FLORIDA WEEK 5: SANIBEL AND CAPTIVA ISLAND FL
We were hyped for this adventure, we wanted to see the ocean, the view, the lighthouse and even the National Wildlife Refuge. There is a $6 fee (on entry only) for two axle and $3 for each additional axle. As we started over the bridge to get on the island it was a beautiful view, the ocean a greenish blue with white sand beaches. Then came the nightmare. There was $2 an hour parking meter at almost every beach. You would guess that the $6 entry fee to island was enough. There is only one major road the runs through the two islands with only one way on and off. Along with the ratio of road to vehicles the drive was dreadful. If I knew then what I know now, I would have brought our bikes. If you ever go to Sanibel and Captiva Island I recommend bring your bike or renting ones to ride the island. The island is only 17 miles long and plenty of bike paths throughout for safe riding. Park at a public area like the bike rental shop, shopping areas, post office ect.. (free parking) and tour the island by bike. Just to get an idea from the farthest part of Captiva Island to the only exit off Sanibel Island is a 17 mile trip and it took us 2 1/2 hours to get off the island. Some of the things we did was stop by the lighthouse. Of all the lighthouse I have ever seen in the World, at first glance I was disappointed. Then, to find out it was built in 1884 and still standing today, style and design was not the importance, safety for ships was. We then drove to the National Wildlife Refuge to eat lunch. Sadly, there was no picnic tables, so we ate out packed lunch in the car before heading inside the building to look around. As we arrived there was a venomous wildlife education class. It was pretty educational and we both learned something new. They have educational topics along with videos every hour and are on a wide range of topics. There are also a lot of child friendly education exhibits. Highly recommended. There is a 4 mile wildlife trail you can take by car (with a small fee), but the rain put that idea to rest as we would not be able to see clearly or get out of the car to look around. The time we spent out of the car we had a good time, the 2 1/2 drive off the island not so much. If you every go the Islands, park in free parking, rent or bring your own bike and enjoy the whole day on the island.