December Events on Sanibel

Sanibel Lighthouse

Sanibel Island provides locals and visitors the ultimate subtropical winter wonderland. Around every corner, enjoy the beaming sunshine, the moderate temperatures, and of course, the feeling of the sand between your toes , not snow. Among the lush flora, breezy days and balmy nights of December on Sanibel island, there is no shortage of activities available for those looking for the best end of the year experience in South Florida.

Join Tarpon Bay Explorers and come aboard their pontoon boat, Explorer IV, for nature and sea life cruises that run throughout the month of December and into January. Join Tarpon Bay Explorers for breakfast cruises starting at 8:30 am on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Daytime cruises run every day at 11:00am and 1:30pm. Enjoy an evening on the water with cruises leaving at 3:45pm. All tours include access to the Tarpon Bay Explorers aquarium touch tank. Reserve your adventure on

After you’ve hit the water, it’s time to explore the shore! Sanibel Sea School invited you to cruise the coast with them during their guided birdwatching and shell walks. Enjoy a relaxing walking tour to discover the birds of Sanibel. During the walk, you will learn all about basic bird biology and behavior that will leave you with the knowledge you need to identify all the birds you’ll encounter during your stay on Sanibel Island. The guided birdwatching tour is available every Thursday at 9am until 10:30 am.

A shell walk will also open your mind to the world of bivalve and gastropod biology all the while learning the best spots to find the most coveted shells. The shell walk is available on Thursdays from 11am until 1pm. If you are interested in either of these tours led by the Sanibel Sea School, please call (239) 472-8585.

Anglers, if you are interested in casting out, there is great fishing to be had just off the shore of our property. Some of the best catches for December in Sanibel include: amberjack, cobia, king mackerel, ladyfish, black drum, black grouper, flounder, mangrove snapper and pompano.  

In the mood for shopping small? Established in 2008, the Sanibel Island farmers market is a must-do activity for islanders and visitors from October through May.  Along with local produce, vendors sell breads, honey, seafood, meats, flowers, cheeses and many other products that create a well-rounded enjoyable Sunday outing for everyone. The market is open every Sunday from 8am until 1pm at Sanibel City Hall. On Tuesday, the market finds a home up on Captiva at South Seas Plantation from 9am-1pm.  

Truly, December is a beautiful time to be on Sanibel and from the gulf to the golf course, you are sure to enjoy just about any activity in the area!

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Sanibel Is Open For Business – Pelican’s Roost Hurricane Irma Update

Sanibel Is Open For Business – Pelican’s Roost Hurricane Irma Update

A little over two weeks ago, Hurricane Irma made landfall in our corner of Southwest Florida. Sanibel Island was pummeled with a record-breaking 5.11 inches of rainfall and winds reaching up to 57 mph. At Pelican’s Roost, we secured our property and made sure all our guests and owners were safe and waited…

After the storm had passed and Sanibel Causeway was reopened, we were able to assess the damage to our property and the island. Thankfully, Irma’s eyewall avoided Sanibel and our island sanctuary was spared major destruction. Much of the island, including Pelican’s Roost was out of power for less than a week. At Pelican’s Roost, there was no damage to our structures or our landscaping. No repairs are necessary in relation to the storm, but renovations we had planned before Irma hit will continue as usual. We expect these renovations will be completed by October 15, 2017.

In the days after the storm, homeowners and businesses began to return, remove their storm shutters and return to island life as usual.

Currently, the island is back and bustling! Save for superficial landscaping damage to some of the island’s trees, Sanibel avoided the “worst case scenario” proposed by national meteorologists and looks just as beautiful as always. Within two days after Irma, all vegetation debris was removed from our city’s streets. Yes, some businesses are still closed for repairs and some piles of plant debris are awaiting pick up, but overall, our community has taken a deep sigh of relief and is looking forward to starting “Season” with a bang!

Most of Sanibel islands businesses and attractions are open. If you’re planning to visit within the next few weeks, you are able to dine at your favorite restaurants, explore Ding Darling and other natural areas, purchase a souvenir from a number of local shops, boutiques and galleries, and of course, go shelling! Local captains have inspected our surrounding waterways and have reported that channel markers and wake signs are intact and that it’s difficult to find any damage caused by Hurricane Irma. Captain Matt Mitchell reports that fishing conditions are above average and the “best we have seen in months.”

