Traffic On Sanibel

Our island is lovely, but this time of year (February- Early April), congestion on our quaint island streets can put a damper on your relaxing beach vacation. We would like to provide you with the most up to date traffic info so you can avoid the wait and spend your days just as you had planned to, enjoying everything our island paradise offers our guests.

The Sanibel Island Chamber of Commerce has provided the public with a network of tools to keep drivers informed and alert with the purpose of reducing traffic and keeping everyone moving. To begin, the first way to avoid traffic is to, you guessed it, hop on a bike and cruise around the island on our many miles of bike paths. You may bring your own bike or rent a bike from one of the many vendors on island for a minimal fee. We highly recommend using a bike whenever possible. You’ll get an up-close view of our tropical foliage as well as spot plenty of wildlife along the way.

Check out our blog post all about Biking on Sanibel here.

If you are unable to bike, or would prefer to use a car you should remember that traffic is heaviest along our main thoroughfares from 8 a.m. to noon and heavy off-bound traffic between 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. On a weekly basis during peak season, Saturday traffic volumes are the highest, and traffic volumes are the lightest on Sundays and Tuesdays. Plan accordingly. The positives? These are prime hours to enjoy our beautiful beach and pool. Shell, soak up some rays and enjoy an afternoon siesta in your beautifully appointed gulf side apartment. If you feel like venturing out during these times, arrive early and stay a while. As you know, Sanibel plays host to hundreds of shops and restaurants with plenty of island flair.

To make managing your time and itinerary even easier, hop on our free Wi-Fi connection and visit www.MySanibel.com to view LIVE traffic webcams that will provide you with a real-time view of Sanibel’s busiest intersections. You can also view these cams from the palm of your hand. Use your smartphone to view the website while you’re on the go.

If you’re tech savvy, download the official Sanibel traffic ap called Sanibel Bound, available for Iphone and Android devices. The app is free and will provide you with one click access to a stress-free Sanibel experience.

To install the either App, simply go to http://www.mysanibel.com/live-street-cams from your mobile device.

To Install the Android App click on the button “Get it On Google Play”.

To Install the Apple App click on the button “Download on the App Store”.

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New Restaurants on Sanibel Island

Though things don’t usually change too drastically on Sanibel Island (one of the main reasons we love it here!), our island community has welcomed a number of new restaurants to the island since your last visit. We know you have your favorite go-to eateries, but we encourage you to give a few of these new establishments a try—you might just be surprised. From the pickiest eater to the more adventurous diner, there is something each and every person you’re traveling with to try! Take a peek at a few of the new restaurants on Sanibel below!

Love Boat Ice Cream: Sanibel

Yes, the legendary Southwestern Florida ice cream establishment has taken up a permanent residency on our beautiful island! Originally established in 1967, Love Boat offers over 50 flavors of the creamiest ice cream, sugar/fat free selections, sorbets, and more! Love Boat Ice Cream Sanibel is in the Jerry’s Shopping Center at 1700 Periwinkle Way, Unit #9.

Totally Baked Bakery and Café

Totally Baked Bakery and Café prepares and serves up an assortment of pastries, cookies, cupcakes, cakes, biscuits, confections and breads. Also enjoy carved on the bone ham, turkey and roast beef as well as homemade salads, soups, specialty items, non-alcoholic drinks. All Totally Baked products are prepared locally, so you know you’re getting the freshest ingredients and the shortest time between the oven and your mouth watering experience! Visit Totally Baked at 2407 Periwinkle Way, Suite 1.

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille

You might be thinking… “Doc Fords? I’ve been there before!”

But did you know that Doc Fords has reopened in a brand-new location in a brand-new building just across the street from the Bailey’s Shopping Center? Enjoy all your favorites including those mouthwatering Yucatan Shrimp and those world class mojitos!  If you’re hoping to run into Randy Wayne White, then this is the place to do it as he can be found writing here on many nights. With 2 dining rooms and an outdoor patio, where you decide to enjoy the ambiance is up to you! Visit the brand new Doc Fords location at 2500 Island Inn Rd.

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Romantic Dining on Sanibel

Of course, February is a month full of love and romance, and what better way to celebrate than by highlighting the most romantic eating establishments on the the island.  We realize you have a fully equipped kitchen in your condo suite, but a vacation getaway should be carefree and when there’s a special event, anniversary or in this case St. Valentine’s Day, our favorite island establishments comes to the rescue.  

