In my family we are all about taking trips that help create lasting memories and strike up conversations for months and hopefully years to come. My children are fortunate enough to be well traveled, and my oldest who is 7 said something to me tonight that made me happy.
He told me that he couldn’t decide if he liked our trip to Walt Disney World or Huntsville Alabama better. I resisted the urge to screech “what?!” I mean we went to Disney for crying out loud, isn’t that the place that lasting memories are made? While they are made there, they are also made in the unexpected places, like apparently Huntsville.
Our conversation inspired me to think about more places that are off of the beaten path and are absolutely worth the trip. So over the next few weeks you can expect to see more destinations written about in ‘unexpected travel.”
So without further ado I present to you;
First off, Sanibel Island is a very small, some might even say tiny, barrier reef island in the Gulf of Mexico. My family loves to spend time at the beach in the Gulf, the waves are calmer and well, we love it.
There is so much to do when visiting Sanibel, even though it is a small island it packs a lot of punch.
- The Bailey Matthews National Seashell Museum – Seriously, this place is a shell lovers dream! They do daily beach walks where you walk as a group and discover the shells that are washed up to shore overnight. There is an interactive lab for children (read, don’t worry about little hands touching things!), an exhibit of shells around the world.
- The J.N Ding Darling National Wildlife Rescue Center– The center is just as the name sounds, it is a space where the center houses wildlife that has been found sick or injured. There is so much to see and learn about while you are visiting the center!
- Take a kayak tour around the island or a wildlife tour with Tarpon Bay explorers. They offer so much to do that allows you to get out and see the area! Feel like catching a few fish? No problem, they do that too!
- Don’t miss eating at the Mucky Duck! The seafood is out of this world and it is reasonably priced!
- If you love shells then you need to head over to Blind Pass. Blind Pass is a great place to hunt for shells and the fishing is fantastic! If it storms while you are in town it is even better to go the next day, the shells are in abundance!
- The Sanibel Island Lighthouse is another spot to check out during your visit! If a destination has a light house we always stop for a visit, at this point my children are still impressed by lighthouses so, we take advantage of it! Just note it isn’t your ‘typical’ lighthouse
- Old Town Sanibel is an area with quaint shops and local restaurants. I don’t know about you but when I travel I want to pick up unique gifts that I can give later in the year!
- Plan a day to hang out a the beach and enjoy the sound of the waves and the sand between your toes. I have learned the hard way that packing your days full of non stop things to do and see may sound like fun, but I have learned the hard way that it makes for cranky travelers both young and old!
- We love taking dolphin cruises when we head to the beach, there are several different companies that take people out on the cruises.
- If your family members are old enough, 16 and up, take a Segway tour! These tours aren’t cheap, but they are very unique and tons of fun!
Have you and your family visited Sanibel before? What did you do while you were in town?