We would like to thank LCEC for restoring our power in a timely manner, all the first responders and law enforcement officers who assisted those in need while keeping our community safe and calm, and our local government officials for keeping us updated and for their tireless efforts in getting our island community back on its feet as soon as Hurricane Irma had passed.

In our opinion, the best way to melt away any residual post-hurricane stress, is to celebrate with us, right here, in the heart of paradise. Please give us a call and our accommodations experts can assist you in securing your spot on the Sanibel Island sand with us at Pelican’s Roost. You’re only one phone call away from the getaway of your dreams, 1-877-757-6678.

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Turtle Time comes to Fruition!

Every year Sanibel Islanders and visitors get all excited at the beginning of Turtle Season on Sanibel… and then the waiting starts. Turtles usually appear over night to bury their clutch of eggs and then with the morning comes the Turtle Patrol who monitor the activity and place the protective barriers around the new nests. And then we wait!

Now is the time where all this activity comes to a head and the newborn turtles make their way out of the sands, scrambling to get up to the surface and out to the water. This is the second half of the critical call to locals and visitors alike to keep the lights off on the beach because the babies go towards the reflections in the water.  If they head toward an artificial light away from the beach they lose all their stored up energy and expire too far away from the life giving seas.  

Turtle nesting has been monitored since the 1950’s making it one of the longest in the country’s history. The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation is the entity that tackles this job with more than 18 miles of beach a daunting task!

Please use their helpful list to keep our beaches sea turtle friendly.

  1. Turn off or shield all lights that are visible from the beach.
  2. Do not use flashlights or cell phone lights on the beach. If necessary, use amber or red LED bulbs
  3. Do not disturb the screens covering nests. They prevent eggs from being eaten by predators and the hatchlings emerge through the holes without assistance
  4. Remove all beach furniture and equipment from the beach at night
  5. Dispose of fishing line properly to avoid wildlife entanglement
  6. Fill in large holes that can trap hatchlings
  7. Do not disturb nesting turtles – please do not to get too close, shine lights on, or take flash photos of nesting sea turtles
  8. Pick up litter


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Summer on Sanibel: Staying Cool

June marks one of the hottest months of the year and believe us, the shelling and beach days are long and full of those rays of Summer! We all enjoy it, but where do we go to take a quick break from all that glorious sun and sand?  

Well, Sanibel is loaded with options for you and your family to cool off and cool down and have fun!  

To start off, Sanibel has one of the best libraries around. The Sanibel Library is cool, modern and full of activities for your kids and teens. They offer up the latest in books, periodicals and other media.  Check them out for a cool change at 770 Dunlop Road.  

There are innumerable shops on the island that are perfect for cool and comfortable shopping experiences.  Amongst the largest is Periwinkle Place located at 2075 Periwinkle Way.

Serving up an array for fun shops that tackle anyone’s interest, they are also hosting a summer shopping series all summer long called “Shop, Dine, Rhythm, and Wine” every Thursday starting at 4:30pm  So head on over for discounts/specials, appetizers and wine samplings mixed with live music until the end of July.

The Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum at 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road is a wonderful educational afternoon adventure! After you’ve collected all those shells from our beach take some time at the Shell Museum to identify them and spend some cool hours enjoying the displays and interactive learning. The kids will love the touch tank!

Craving books and more? MacIntosh Books is another cool stop, located at 2330 Palm Ridge Road, you can find not only the latest reads, but fun island items to take home as souvenirs like island inspired stationery and other trinkets.  Check out their website– you might find one of your favorite authors there for a book signing.

And to round out those cool spots, take in a movie at the Island Cinema at 535 Tarpon Bay Road. Offering up the latest in big screen entertainment Island Cinemas gives you guaranteed hours of entertainment and a nice cool seat!

Beat the heat at all of these cool Sanibel spots, or even consider them during any  rainy day in the subtropics!  