A romantic evening can easily be had at one of the wonderful beach front restaurants:

Thistle Lodge is housed in a white Victorian home with a turret and you will sure to enjoy the excellent service and award winning food served with a beautiful view of the lawn sweeping down to the beach.  

Traditions, also located on West Gulf Drive is located directly on the beach and offers a fantastic menu with live music and great views. Take a walk down the beach for moonlit romance!

Il Cielo is located just minutes away on Periwinkle Way and serves up ”Creative American Cuisine” that will sure to fill the romantic dinner bill. Beautiful ambience, charming waitstaff all combine for a memorable evening out with your special someone.  

And for those extra special events, don’t forget the two premier jewelers on the the island, Congress Jewelers  and Lily & Co. Jewelers. Offering up the finest creations for world class exclusive shopping you can’t go wrong with these two beautiful galleries.

And don’t forget that after dinner stroll on the our own moonlit beach here at Pelicans Roost!

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Sanibel Shell Mounds

Many of our guests will tell you that they have been coming to Sanibel since they were children, are returning after many years away from the island or have fond memories of their annual trips to the island to visit family members. If we only had a quarter for each time someone has mentioned coming over on the ferry before the causeway was built! Anyhow, we completely understand the magnetism of this special place—after all, it keeps us here too!

Though many Island connections date back as far as the early 1900s, there is a forgotten history hidden away on Sanibel that is waiting for you to explore. The ancient shell mounds of Sanibel are a great way to travel back to the very beginning of life on Sanibel. The best part? These ancient structures are hiding in plain sight.

Take a stroll along the Ding Darling Shell Mound Trail located inside J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The Shell Mound Trail is the last trail in the park along Wildlife Drive. Travel back in time as you walk down the boardwalk that circles the mounds that were left behind by Calusa Indians thousands of years ago. This 0.4-mile loop is entirely wheelchair accessible.

A little history about the Sanibel Shell Mounds:

Archaeologists have discovered evidence that humans have inhabited Sanibel Island for nearly 3,500 years. The Calusa were one of the first Florida peoples that Spanish Explorers established communication with, though not much passed between the time communication was made and the decimation of the Calusa population. Prior to contact with the Spaniards, it is estimated that this area’s thriving ecological system supported the growth of this culture with a population around 20,000 members and a political influence that reached distant parts of northern Florida.

It is believed that Calusa fishing villages like those on Sanibel were were constructed of long, sturdy pilings, jettisoned down into the sea bottom at the base of shell mounds. Conchs and large surf clams were used to line sidewalls, ramps and causeways. Platforms were fastened to the pilings and on the platforms thatched homes were erected.

While on the Sanibel Shell Mound trail, you will see the remnants of ancient Calusa homes. By studying the mounds and artifacts located from within the mounds, archaeologists have discovered that the Calusa had a highly evolved, stratified social structure, rich in religion and ritual.

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Bait Shops on Sanibel

Vacation on an island means many things to many people.  We all have our idea of the perfect day off or perfect time away from home, some go shelling, some just like to work on that tan. And others of course see water and think of only one thing: Fishing!

Seriously, fishing on the island is a serious pursuit!  And what fishing!  Historically the island from the time of the Caloosa Indians was involved in fishing for subsistence and on into modern times, islanders have been fishing to put something on their plates for dinner.  Sport fishing came about with a seriously larger than life individual in the form of Teddy Roosevelt who spend quite a few vacations here doing nothing but fishing.  He rented a barge between Sanibel and Captiva and spend the day with his favorite hobby.  A jovial and very social person, he invited the public to visit him on the water on only one day a week so as not to disrupt his vacation pleasure.

Today sees the the hot spots for angling either at the fishing pier up by the Lighthouse or at Blind Pass where Teddy fished, but also right in front of your door on our beach at Pelicans Roost.

You don’t need to bring all of your gear with you, unless there’s that one rod that brings you all of your luck!  There are two bait shops on the island that can take care of all your angling needs.

One is the Historic Bait Box located at 1041 Periwinkle Way, open 7 days a week from 7-7.  239-472-1618.  

From charter guides to equipment to bait, they have it all and have been providing it since 1971. Family operated since that time, this business represents 120 years of fishing tradition on Sanibel. They have their own shrimp boat that runs every night providing it’s customers with fresh bait in the form of shrimp, fiddler crabs, pinfish and pass crabs.  Frozen bait includes, ladyfish, mackerel, mullet, shrimp, squid, sardines and chum.

