Seashells and Sunset on Sanibel Island

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Sanibel Island Lighthouse from MamaBuzz

Sanibel Island…. a place of serene, relaxing beauty, somewhat reminiscent of Port Aransas and San Jose Island.

After spending part of an afternoon on Captiva Island, we drove back down to Sanibel to spend the late afternoon/evening.

Sanibel Beach Trail to Lighthouse

The relaxed, laid back feel of this place was so much more than we ever imagined. We really wanted to see the Sanibel Island Lighthouse, so we headed toward the lighthouse and beach.

Lighthouse on Sanibel Island

When we arrived, we saw a little trail going off into the woods, complete with wooden walkway. A sign pointed the way to both the lighthouse and restrooms, so we decided to take a little hike. The walkway meandered through the trees and led to a small unpaved road. Walking down the road, we could see the lighthouse ahead, standing tall.

Seashells of Sanibel and Captiva Islands

After exploring just a bit, we headed back toward the water, walking on the boardwalk next to the beach. We knew there were shells here, but this sign we happened upon really opened our eyes to just how many shells we could possibly find here.

The water was shallow and cold; the boys splashed and played, running and feeling complete and utter freedom.

Freedom and pure joy and bliss splashing in the water on Sanibel Island Beach

We could actually walk quite far out into the water, and it was still ankle to knee deep; it was amazing.

Dan and the boys began to dig for shells, and we soon found out that wildlife here was abundant. Birds roamed the beach, probably looking for scraps left from earlier beachgoers.

Bird on Sanibel Island Beach

We were really excited to find this little guy, a beautiful live starfish.

Starfish on Sanibel Island Beach

We so badly wanted to find conch shells, and the guys found quite a few live ones, which we promptly put back into the ocean.

Conch shell on Sanibel Island

We did find a few, though (just shells; no animals), that we could take with us. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Conch shells on Sanibel Island

As dusk arrived, we watched the sun slowly sinking in the sky.

Sunset on Sanibel Island

The lighthouse became brighter and brighter as evening settled in.

Sanibel Island Lighthouse at sunset

The water was so calm here. I've honestly not felt this relaxed in a long time, as I did on this beach, in this moment. We all felt it and didn't want to leave.

Sanibel Island Sunset

Though we only spent a day on Sanibel (and it truly wasn't enough), it became a spot we feel we just have to explore more. I can't wait to go back…. to ride the bike trails, to find more amazing shells, to see the dolphins.

Playing and digging in the water on Sanibel Island

Our kids were never so happy as just spending a day on Sanibel Island Beach…. splashing, exploring, and digging in the sand.

I've read that it's a wonderful place for a spring break family vacation. I wouldn't mind planning one myself.

Where is a place your family loves to visit? Have you ever been to Sanibel Island?

Looking for more Gulf Coast adventures?


11 thoughts on “Seashells and Sunset on Sanibel Island”

      • It’s just further south down the coast, just below Naples. It’s definitely a quiet island with a lot of good food. We like going to Tigertail beach but the tiny little sand crab things freak me out a bit.

  1. Any day at the beach is a good day. :)

    We loved Sanibel. The only problem is when we were there it was a scorcher so we weren’t able to spend the entire day on the beach as I’d hoped. I would love to plan a trip back to the island and hit Captiva this time too.

    Great pictures!

    • Thank you, Tonya! It was just so beautiful. I’ve read that the best times to visit are late spring and late fall/December. Hoping to plan another trip soon.:)

  2. I love your photos. I have never been to Sanibel I would love to go now! Our favorite beach to go to is Folly Beach in South Carolina. We have never taken the boys and I would love to once Henry is a little older. Great post and photos! :)

    • Jen, thank you so much! I know, I just want to go back and spend a week there with my guys. Give the kids a little sand and a shovel, and they’re totally content.


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