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Best Places to Spot Wildlife on Sanibel

Everyone has a couple of goals when they book their Florida getaway, some are more common than others, but there a couple that are universal. We all want to go to the beach. You’ve booked your gulf front unit at Pelicans Roost so you can check that one off the list.  You can wake up and look at the beach from your private lanai and in just minutes can be slipping into your chair for a day of sunshine and waves. Fine local dining is another item to tick off, of which there are endless choices on our subtropical paradise. And probably the last most common is where can I see all of  those dolphins and alligators.  

Sanibel is one of the most perfect places to view wildlife as we have here one of the most ecologically minded city planning in the country.  The city founders allotted land for preserve and are constantly adding lands that are donated or bought by the city and made into natural habitat again through a lot of hard work.  Our very own SCCF is constantly looking after lands and managing the preserves of which most are open to you and your bike for discovery.

You can literally enjoy the birdlife on our property according to the season.  We have all the sea birds, pelicans, herons, owls, and the occasional roseate spoonbills.   On the beach you can easily see the dolphins frolicking and hunting for food in our surf. And it’s Turtle Season so you might catch the sea turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs on our sandy beaches.

Renting a bike on the island is always a great idea as you can experience the wandering turtles, lizards and other crawling creatures on our miles of bike paths. You will see crowds of people stopped along the wayside huddled looking into a lagoon or jungle lot where a gator is sunning itself or a racoon is cleaning its food in the water.  

A ride through J.N Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful spot for viewing our wildlife with the added benefit of having one of the expert guides pointing out what kinds of animals, amphibians or birdlife are congregating in the park that day.  They are open every day except on Fridays when even the animals get a rest. Check out the Society’s new website for the latest sightings.   

If you want a fun encounter with dolphins there are several boat tours that you can take out into the Gulf of Mexico where the friendly guides know where to find these amazing creatures.  

No matter what your interests are in terms of wildlife you will find it on Sanibel Island up close and personal.

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Sanibel Island In June

Summer on Sanibel Island has arrived! It’s time to take advantage of sparse crowds and unending island beauty! If you are planning to visit during the month of June, you can expect the following:

June Weather On Sanibel

June kicks off the Southwest Florida rainy season! Temperatures are usually in the mid-70s at night and can hit the low 90s during the hottest time of the day. Late afternoon thunderstorms are commonplace and provide the perfect chance to kick back and relax on your lanai as you watch the clouds roll in. Sanibel summertime thunderstorms, much like the rest of Florida, traditionally last less than an hour and as soon as they pass, leave beautiful sunny weather behind them. It is rare to miss a sunset during this time of year and the additional clouds tend to make the stunning sunsets even more spectacular.

June Tides on Sanibel

All year long, the City of Sanibel publishes tide charts on their website that can be accessible from any desktop, laptop or mobile device. Check the tide charts right here.

June Events on Sanibel

‘Ding’ free summer programs begin June 7

Wildlife Wonders talks, weekly walks, and nature crafts highlight the free summer programming to be offered June 7 through Aug. 5, 2017,  at J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

 The schedule of weekly activities follows. No pre-registration is necessary.

  • Reading at the Refuge, every Wednesday at 10 a.m.: Attendees of each 45-minute reading-and-crafts session learn about a refuge animal and make a take-home craft related to it. Meet in the Visitor & Education Center classroom.
  • Indigo Trail Hike, every Thursday at 10 a.m.: Join refuge naturalists as they lead a one-hour tour to the Wildlife Education Board to identify and discuss the ecosystem’s plants, mammals, birds, and reptiles – fun for adults and children alike. Bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Meet at the flagpole in front of the Visitor & Education Center.
  • Family Beach Walk, every Friday at 9 a.m.: The one-hour program convenes at Gulfside Park to explore the refuge’s gulf-front Perry Tract. City parking fees apply. Bring water, sunscreen, and bug spray.
  • Wildlife Wonders- every Saturday at 11 a.m.: Refuge education staff lead this 30-minute indoor program about the mysteries of manatees, alligators, crocodiles, and birds in the Visitor & Education Center auditorium.

