their charms in the Gulf waters.

And best of all, the water is very welcoming with the perfect temperature and stunning colors.

But what's a day at the beach without some great food to complement the beauty of nature?

Though there are no food vendors on the beaches of Sanibel, there are options every bit as appealing.  While you can, of course, cook up something in your vacation rental to bring to the beach, there are even easier and more diversified alternatives.

One option might be to browse the enormous selection of options at Jerry's super market.  A new department at this spacious venue is called The Kitchen. The Kitchen has a new and expanded assortment of ready to eat meal options, salads, entrees and much more.  Looking for something hot?  Jerry's kitchen offers some very exciting choices.  Hot off the Grill breakfasts, lunches and dinners include classic Jerry’s traditional meals along with an expanded selection of new items like Breakfast Tacos, Chunky Cinnamon French Toast, Fish Tacos, Jerry’s Prime Beef Burgers and so much more.

But if you prefer your beach blanket bingo wet rather than dry, you might give some thought to Bailey's Coffee Bar. Sanibel Island Coffee Bar offers hot and iced espresso coffees, hot chocolate, smoothies and other refreshing drinks, freshly baked snacks for that hungry moment.

And for those who need a vegetarian snack, or something delicious and gluten free, The Sanibel Deli and Coffee Factory will not disappoint.   Panini sandwiches, specialty sandwiches and vegetarian wraps number in the dozens. 

All you need to do is bring your beach chairs and a cooler for your beverages and you will be ready to hit the beach prepared for the day~

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Step Carefully: Tiny Visitors on Sanibel

Sanibel Island is full of special gems of all kinds.

There is the flora on the island, green , lush, verdant, tropical and inviting.

There are the diversified shells decorating the beaches , beautiful, artful and unique, making Sanibel in the top three shell collecting destinations in the world.

And there are the birds of Sanibel, as we mentioned in our last post and do mention frequently.

But as exciting as bird watching on the island is, particularly in migratory months when there is an awesome fall out of warblers, this may be the most endearing time of year.

This is baby season on Sanibel.

And with careful research, planning and viewing, you may see a treat beyond belief.

Our plovers, terns and other shore birds have hatched their eggs, and tiny, fluffy bundles of joy can now be seen at specific locations.

These locations are marked with protective ropings to keep we humans from entering the nesting areas and inadvertently stepping on eggs or chicks.

But the birds can not read the signs and are now old enough to wander out from the protected areas and start exploring the beach and shore line.  The parents stay nearby, but these tiny chicks are very quick, so they are not always under the wings or eyes of the adults.

Every one walking and shell collecting on the beaches need to be aware of the presence of these puff balls.  They are adorable to view, but exceptionally difficult to see.  So walk with eyes down, with a discerning vision and with great care.

And do let us know if you see any.  Best of luck!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Added Adventure: Places to See/Go near Sanibel Island

One could argue that there is no need to leave Sanibel Island when on holiday, even for weeks or months at a time.

And it is true that Sanibel has all the essentials.

Beautiful beaches, miles of bike trails, bird watching at its best, in the top 3 destinations world wide for shelling are all woven into the fabric of the island.

And there  are dozens of restaurants, ample shopping opportunities, water sports of all kinds and a wide array of cultural activities.

But human nature often demands change, always seeking something different, even when things are pretty perfect as they are.

We have highlighted attractions in past blog posts in nearby Fort Meyers and also  further south in Naples.

Since those posts , we have discovered a few others that might be worth a visit as well. 

Though Sanibel Island is a natural wonderland, filled with wild birds of all kinds, it could make a nice day trip to visit Little Estero Lagoon, about a 35 minute ride from the causeway, which can be a mecca for bird life in many ways.  The lagoon, with both a south and north end, attracts many waders , all who are easy to spot.  The trees and bushes surrounding the lagoon, can be the residence of hawks, pelicans and woodland birds.  And, as the lagoon is bordered by the close in Gulf of Mexico shores, what ever may be lacking in lagoon life will certainly be found in the Gulf waters or on the Gulf beaches.  Recent visits to this location (early morning or late afternoon is best for bird sighting every where) were particularly fruitful.

And though Sanibel does an incredible job of protecting the nests of plovers and other birds, the number of chicks one will find on the eastern Sanibel beaches appears much less than at the lagoon.  All nesting birds, which include the Wilsons and Snowy Plovers, the Least Tern and the American Oyster Catcher, can be located easily at the Southern portion of the lagoon right now.  But one must walk very carefully and gently in that area.  Despite the nesting area being cordoned off with ropes and signs, birds can't read and do not heed the ropes. So the chicks, with and without parent birds, can be found roaming the beach necessitating the utmost care in exploration.

But if you want to see birds of incredible color and variety without a lot of looking, a drive south of Estero into Bonita Springs may be just perfect for you.  There, at the intimate but lovely and very special Everglades Wonder Gardens, you will find a flock of Flamingo and several other exotic specimens.  Well worth the visit~

Have you found any hidden gems off Sanibel? We would love to hear of them!