You Can’t Come to Fort Myers Beach Without Stopping in Sanibel

shells on sanibel island

By staying in one of our Fort Myers Beach rentals, you have access to one of Florida’s most well-kept secrets: Sanibel. This area is an absolute haven for nature lovers, featuring incredible wildlife, breathtaking beaches, and stunning shores that the whole family will love. One thing that Sanibel is particularly known for is shelling. While you can easily collect plenty of seashells in Fort Myers Beach, heading to Sanibel will give you the opportunity to get a unique piece to remember your travels by.

Sanibel is a Shelling Capital

If you are at all interested in seashells, you can’t miss out on Sanibel. There are more than 15 miles of beaches to explore. Along the shoreline, more than 250 different kinds of shells have been recognized, meaning you’ll always find something new to add to your collection. Sanibel also features more than 25 miles of bike paths for an easy way to get in your exercise while enjoying the view along the white sand beaches.  If shells aren’t your thing, there are plenty of things to do at the beach besides swimming and shelling.

Shelling is abundant here thanks to the curved shape of Sanibel Island, which allows for the shells coming in from the Gulf to be more easily caught along the shoreline.

When you’re in the area, it’s common to see the “Sanibel stoop,” and you’ll even do it yourself! The Sanibel stoop is how the locals refer to the bent-at-the-waist stance you find when you are bending down to pick up the perfect shell. There will be plenty of opportunities to perfect your Sanibel stoop, and you’ll quickly see why USA Today has ranked shelling on Sanibel Island as the 7th of Florida’s best attractions!

Bailey Matthews Shell Museum

If you want to learn more about the seashells in the area, visit the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum. The facility has just finished its general construction and is open to all, featuring tons of programs, activities, and exhibits. Their website has a convenient shell guide that will help you identify each piece you collect, and you can also check out museum highlights including record-breaking shells, global pieces, and shells of Captiva and Sanibel Islands.

Additionally, the museum holds daily programs including Beach Walks, Shell Arts and Crafts, and Live Tank Talks. There are also plenty of unique events throughout the year, so be sure to visit the museum’s website for a full calendar. This is by far one of the most exciting and interesting things to do near Fort Myers

The Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum is located at 3075 Sanibel Captiva Road. They are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Adult admission costs $15, children ages 12 to 17 cost $9, children 5 through 11 cost $7, and children under 5 and active military are free. The museum also offers free on-site parking.

Tips on Organizing and Displaying Your New Collection

Once you’ve gotten your shells and have returned home, how can you display them? No matter how you display your shells, be sure to carefully clean and dust them before you place them into their new home. You can use a display case that will allow you to easily label each shell or family of shells, or you can go for a more striking display on a bookcase, desk, or coffee table. Other popular options include glass bowls or glass lamps, shadow boxes, or even jewelry organizers! There are endless possibilities to craft the perfect new piece for your home.

Just make sure that you position your seashells individually so they do not touch and damage each other. If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, tack down adhesive is a great way to secure your seashells to their surface. Ready to plan your vacation and pick up some unique shells along the way? Contact us today to learn more about our condos for rent in Fort Myers Beach, FL!

Partner News & Announcements

Dream Foundation logoDistinctive Beach Rentals is pleased to announce our partnership with the Dream Foundation. The Dream Foundation serves terminally ill adults in their last months of life by providing Dreams that offer inspiration, comfort and closure. Our owners have partnered with us and the Dream Foundation to offer free accommodations to Dream recipients and their families. We are honored to be a part of this program.
Slumber Safe logoDistinctive Beach Rentals, Inc. is proud to announce that we are in compliance with the registration requirements contained in Ordinance 16-001 with the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department. All of our properties have been inspected and passed by the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department and carry the Slumber Safe recognition for you and your family's safety.
Fort Myers Beach town logoDistinctive Beach Rentals, Inc. is pleased to announce that all of our properties are registered with the Town of Fort Myers Beach in accordance with Ordinance 18-001 and carry a Town registration number.