For more information on the refuge summer programs, call 239-472-1100 ext. 237 or visit

Sanibel’s Finest Eco-Tour

Bring your family to Blue Coyote Supper Club and enjoy a complimentary self-guided Golf Cart Eco Tour around the beautiful Sanibel Island Golf Club prior to your meal. As you meander arounf your own private “nature trail” along the scenic banks for the Sanibel River you may spy a Florida Alligator, some Iguana or a beautiful White Ibis living in their natural habitat.

Call 239.472.9222 to reserve your spot in what will surely be one of the highlights of your Sanibel Visit. For directions from our property to the Blue Coyote Supper Club click here. It’s less than a half a mile away!

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Celebrate National Seashell Day at Pelicans Roost!

What better place to be on National Seashell Day than at Pelicans Roost on Sanibel Island?

Join us on June 21, 2017 for the actual National Seashell Day but you can enjoy the entire Summer on our beautiful shelling beach right in front of your door!

For the second year in a row the event will be hosted on Sanibel Island with national press coverage in the form of Good Morning America on our beach with the now famous shell love bug from Lee County’s very own Visitor and Convention Bureau.  

This special day gives visitors and locals alike a special look into our island life with seashell attractions, shelling cruises, guided tours, shell bags and many other fun activities for families of all ages. The National Shell Museum is also at home on our island and will be involved in the festivities as well. Our shells are truly our treasures from the sea and of course Seashell Day could be said to be every day of the year not just in June so you will not miss out on any shell finds whenever you find yourself on Sanibel Island.  

Long standing wisdom on the island has given us some really helpful tips for you to find those great natural souvenirs to bring back to your home.

Some of these would be:

You can choose different times of the day for your shelling, keep in mind that early mornings are best as you are the first sheller of the day to discover unique treasure. It’s quite the common sight before the sun rises to see bobbing flashlights in the surf.

After storms or days of heavy surf are fantastic times for finding great shells that don’t make it to the beach during our normal tidal action.

Don’t forget that shelling bag!  You know you will find more than a handful or pocketful of shells.  Some folks even carry backpacks.

Live shells are a no no!  Stiff fines try and keep the live animals in their shell so that they can procreate and keep our beach full of shells for years to come.

Take a look at the Visitor and Convention Bureau’s website to see the wide variety of activities for this June!

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Sanibel Island Weather

One of the most popular questions we receive from current (and future) guests is “what is the weather on Sanibel?”

Our answer is a simple one! Though it may seem like the sun is always shining on Sanibel, just like anywhere else, our weather changes day to day; but let’s be honest, it tends to lean towards the sunnier side. On average, there are 262 days of sunshine per year on Sanibel, the remaining days of the year bring partly cloudy days, which are great for long shelling trips or bike rides because they allow you to avoid the sun part of the time, and our rainy days, which in our opinion, can be just as stunning as a sunshiny day.

Looking for a better idea as to what kind of weather you can expect during your time on Sanibel? One thing we can do is predict the weather based on the time of year you will be visiting. As you know, Sanibel does not follow suit with much of the rest of the world in relation to seasons. On Sanibel, we do not experience the traditional seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. Our seasons are categorized as the rainy and the dry seasons.

As we come into May, we are entering the wet season. The wet season, which occurs through the months of April to November allows our guests to experience the wet and wild side of our area. During the wet season, Sanibel plays host to humid temperatures and afternoon thunderstorms that are sure to be just as awe-inspiring to watch as any seasonal sunset. Plenty of rain also brings wildlife out of hiding once the showers have passed.  stunningly humid temperatures with plenty of rain that all our native wildlife enjoy and thrive in. Keep an eye out for lizards, turtles, dolphins, birds and more! Also, you may wonder “when is the best time of year to shell on Sanibel?” The answer—the rainy season. After a powerful storm churns up the Gulf, she deposits treasures from the deep directly on your doorstep. Keep an eye out for alphabet cones, lion’s paws and the elusive Junonia! Another rainy season perk? It is Sanibel’s ”off season,” meaning zero traffic and a quiet island experience away from the crowds.

On the flip side, the dry season is traditionally held throughout the months of November through April. The best thing about the dry season is the large numbers of animals that are visible during this time of year. Expect to witness many migratory birds like the American white pelican, Franklin’s gull and the swallow-tailed kite as well as a number sunning reptiles like American alligators! This period is characterized by a lack of rain and a bounty of sunshine and mild Florida temperatures. It is the perfect time for a wildlife lover to experience the beauty of natural Southwest Florida.

