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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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