Sanibel Island vs. Jekyll Island

Old May 23rd, 2002, 07:48 PM
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Sanibel Island vs. Jekyll Island

Please help.

We are trying to plan our family late-summer vacation (myself, wife, 2 & 6 year olds). We are considering Jekyll Island (Jekyll Inn) & Sanibel Island (Casa Ybel). Sanibel would add about 275 miles to our drive from St. Louis but seems, perhaps, a nicer option.

We have not been to either island. We have been to Kiawah Island several times & really enjoy that type of casual, yet fairly- refined atmosphere. Also looking for good (& kid friendly) restaurants, nice scenery, biking, day-trip opportunities, etc.

Any insight would be appreciated.

Old May 23rd, 2002, 11:00 PM
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Scott I have been to Sanibel but not to Jekyll Island.
Sanibel is very nice and since you have little ones they would really enjoy the shelling. Apparantly that is one of the best spots to go shelling (I found tons). But not just that it really is beautiful. I am sorry that I cannot remember the establishment I stayed at but the entire island is nice I do not think you will be disappointed. Have a wonderful trip.
Old May 24th, 2002, 04:04 AM
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The Jekyll Inn is more upscale than Casa Ybel, but I MUCH prefer Sanibel to Jekyll. Sanibel is lush, and at times almost tropical feeling. Sanibel has tons of restaurants--not so for Jekyll. The biggest difference though, is in the beach. Jekyll's is hard packed brown sand and I've been at Jekyll when the water color has matched. Sanibel has beautiful white sand, the water too a beautiful color. If the beach and beautiful water is your thing, then head to Sanibel, no question. If it's upscale hotel you want and beach is just a coincidental benefit, then head to Jekyll.

You could cut a couple of hours off your trip and go to Sarasota instead, staying maybe at the Colony on Longboat Key...again, upscale area with beautiful beaches, and about two hours closer than Sanibel. Your drive is considerable any way you look at it!
Old May 24th, 2002, 04:17 AM
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Another thought Scott...we've been to Kiawah as well, and if I were to rank the 3 areas, it would be Sanibel or Sarasota/Clearwater first, then Kiawah, then Jekyll.
Old May 24th, 2002, 08:23 AM
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Thanks very much for your advice. The Colony at Longboat Key looks like a good option to consider.

We are going in late July so I'm sure that the weather will be steamy. We like to hang out at the pool & beach but with a shady spot to retire to when we're not in the water with the kids. Based on their web sites, it looks like Casa Ybel has a nicer pool. Would you agree?

To put you on the spot, based on quality of beach & pool (including opportunties for shade) plus general ambience of the respective islands - would you go with The Colony at Longboat Key or Casa Ybel on Sanibel?
Old May 24th, 2002, 11:32 AM
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That's a really difficult call Scott. I think you would be happy with either. The beaches are about equal, water beautiful in both spots. I can't answer your question on pools fairly because we *aren't* pool people. I hardly give them a glance! We've stayed at Casa Ybel twice and although I recall walking past the pool once (the units we stayed in were toward one end), I couldn't even begin to tell you if it was wonderful or so-so. There isn't a lot of shade on the beach, certainly.

We live in the Tampa Bay area so our trips to Longboat Key are only day trips. That is one of the nicer places on that stretch of beach though, and they have thatched huts so you can get out of the sun. Sorry..wish I could be more helpful.

Certainly the shopping/restaurant area for Longboat Key, St. Armand's Circle, is more compact for dining choices than what you'll find in Sanibel/Captiva which is really just one long island with dining scattered from on end to the other. You have a better chance of more upscale dining in Sarasota, than Sanibel. Sanibel is more laid-back, not as heavily developed. Tough choice!

It would be a toss up for's that for unhelpful!! We enjoy both places and either would be nicer than Jekyll.
Old May 24th, 2002, 01:22 PM
Judy Blackman
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Jekyll is beautiful but you will be bored to death especially with kids real fast - go to Sanibel has many more choices of restaurants etc. the extra mileage will be worth it.
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