November Events on Sanibel

Credit: Adventures In Paradise, Inc.

November is a beautiful month for us here on Sanibel Island and we’d like to share that with you here at our Gulf Front Olde Florida Village!

November marks the return of the Farmers Market at City Hall.  Since 2008, islanders and visitors have enjoyed this fantastic outdoor activity where you can purchase local produce, breads, honey, seafood, flowers, cheeses and many other items from different vendors.

Join them Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  You will find parking in the lots at the City Hall, Sanibel Library and BIG Arts as well. For those nights where you want to freshen up your menu with local fresh produce and fun baked goods stop in and check it out!  You won’t be disappointed.

Should your stay with us intersect early in the month mark your calendar on November 5th for the Sanibel Blues and Jazz Fest!  This is an awesomely popular event here which  headlines Matt Schofield and the Marty Stokes Band with Elvin Bishop added to the mix. From noon to 6 p.m. at Bailey’s Backyard at 2477 Periwinkle Way Sanibel, FL 33957.

Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio is an awesome blend of rootsy, spirit and soul performed by fun loving musicians that love a good time. Matt Schofield hails from Britain and is an inductee of the British Blues Hall of Fame.  And hometown boy Marty Stokes never disappoints in the Blues arena. So come on down and join them for a bluesy afternoon in the sun!

Topping off November events is of course Thanksgiving!

Try a new twist to the holiday by taking Adventures in Paradise’s Thanksgiving Dolphin Cruise.  

This is the perfect Sanibel Island Holiday activity which takes you out on the open water for an hour and a half looking for the spots that dolphin enjoy to hang out and interact with humans.  Birdlife is also on hand with the flocks heading to their evening roosts.  Manatee are on deck as well.  All this hosted by their knowledgeable captain and first mate. Complimentary soft drinks and water available. Book early to assure your seat for this fun sunset cruise in the middle of our natural wildlife habitat!

Events on Sanibel: Taste of the Islands Returns!

You know it’s Fall on Sanibel when the island is buzzing about Taste of the Islands served up by CROW, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife here on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.  The participants were just announced and the lineup of fabulous island-based restaurants that will be on-site for the event is sure to get your mouth watering!

Taste of the Islands is a local dining showcase and festival where select island restaurants prepare food for event attendees to sample and savor! This is the 36th year for this event which will be held on November 12 from 12 p.m. to 5 the Sanibel Community Park. View event info here.

This marks the 8th year in a row that Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands has been the hosting sponsors.  

Eagerly anticipated by locals and visitors alike, The Taste of the Islands offers up some of our finest eateries best and most delicious samples of their fare. Admission is only $7 and free for children under 12.  The proceeds will help CROW fund its programs which you can view here.

There will be honors given out to restaurants for “Best Appetizer”, “Best Seafood”, “Taste of the Taste” and the “People’s Choice” belongs to you the attendees to select!  

Some of this year’s participants are:  Rosie’s Cafe and Grill, Matzaluna, Il Cielo, Thistle Lodge, Shima, Doc Fords, The Timbers, La Bella Vita and more.  You just can’t beat this great afternoon of culinary fun, so come on over if you are in town and try out the tasty treats offered all the while helping our local wildlife!  

For more information, please visit Crow’s website here.


Snook Season on Sanibel


Credit: Florida Sportsman

Great news anglers! One of our the most popular local fishing seasons, Snook season, has begun! Currently open until December 15, novice and professional anglers will enjoy reeling in   these wily and aggressive fish, after all, they are one of the most popular sport fish to battle on the water. If you snag a snook that measures between 28 and 32 inches, it’s yours to take home and enjoy.  Remember you have to have a saltwater fishing license and snook stamp.

You and your family no doubt come to Florida for the sunshine, beach and shells, but there’s a whole new world of experiences waiting for you as you take your northern angling hobby down to the sunny sanibel shores.  

First off, you walk directly out of your cottage with a fishing pole and bait in hand and you’ll be out in the surf, casting in no time! A expected, hours of fishing fun are guaranteed!  Farther afield, you can rent a boat and all the equipment needed for a day on the water either with a hired captain or taking the helm as captain yourself.  

There are any number of charter services on the island including Adventures in Paradise. With some of the best fishing in the world in the waters around Sanibel and Captiva, the fine folks at Adventures in Paradise will make your experience out on the water a memorable one. They take you where you catch them!  

