Sanibel Island vs. Fort Myers Beaches

Old Mar 25th, 2011, 12:32 PM
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Sanibel Island vs. Fort Myers Beaches

Based on all the responses I got to my last post (THANK YOU!) I think we narrowed the selection for our trip at the beginning of May down to Sanibel Island or Fort Myers Beach. I was sold on Sanibel until I started reading other posts/reviews. My question is: Are all of the beaches on Sanibel "shelling" beaches or do some of them have the nice soft sand? I think we would have fun shelling, so am ok with that, but would like to be able to walk barefoot & lay out on some beaches & just wondered if the Fort Myers Beach area had more of the "soft" sand beaches.

I'm sorry if this is a silly question....we've just never been to the area & it was something I though we should consider.
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 01:14 PM
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I have not been to Fort Myers Beach in a few years but my last visit was wonderful. The sand is the soft white sand. Most of the hotels and resorts on the beach comb the beach each morning. There are some shells but I do not think I would consider it a "shelling" beach. You can always stay in one area and take a day trip to the other. They are only a few miles away from each other. I stayed at the Royal Beach Club in a 3 bedroom condo directly on the beach. It was withing walking distance to the public pier. Beautiful.
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 07:07 PM
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Sanibel has no soft sand beaches as far as I found. Shelling, yes, soft sand, no. But you can certainly lay out.
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Old Mar 25th, 2011, 07:59 PM
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Come to Sarasota (Siesta Key), voted the 2nd best beach in US, all powder, soft, cool, and beautiful.
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Old Mar 26th, 2011, 08:22 AM
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If you like the laid back look of Sanibel, but want soft, white sand beaches, look at Anna Maria Island. Close to Sarasota and Bradenton.

We split a trip last fall between Captiva and Anna Maria. We enjoyed both, but, found we preferred Anna Maria.

Ft. Myers beach isn't a contender for me, I choose not to stay at beach locations with high rise developments.
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Old Mar 26th, 2011, 10:48 AM
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We stayed at Ft Myers Beach recently and spent a day on Captiva and Sanibel. They are so close to each other, but we found the sand there to be full of little shells, not soft like Ft Myers and not the kind of shells you want to "shell" for either. We choose Ft Myers because of it's location for day trips to Captiva/Sanibel, Naples, Bonita Beach, Marco Island, etc...we wanted to explore the area. And that was not a silly question at all.
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Old Mar 26th, 2011, 02:01 PM
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Sanibel is only 20 minutes from Ft Myers Beach... you can easily day trip there for shelling and the hotels and resorts are less expensive in Ft Myers...
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Old Mar 26th, 2011, 02:01 PM
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Sanibel is only 20 minutes from Ft Myers Beach... you can easily day trip there for shelling and the hotels and resorts are less expensive in Ft Myers...
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 08:49 AM
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Sanibel is my choice, I go there every year, you don't want to walk barefoot anyway, the sand gets hot. Most condos have lounge chairs to take to the beach so you are not directly on the sand anyway.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 11:51 AM
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Thank you everyone! Still haven't decided for sure but I'm leaning towards Fort Myers for the sand! Plus we can do a day trip to Sanibel & other areas.

Thank you so much for all of your helpful advice.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 08:55 AM
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Fort Myers Beach has incredible sand, and the entire island is walkable on the beach from the north to the south.

Sanibel does have a couple beaches that are more "lay out" types of beaches vs filled with shells. Most of these are on the south end. I don't know how to get there by car since I've only boated in, but they are there.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for all the info, contributors. I'm deciding between Ft Myers Beach & San Marco Island & you provided a lot of good info on Ft Myers Beach. Thanks.
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