January in Sanibel?

Dec 5th, 2009, 04:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 314
January in Sanibel?

I'm considering a trip to Florida in Mid- January. Sanibel appeals beacause of its beaches and proximity to the Everglades.

Is it going to be too cool to lay out on the beach and/or swim? Would I be better off waiting until mid -February?

Also looking at Key West, but I know the beaches aren't that great.

Any input or recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!
ljv is offline  
Dec 5th, 2009, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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January is a risk. Sanibel is in the safe as it gets zone on the peninsula. Could be 80 and sunny everyday and could be too cool to beach.

KW will be warmer, windier and without Sanibel's beautiful Gulf beaches. If you can handle Key's mini-beaches Key West is also a good trip.
stumpworks73 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2009, 06:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Lived there in the area for 2 years. Could be any weather. We were swimming off Sanibel in Dec, water was 68, air temp was 75...no big deal. I think you will be fine.
Judyrem is offline  
Dec 5th, 2009, 06:55 PM
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I'd agree that it could be anything in January, and February is not particularly likely to be any different. But I'm not sure where the idea comes from that Key West would be "warmer". Sanibel and Key West have the same average highs for January. The winds in Key West are likely to make it feel colder, but probably the evenings (lows) will be cooler in Sanibel however.

If you've lived in Florida for awhile then yes, it is likely to be too cool for the beaches in January. But if you come from most other places, then you'll probably think it's great.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Dec 5th, 2009, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 689
We're usually in Sanibel in late January/early to mid-February. Weather over the years is often variable -- may be some cool days, and some in the 80s. But it's always warmer than January in Connecticut, guaranteed! ;-)

We've baked in the sun, swum in pool and gulf, walked the beach in sun, wind, fog, and storms. It's a very special place, very different vibe from Key West. But it is such a beautiful beach, and if you like birds, don't overlook the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge and kayaking in Pine Island Sound.

We can't go there next year, and it's making us sad...
SB_Travlr is offline  
Dec 5th, 2009, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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We went to Captiva in January, years ago. (I was pregnant with our first child, due in April.) I was told the weather was variable at that time of year. On our trip, it was warm and sunny, we wore shorts and spent time laying on the beach.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2009, 06:55 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
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One significant difference between Sanibel/Southwest Florida beaches and the Florida/Southeast coast beach towns in January is water temperature. The water temperature on Sanibel is at least 5 - 10 degrees colder than for example Palm Beach, which is directly accross the peninsula on the East coast at the same latitude. This makes a big difference in terms of swimming during the day and evening temperatures along both of those coasts. This is because the Gulf is rotating clockwise around the Gulf of Mexico so the water is coming from the North on the West Cost. On the Southeast coast, the gulf stream is coming up from the Carribean, hitting the island of Palm Beach before it moves slightly North-Northeast into the Atlantic. The water in Key West is the warmest in Florida in the Winter, by far, so Key West has the least temperature swings.
floridafan99 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2009, 05:39 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 416
Mid January will be much less busy on Sanibel than mid February. We are there for 3 months each year and having coffee at our favourite coffee shop is almost impossible in February. Also, the beaches are wonderful, but we almost always swim in a pool!
SusanMargaret is offline  
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