Owned and operated by a local guide and master rod-builder you can’t go wrong at Whitney’s!  

They offer all that you would expect to find at a bait shop and a bit more: passion.  Located at 1554 Periwinkle Way and open from 5 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (239-579-0399) you will not be disappointed. Along with the bait they offer rod and reel repair, custom rod building and rentals as well.  Hand tied flies, spinning gear, lures, plugs and scented jerkbaits.  All with a friendly enthusiastic attitude.

So, you are in good hands here on Sanibel with all your angling needs from either of these very fine establishments!

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Playgrounds On Sanibel

 

We are sure that you will find yourself out and about on our Island home, shopping, dining and just looking at the sights and nature of Sanibel.  When you have your kids along you don’t have to do without the amenities to keep them entertained and happy in friendly kid safe areas.  

Periwinkle Place is a popular destination for shoppers, from mementos of Sanibel, to fine Jewelry at Congress Jewelers to fun fashion at Chicos, toys and of course dining at the Blue Giraffe. But what makes this an added attraction is the kids playground and park like atmosphere of the grounds.  Your kids will love the playset and you can take a break as they use up pent up energy!  

Another fun spot for the kids is the Community House which has just undergone a major renovation.  This top rated park is a great stopover between your journeys on the island.  Conveniently located at  2231 Periwinkle Way.

Fun is had by young and old at the Sanibel Recreation Center located at 3880 Sanibel-Captiva Road. This wonderful facility offers up to the public and visitor alike a wide range of healthy activities that the whole family can enjoy.  FromDepending on your length of stay you can join with a membership as a visitor or just pop in with the entire family or singly for a daily fee found here.

The Lighthouse Park is also a great activity, even if technically not a playground, in that you enjoy a beautiful view from the fishing pier and of course you can bring your rod and reel and take in some of our great seafood catches home to your kitchen!  Follow Periwinkle Way all the way to the end towards the East and it will dead end into the park. Open 7 to 7.

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December Shelling On Sanibel Island

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Our spot on Sanibel Island offers the idyllic location, with all our condos facing the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.  One cannot help but be captivated by glorious sunsets sitting beachside or from the privacy of the screened-in lanai of one of our comfortably appointed condominiums.  By day, a thrilling and satisfying way to pass the time while vacationing with us is to grab a pail and stroll along our white sand shores hunting for seashells!

Sanibel Island’s unique east-west positioning in the warm Gulf of Mexico, with our beaches being protected by a broad underwater shelf, allows our beaches to be filled with an amazing abundance of sea shells, over 200 different species.  December marks the beginning of the best time of year to engage in the ‘Sanibel Stoop’, as this favored beachcomber pastime is nicknamed here. The more active tides seen from December through April bring in a larger abundance of shells.  

If it’s your first time shell seeking on Sanibel, you may want to learn about them first.  If so, check out the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum where you can learn about shells from Sanibel-Captiva and from around the world.  Then you’re set!  

When you set out to seek treasures from our shores, the best time to do so is at low tides.  If you happen to be here during a full or new moon, the tides recede even further.  In some spots, you can walk out to the sandbar to find handfuls of shells to explore.  Just after a storm, or on a windy day, both great times to be a shell seeker, if you can weather the winds, that is!  

These versatile, beautiful creatures of the sea come in all shapes and sizes.  Just stoop over,  you can find: two different kinds of mollusks – univalves and bivalves, conch, lightening whelk, cockle, tulip, olive and coquina shells. Ours is home to the rare junonia – it’s the jewel of the Island. Within a short bit of time, you’ll have a collection to carry home as a souvenir of your stay at Pelican’s Roost Condominiums.

Gentle Reminder: it is illegal to take live shells, sea urchins, star fish or sand dollars from the beach.  Please be sure to carefully return any live creatures to the sea.

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Sanibel December Events

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With December comes the Holiday Season on Sanibel, one of our favorite times of the year! Even though we are located in the subtropics and will not have an occasional snow on the ground, we have holiday spirit!  

Kicking off the month is the Holiday Luminaries hosted by The Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce. This well-anticipated and attended annual event is spread over two nights – Friday, December 2nd on Sanibel and Saturday, December 3rd on Captiva. This year’s theme is “Holiday Stroll”, which serves up good cheer, beautiful lighting, music, shopping, dining, and visits with Santa!  You are invited to “stroll the trail” along Periwinkle Way and other main thoroughfares and enjoy the fun and decorations with us all on both islands. The Luminaries are between 5:30 and 9:00 p.m. on both nights. This is a “can’t miss” celebration!