Jensen’s Marina serves up your own boat where you are the captain. Our waters are easy to navigate and they give you all the tools to fish the waters where you want to try your luck.

What kind of fish can you hope to hook for a seriously delicious seafood dinner? You can expect to catch snook, redfish, trout and snapper. Occasionally we will catch pompano, ladyfish, spanish mackerel and shark. Snook are very common in our estuaries and although it’s heavily regulated, when in season, you will love the fight (and taste) of this fish.

Another local favorite is the Redfish, a local favorite that is also a blast to battle in the water and extremely flavorful when it’s on your plate. Roasted or grilled, you won’t be disappointed. Trout is always popular and on just about anyone’s menu! Gulf trout is flavorful and delicious. Served with garlic butter or crushed almond will make your vacation dinner table into a five star restaurant. Snapper would be counted as another area favorite and a great addition to your evening meal. Whether sauteed, roasted, baked or fried you’ll definitely be begging for more!

Either way you choose to serve up your catch you will have had an experience that will never be forgotten.  

CROW Classic Golf Tournament

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) was established as a non-profit animal rescue and rehabilitation organization on Sanibel Island, FL in 1968.  In short, CROW is a teaching hospital and rehabilitation center, focused on the treatment of over 200 species of injured and suffering wildlife. At CROW, animal experts and a veterinary team utilize state of the art equipment, research, education and conservation medicine to bring new life back to the sick, orphaned and injured wildlife on Sanibel Island, Captiva and other areas of Southwest Florida.  Additionally, CROW offers educational opportunities for students from across the globe interested in learning about wildlife rehabilitation and conservation medicine, an interdisciplinary field that studies the relationship between human and animal health, and environmental conditions.

The clinic operates strictly as a non-profit private company, relying exclusively on the generosity of the community volunteers and financial support from individual and corporate donors. Fundraising events provide tremendous help in the form of funding, and the Annual CROW Classic Golf Tournament is no exception.  Due to Irma, registration has been extended until October 2, 2017 – and can be found here.  All monies raised go to the continued care of patients at the wildlife hospital.


CROW Classic Golf Tournament

Held at the beautiful Sanctuary Golf Course – 2250 Wulfert Rd, Sanibel, Florida 33957

Join CROW on Saturday, October 14, 2017  from 11 am – 6 pm.


Check in starts at 11 am, with lunch served at 11:30 am. Shotgun start begins at 12:30.

Register your group of up to four today while slots remain. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Each participant will receive:

  • Round of Golf with a Cart
  • Boxed Lunch
  • $15 in CROW Bucks for snacks and beverages
  • CROW Songbird Membership for One Year ($50 value)

For those coming to Sanibel to participate in this amazing event, we invite you to check our specials and availability here and we hope to see you at the CROW Classic Golf Tournament!


Randy Wayne White: Sanibel Island’s Storyteller


Sanibel Island is a very quiet place little to no riff raff and truthfully a wonderful place to live, work and vacation.  One of “Sanibel’s Best” is quoted as saying that patrolling the island is “like patrolling a broom closet.” We are indeed lucky!  But what if it weren’t so?  We are lucky to have a New York Times Best Selling author, Randy Wayne White, living on our island to tell us what kind of place this would be if the forces of evil were at work here!  

What an interesting background Randy Wayne White has! He left home at 16, worked on farms, and as a foundry worker, a lineman, fishing guide and of course, author of the popular Doc Ford’s series.  For many years he was a fishing guide at Tarpon Bay Marina, he’s been stabbed and shot at, lived through a hotel bombing in Peru along with dog sledding in Alaska and covering the America’s Cup in Australia for Outdoor Magazine. His life led him into a career as exciting adventure and mystery writer.  One of his major characters with 23 books in the series is Doc Ford a fascinating look at an actual historical character of our island.  Currently,  he is on the 4th novel of the Hannah Smith series and shows no signs of stopping.  His books are snapped up by locals and visitors alike.

To give you a flavor of what you might expect in one of Randy’s novels we can crack open his latest in the Doc Ford series called Mangrove Lightning where the ghosts of a 1925 multiple murder are stalking Doc Ford. With a family curse that has attacked family members Doc is called in to solve the crimes that seem to be happening straight from the grave.  Is it a real specter haunting the family or is there a modern day accomplice bringing misery to the living?  Take a look yourself and see how this tale plays out!  

