Going to Sanibel Island for the first time...

Jun 19th, 2003, 12:23 PM
  #1  
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Going to Sanibel Island for the first time...

Can use any and all advice about where to stay, eat, etc. Am primarily interested in a romantic getaway with my husband and to do shelling.
deica is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 01:51 PM
  #2  
OliveOyl
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I enjoy Sanibel, but I don't think of it as a romantic getaway and we seem to have absolutely terrible luck with dining there. We had one really outstanding meal and I believe that restaurant (Italian) has closed since.

The shelling is wonderful, the island pretty, and we've enjoyed staying at Casa Ybel, but I'd never put it in the romantic category.

Honestly, for a romantic getaway in that vicinity I'd look into either the Ritz Carlton or Registry in Naples. Naples is a wonderful small town, excellent restaurants (even romantic) and both hotels would qualify as well. The one drawback is that neither fronts the beach, both are separated from their beaches by mangroves, but it's not a long walk down a boardwalk to the beach. Shelling...well, you just aren't going to find shelling like you do on Sanibel, so you have to make a choice, romantic with excellent dining, pretty but not shell strewn beach, or nice place to stay, so-so dining experiences, but the very best of the shelling.
 
Jun 19th, 2003, 02:08 PM
  #3  
dln
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Having dragged my family down to Sanibel for many a year, I can attest that it certainly is family-oriented!

I second Naples. The Ritz in the Vanderbilt Beach area is to die for! One of the most romantic places around. And, as OliveOyl said, the dining in Naples is superlative.

You can always drive up to Sanibel for the day, go shelling to your heart's content, then go back to Naples for a romantic evening.

Another wonderful thing about Naples is that it affords the opportunity to dress up. Sanible is casual 24/7.
 
Jul 1st, 2003, 08:58 AM
  #4  
 
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deica,
Several years ago we honeymooned on Sanibel. That was before it became so well known & more crowded. Sanibel is very casual and that's fine with us, we just wanted to get away. If you are looking for "dressier" places Sanibel is probably not for you. If you are interested in just getting away and spending some quiet time on the beach, Sanibel is great. We usually rent a condo in a more secluded area. Some restaurants are great & some are just so-so. You don't mention what time of year you plan on visiting. If you plan on staying during the summer you should bring/buy some bug repellent.
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Jul 1st, 2003, 09:09 AM
  #5  
itlyen
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We adored Sanibel, and it made for a most romantic retreat, best so far on the w. coast. Dining seemed very satisfactory by FL standards, which isn't the best destination if food is at the top of your list. But it was good. But Sanibel is a most beautiful area, we have plans to go back later this year. We have a reservation, but would be interested in any tips or suggestions for neat places to stay. We're a bit out of date on the new places, if any. Thanks very much.
 
Jul 1st, 2003, 09:55 AM
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We went to Marco Island this year for a long weekend - and loved it. We visited Naples and the surrounding area (loved them too). You didn't mention when you were going - but if it was while school was in session, I would recommend the Marriott. The beach is FABULOUS - with millions of shells. They've done construction so it should be really nice. We went during construction - and still had a great time. Lots of restaurants, and I'm sure there are plenty of other hotels - but we did love Marco Island.....
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Jul 1st, 2003, 05:22 PM
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Romantic is not the word I would use with Sanibel
There are few things to do there but shelling, swimming and tennis. There are mostly families and lots of children (lots!)everywhere!
We used to go with our son, stayed in the Condos on the beach. It is a great family place, but I would look somewhere else to be Romantic like The Ritz, Olive knows Romantic!!
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 06:48 PM
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Yes.....Sanibel brings back memories....once upon a time...my then fiance on the advice of friends, made reservations for a 5 day "romantic" vacation at Seven seas plantation in Sanibel Island.

Well.....24 hours into this vacation, I told my fiance that we need to GET OUTA HERE NOW!

Absolutely NOTHING TO DO...restaurants close at 9:00pm, and the food would be better at the seniors center.

You need a special personality to be able to handle a vacation at Sanibel. If you want to lie on the beach and read a book all day, then this place is for you.
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 04:51 AM
  #9  
OliveOyl
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markover...so where'd you end up? Naples by any chance?? lol :-"

Scarlett...spoiled sports wouldn't allow Tate on the beach either I'll bet, and he so human. ((&)) I doubt it's changed too much since you and A went. Many of the same restaurants serving the same menus to the same age groups. Not all bad, but not a romantic getaway--or not by most expectations for that term anyway.
 
