Explore Local Attractions on Sanibel Island
With a history reaching back over 3,500 years to Calusa Indian settlements, Sanibel Island has quite a story to share with visitors. We invite you to learn more about the beautiful, charming Florida island we call home.
Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
Named for two pioneer island families, The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum is the most comprehensive museum in the nation devoted exclusively to shells, featuring exhibits illustrating shells from geographical, historical, scientific and artistic perspectives.
With an extraordinary line-up of performances and educational programs showcasing dance, the visual arts, classical, jazz and popular music, a children’s summer camp, lectures, award-winning film and theater, classes and workshops, BIG ARTS has something for everyone.
J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge
This 6,300-acre Florida wildlife refuge, named for Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist and pioneer environmentalist Jay Norwood Darling, is — at latest count — home to 238 species of birds, more than 50 types of reptiles and 32 different kinds of mammals. The refuge features wonderful bird watching spots, bike and walking paths, winding canoe trails and a four-mile scenic drive.
For our resort guests, The Refuge is pleased to offer coupons for 10% off purchases in their Nature Gift Shop as well as a variety of free programs every week.
Sanibel Historical Museum and Village
This collection of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century buildings brings early Sanibel back to life in a beautifully serene setting. The Village relates the history of the island from the days of the Calusa Indians up to the mid-1900s.
Sanibel Island Golf Club
Our neighbor, Sanibel Island Golf Club, extends playing privileges to guests of Sundial Beach Resort and Spa. Set within a lush wildlife preserve sanctioned by the Audubon Cooperative Society, this 18-hole, regulation course features abundant tropical scenery. There are plenty of challenges and rewards as you navigate your way around the par-70 layout.
Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Center
The Conservation Foundation’s Nature Center encompasses 260 of the more than 1,800 acres owned and managed as a preserve for Florida wildlife. Visitors can walk 4.5 miles of trails, climb an observation tower and experience a butterfly exhibit. Inside the Nature Center, a marine-life touch tank, an alligator jawbone, a mangrove diorama and other exhibits showcase island habitat.
Sanibel Lighthouse (Point Ybel Light)
Perhaps the most photographed structure on Sanibel, the Sanibel Lighthouse was first lit in August 1884. The lighthouse isn’t open to visitors, and the City of Sanibel manages the surrounding property, which includes the keeper’s quarters, a fishing pier and beach access.
The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife hosts educational events, community days and fundraising affairs that inform local residents about our wildlife patients and our clinical and visitor facilities. The Center offers daily presentations, hands-on exhibits, videos and live web cameras displaying wild animals in various stages of rehabilitation and release.