Big Arts, our island cultural center, is serving up a couple great events one of which is fantastic opportunity for local gift buying at “Buy It Off the Wall”.  From November 30 to December 30 you are invited to see a wonderful diverse collection of works that you can actually take off the wall and purchase for one a kind gifts or something for your own home.

While you’re there, take in an amazing exhibit from two award winning artists: Carol Staub and Muffy Clark Gill.  They are both abstract artists, Ms. Staub using a darker urban palette and Ms. Gill using natural colors in organic ways. There is no charge for the exhibit, all are welcome!

Another wonderful early December activity is CROW’s Wildlife Walk with Rehabilitators and Staff. On December 2nd between 2:00 and 3:30 p.m. The Wildlife Walk takes you around the CROW property and lets the public see what this invaluable organization does for the care and rehabilitation of our injured wildlife.  Home to one of the top hospitals in the nation, you are invited to an in depth look into the daily life of the facility.  Truly a fascinating tour! Advanced registration is required.

We hope to see you soon and most of all– Happy Holidays from the entire team at Pelicans Roost!

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Wines in the Wild- November Events In Sanibel

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As fall temperatures blow onto Sanibel Island, they bring a number of fun fall festivals. We encourage all of our guests to take part in the best community events of the holiday season, you are sure to leave with memories to cherish for a long time as well as a handful of new friends!

It shouldn’t take much to convince you to attend Wines in the Wild.  Presented by SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation), spend an evening at the beautiful Bailey Homestead Preserve sipping wine and munching on hors d’oeuvres as the sun sets. This is the first time the SCCF event will be held at Bailey Homestead Preserve that is located at 1300 Periwinkle Way, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The event will feature six wine stations – three white and three red – all having a connection to the environment either in the way the grapes grow, or the pretty flower or bird on the bottle’s label. As attendees enter the event they will be given a wine glass. Uhler said they will have the opportunity to visit each station gracing the main part of the Homestead. Each of the six stations will either have a current, or former SCCF board member, or someone from the senior staff, manning the table.

Each of the stations will also afford attendees the opportunity to learn about the preserve through the information provided. Uhler said two of the stations include the windmill and honey house.

The event began nine years ago after SCCF started looking to do a fundraiser. The event offers something new every year, has grown since its inception.

“This is one of the first events of the season,” says Wines in the Wild Co-Chair Linda Uhler.”It’s a great opportunity for people to see their friends and neighbors that have been gone for the summer.”

Tickets are $75 per person in advance, $85 at the door.

The money raised during Wines in the Wild will go towards SCCF’s programs. The organization offers environmental education, land acquisition, landscaping for wildlife, marine research, nature resource policy, sea turtle conservation and wildlife habitat management.

For more information about SCCF, visit www.blog.sccf.org.

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Taste of the Islands- CROW’s Annual Food Festival on Sanibel Island!

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One of the tastiest events of our year is the Taste of the Islands, a fantastic opportunity for both locals and visitors alike to experience the island’s vibrant restaurant community’s food. This year marks the 35th year of the event, and of course everyone is excited!

Held November 13, 2016 at the Sanibel Community Park, it’s just minutes away from Pelicans Roost. The event is held between 12 p.m. to 5 p.m, click here for a complete line up of those participating.

The event hosts about 4,000 people and costs only $5 for adults and is free for children under 12 years of age. All of our islands restaurants that are showcased are offering up their signature dishes for $5 and under.  

Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands is again the Presenting Sponsor as it has been for the past 7 years.  All are welcome to Sanibel Island’s premier Food Festival.  All proceeds go to CROW for the care and support of the animals in the facility’s care.  This includes treatments, medicines, education and research.

CROW offers up not only this fantastic food fair, but also invites the public in to see the phenomenal work that they do with injured animals. CROW itself stands for the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife. Over 3,500 animals are treated a year. The veterinary hospital is one of the nation’s leading clinics and contributes regularly to the research end of things.  

The Education Center is open Monday through Friday,from 10:00am to 4:00pm (May1 through December 14).

Daily presentations are held at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (December 15 through April 30).

CROW is located at 3883 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel, FL 33957

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