Randy is an island guy and enjoys the same things you can in windsurfing, baseball and of course you too can hang out in one of the island’s most popular eateries, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille!  As you enjoy your island-time rum cocktail (try their world-famous Mojito) you may just see the man himself wander in!

September Events on Sanibel Island: Island Hopper Songwriter Festival 2017

The onset of the Fall season is marked by the beginning of school days, Labor Day, and for Southwest Florida… we await the annual  Island Hopper Songwriter’s Festival!  

This year marks the 4th Annual Island Hopper Songwriter Festival!  Nationally-acclaimed singer/songwriters entertain and excite the crowds during over 100 live performances across two islands and the mainland at 20 uniquely intimate locations. Featured headliners include Lindsay Ell and Brooke Eden.  These are just two of the over 70 talented artists who are featured this year.  This talented group writes songs for country superstars including: Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean and Trisha Yearwood.

Captiva Island: September 22 – September 24, 2017

Downtown Fort Myers: September 25 – September 28, 2017

Fort Myers Beach: September 29 – October 1, 2017

Attendees can listen to their favorite songs and enjoy food and drink specials at live music venues on Captiva Island from September 22 – 24th, including Key Lime Bistro, South Seas Island Resort and Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. The shows continue September 25th – 28th in downtown Fort Myers where performances will take place at: The Barrel Room, Twisted Vine Bistro, City Tavern and Pinchers. The curtain call is on Fort Myers Beach September 29th – October 1st with artists playing at Nervous Nellies, Yucatan Beach Stand, Matanzas on the Bay and Pierside Grill.

The Island Hopper Songwriter Fest is proudly produced by The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, Cat Country 107.1, iHeart Media and BMI.

Make plans now to stay with us between September 22 – October 1, 2017, and enjoy the musical magic filling the air.  We have a variety of special offers that will accommodate you, whether it’s a couple’s retreat or an extended family getaway.  Check here for all the greatest Old Florida deals.

Sanibel Island Photography: Ding Darling Photo Contest

With the popularity of smartphones, we are all amateur photographers when we go on vacation.  

With that in mind, when as we find our way across the island, along the many nooks and crannies of Sanibel’s bike paths, we are constantly taking gorgeous images of the island’s nature both flora and fauna.

We send them to our friends and family, post them to our favorite social media outlets and show them around to just about anyone that will look.  

How about something a little bit different this time around?  

Ding Darling is now accepting entries from July 15 to September 15, 2017 for their annual Ding Darling Days Amateur Nature Photography Contest.  Why not send in your great shots and be considered for recognition and cash prizes.  Entries will then be judged at the beginning of October and all winning and honourable mentions are displayed in the Center to the public for one year.  So get off to Ding Darling the next time you are on the island and let your photos go out into the world on an even higher level!  It’s fun and educational as well!

Check out the official website for all the details and rules of the competition.

Not sure if your photos are up to par? Check out the award winning photos from 2016.

And as a reminder Ding Darling Days are held in October “Ding” Darling Days’ Family Fun Day begins on Sunday, October 15, for  a week of eco-activities with all-free refuge tram tours, live wildlife presentations, hot dogs, kids crafts, and other family activities. Birding, boating, tram, paddleboarding, and kayaking activities fill the week. But you can enjoy most of these things all year long!  


Segway Tours on Sanibel Island

Credit: Billy’s Bikes

Many people come to Sanibel very specifically for our miles and miles of bike paths.  You can enjoy hours of cycling pleasure on our beautiful island on your own bicycle or one rented from one of the two major Bicycle rentals companies here, Finnimores and Billy’s Bike.

Are you unfamiliar with what exactly a Segway is? A Segway is a two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter. At first look, a Segway may look difficult to balance on, but in fact the responsive device is easy for anyone of any age to ride!

Finnimores serves up bike rentals and repair, kayak and paddleboard rentals, step it up with a Gopro video of your journey around the islands and much more!   

But did you know that Billy’s offers Segway Tours of the island? They do indeed, and it’s enjoyed by young and old alike. You will see these guided tours around the island at just about any day of the week. With just a couple minutes of training you are off and flying over the paths where the thoughtful guide will stop at areas where you can enjoy beautiful views, nature and native species experiences. Sanibel history and our own island culture can be viewed at first hand during one of many tours available to Sanibel Segway tour groups. Offered up Monday to Saturday at 9 AM, 11:30 AM and 2PM,  please note there is a minimum age (14) and weight (100 pounds) for this Sanibel Segway tour.