Whenever you decide you’d like to visit Sanibel, you’re sure to experience an area unlike the rest of the United States. Get in tune with nature, follow the sounds of the shore and relax in our very own island sanctuary—it truly is beautiful here all year long!

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Hiking On Sanibel

It’s true, Sanibel hosts top ranked shelling beaches and glorious sunsets, both steps from our doorway at Pelican’s Roost. Sanibel also offers over 24 miles of shared use pathways for biking, strolling, jogging – and miles upon miles of hiking paths?  

Sanibel Island, a gem on Southwest Florida’s coast, is a barrier reef 33.16 square miles total, with 17.21 square miles (just over half) being land, and 15.96 square miles of inland water. Over half of the island is composed of wildlife refuges, the biggest being Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge.  Trails for all skill levels and ages meander through this amazing group of habitats. So, both the young and old, trade those flip flops for walking shoes and hit the trails for a brand new perspective of Sanibel Island away from the sand and surf– it’s time to go hiking on Sanibel!

A few of our favorite trails?

Indigo Trail – 4.0 miles – This trail is by far the most popular, as it begins at the Visitor Center.

Bailey Tract – 1.1 miles – Starting off of Tarpon Bay Road, this is a lesser known pathway that loops around impoundments and offers excellent birding.

Shell Mound Trail – 0.4 miles – This wheelchair accessible boardwalk sits near the end of Wildlife Drive inside the refuge.  This trail takes one into the ancient history of Sanibel Island.

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) hosts a variety of nature trails throughout the two islands, including:

4 miles of trails at the Nature Center on Sanibel-Captiva Road

6-mile trail in the Periwinkle/Blue Skies Preserves on Periwinkle Way

And two short (around 500 feet) trails on the Bob Wigley Preserve

There are also trails in the Sanibel Gardens Preserve, accessible from Island Inn Road.  A printable map showing locations of all walking trails on Sanibel Island can be found here or an interactive map and information with here.

Whether you are a first time hiker or a longtime hiking enthusiast, you can track your Sanibel adventures easily with this handy app here (Mapmywalk).  

Get out there and go hiking on Sanibel!

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The Best Place To Watch The Sunset On Sanibel

On Sanibel, there is approximately 300 days of sunshine each year—which means 300 chances to catch a spectacular sunset! (The other 65 days also lead to stunning sunsets).

One of the most frequent questions we are asked by our guests is “Where is the best place to watch the Sunset on Sanibel?” Our answer: right here, and a few other locations.

Because of our prime location on the south side of the island, our guests get the chance to witness both the sunrise and the sunset from our beautiful shell-lined beach. Enjoy the show of light from your balcony or from a beach chair or towel on the sand located just steps from your beach home away from home. Don’t forget to bring a cocktail!

Some evenings, our guests report witnessing a phenomenon known as the Green flash.

When the conditions are right, a green spot is visible above the upper rim of the disk of the sun. The green appearance usually lasts for no more than a second or two. Rarely, the green flash can resemble a green ray shooting up from the sunset (or sunrise) point. Green flashes occur because the atmosphere can cause the light from the sun to separate out into different colors.

If you’re looking to venture to a different location on the island for sunset, consider visiting Blind Pass Beach. This beach is the most western area of Sanibel Island to view the sunset in its full glory. During certain times of the year, crowds can get quite large. For a different perspective and a change of scenery, head to the Causeway Islands Park and enjoy the lightshow as the sun dips below the outline of our beautiful island.

If you’re even more adventurous, hit the road and head even further down Sanibel Captiva Road to our neighboring island of Captiva where most their beaches face west, directly towards the sunset.  

Sunset is also a great time to shell or snap that family photo you’ve been hoping to capture during your time in paradise. You may think you’ve seen beautiful sunsets in your hometown, but trust us, nothing beats watching the day end from the sands of Sanibel Island.

Don’t miss the sunset. Click here to discover the exact time the sun will set TODAY!

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