Jul 3rd, 2003, 05:11 AM
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I guess I have to agree that Sanibel is mostly families, but if you do go, I've had the best steak of my life at the Sanibel steak house.
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 05:14 AM
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Olive
In the days we took A to Sanibel, we didn't have a ((&)).
These days, Pup stays home while we do our Romantic traveling~
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 05:29 AM
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We have vacationed in Sanibel as a family for over 10 years and love it! There are alot of families - but so what. Romance is where you wnat it to be. I would advise to take mosquito repellant at this time of the year. The Lighthouse Cafe on the east end serves nice breakfasts.
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 07:30 AM
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I have been to Sanibel for a romantic trip with my husband and also for a trip with college girlfriends and loved it both times. The Captiva end of the island may be a little more romantic and has better restaurants. The best thing about Sanibel/Captiva is that it is so pretty and uncluttered with tourist schlock. Since the majority of the island is a nature preserve, it is pretty undeveloped. It is very quiet--not much night life, but we enjoyed that. The Sanibel Moorings was a great place to stay--nice condos, reasonably priced, great pool and beach access. The island is pretty artsy and they often have great art fairs if you're into that. A sunset cruise to see dolphins is very romantic and reasonably priced, although I can't remember the name of the company we used. Have a great time!
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:19 AM
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itlyen
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Sanibel was indeed a romantic experience, and it may be for you too. If the truth be known, romantic may be more assoc. with state of mind than place, so if you are a romantic, plan to go, and take your romance with you. Don't leave home without it - some may have. Have fun.
 
Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:28 AM
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Amen, itlyen. It all depends on your definition of romantic. To me, taking a walk on the beach at sunset will always be romantic, even if you are pushing a stroller.

Some people find really nice hotels romantic, others want to explore nature together and find staying in a rustic cabin or tent romantic.

For me, anyplace that we can take long walks, either in a town or city or beach, seems romantic. There's just something about exploring a new place together thats romantic.
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:32 AM
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Romance whne you are pushing a stroller is one thing, at that time, one will be happy to grab romance wherever one can find it
But for those of us who have no babies anymore, or children to tag along on vacations, Sanibel Island which is great for families, would not be my first choice for Romantic Getaway!
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:35 AM
  #17  
itlyen
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Buttercup, so true, so true. In fact, I'm printing your thoughts and will keep them handy as I pad the white sands drung the next eight or so days. Beach time is upon me!! And I can feel romance in the air!!!! Gadzooks, what a timely, timely subject. Thank you!
 
Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:42 AM
  #18  
itlyen
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Ah, freedom to choose where to go and be romantic, that is what makes America great. Diversity in all things! To Sanibel or not to Sanibel, is that the issue? To ROMANCE, regardless of venue, now there's something worth chating about. Have a good one all, and a fun Fourth! Think Romance!
 
Jul 3rd, 2003, 10:39 AM
  #19  
dln
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If Sanibel it is, look up this supremely romantic inn. It's called Song of the Sea (www.songofthesea.com). Unlike many places in Sanibel, it is set up primarily for people with no children. It's really much prettier than the website shows. Charming, charming, charming. And they have special romance packages, too.

I'd still drive into Naples, though, and at least have dinner at the Ritz at Vanderbilt Beach. You will have a memorable dining experience!
 
Jul 3rd, 2003, 11:06 AM
  #20  
OliveOyl
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At least NOW all those "romantic" restaurants in Sanibel/Captiva will be smoke free, (providing they enforce it)a vast improvement over our last trip. Now, if they could just concentrate on the quality (and the type) of the food. Our last meal might as well have been in an English Pub for all the smoke in the restaurant. Nothing romantic about that even if the food had been good! And it wasn't. Sad but true...4 trips to Sanibel and only one meal that qualifies as exceptional!

For another wonderful and romantic meal in Naples, try Campiello. Fabulous menu perfectly prepared. Try to reserve for the patio if possible. It is night and day from what you'll find anywhere in Sanibel or Captiva.

I've found romantic in the most unlikely places...even the place we stayed in Gatlinburg of all places!! Gatlinburg wasn't, but the house we had on the side of the mountain looking back at the Smokies most definitely qualified. An isolated home, not particularly elegant that we shared with friends on a remote beach in Cayman was. Richmond Hill in Asheville was, The Registry in Naples, the Ritz there and Amelia Island, a tent on Lake Champlain, a scratchy blanket under the stars listening to the symphony, with a picnic from Guido's, definitely. I'm not sure what defines it, but FL wicker furniture with the kitchenette at one end of the living room doesn't qualify as romantic, and this is one of the higher end spots. Even though the beach can be, especially in the evening when everyone else has gone in, that is also when you have to contend with no-seeums...which just suck the romance right out of everything..swat swat!
 

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