Please call 239-472-3620 to reserve a tour.  You must call ahead for this fantastic experience!  You won’t regret it and will remember it for many years to come!  

If you don’t care for this fast paced activity then consider renting traditional and nontraditional bikes or scooters, recumbents, and trikes, too!

New Activities on Sanibel Island: Sanibel Rocks Movement


Looking for something new on Sanibel? Look no further. A new, trendy activity has hit the shores of this sanctuary island. A brand new “game” has recently picked up steam across our islands of Sanibel and Captiva, and it is called the “Sanibel Rocks Movement.”

Within the past few months, visitors and residents alike have come across beautiful, hand-painted rocks as they scour the shell lined shores of multiple beaches on Sanibel. The scavenger hunt-style game is free and fun for all! Simply hit the beach, popular island locations off the sand or even the bike path in pursuit of these colorful rocks placed purposely by community members and those visiting the island.

Sanibel Rocks are all unique and most definitely recognizable. Sanibel Rocks are rocks found across the island that have been painted and even have simple messages or images. Recently, Sanibel Rocks have reportedly been found at Lighthouse Beach, the park next to the Bailey Homestead, the city boat ramp, playgrounds and near bike racks all over the island. If you happen to come across these little pieces of art, you can keep the rock or re-hide it for someone else to find.

The scavenger hunt is only half of the fun of the Sanibel Rocks phenomena. Why not make your very own Sanibel Rock? Grab some painting and craft supplies and start creating! You can pick up painting supplies at several island retailers including Bailey’s General Store.

Local resident Lori Adams is credited with introducing the new, exciting activity to our island paradise. Lori has a few great tips when it comes to creating your own design.

“We recommended sealing your rock before hiding it to protect your art from the elements.”

Paint your rock and snap a photo of the rock before you place it in a special spot. Post your photo on the Sanibel Rocks Facebook page and on OUR FACEBOOK PAGE for all to see! Check back for any updates regarding someone who may find your piece of art.

The Sanibel Rocks movement began just two months ago, but it is quickly gaining speed. We encourage you to keep an eye out for your very own Sanibel Rock. It’s a fun, free activity that is sure to bring a smile to your face, and potentially make someone’s day as your creation puts a smile on someone else’s face.  

4th of July On Sanibel Island

Credit: Adventures In Paradise;

Summer has arrived on Sanibel Island! We are just weeks away from one of the biggest island celebrations of the year, The 4th of July on Sanibel! Join us and the entire Sanibel community this Independence Day for a fun-filled day chock full of red white and blue pride, island style.

Sun, sand, shells and fireworks. What more could you ask for?

4th of July Parade

Enjoy the sights and sounds as decorative floats from all of your favorite island businesses travel from corner of Tarpon Bay Road and Periwinkle Way east towards Casa Ybel Road. All the vehicles in the parade, golf carts to antique collectables, will be dressed from head to toe in their best red, white and blue decorations. Arrive early along the parade route to secure a prime viewing location. Don’t be afraid to bring chairs or any other “tailgate” style items to maximize the fun! The parade starts at 9:30 am and Periwinkle Way will be closed from 9:00 am – 11:30 am.

Road Rally

Hop behind the wheel and join the Sanibel-Captiva Optimists for an island-wide scavenger hunt. Celebrating its 37th year, join local teams and families to puzzle out clues while a prescribed driving course around the islands. Prizes will be awarded for correct time and mileage, for the most correct answers to quiz questions about things you will see as you drive around the islands, as well as for the best decorated vehicle.

Fireworks Celebration

Enjoy watching a spectacular firework display over the surrounding waters of Sanibel to wrap up the end of an amazing island day. There are number of options for viewing the beautiful show in the sky.

Cruise over to the causeway islands to enjoy the celebration from a prime viewing location. Don’t forget to bring a chair, snacks, and plan to arrive early for the best spot!

Hit the waves with Adventures In Paradise on their annual 4th of July Fireworks Cruise. Depart at 7:30pm and enjoy the sights until approximately 9:30pm. Tickets are $59 per person and require a reservation. If you are interested in the cruise, please contact Adventures In Paradise early, as this cruise is an extremely hot ticket!

Whether you are near or far, the entire team at Gulf Breeze Cottages  wish you a joyous 4th of July! If you would like additional advice regarding Sanibel Island’s 4th of July activities, or for any other inquiries, please reach out to our staff at (239) 472-1626.