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July 8, 2013 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Where to stay on Sanibel/Captiva Islands in Fl in February?

I would like to err on the side of less money than more money, but it isn't a dealbreaker if all other criteria are met unless the price is just ridiculous. I've never been to either before and I'm kind of overwhelmed looking at resort options, and then if I pile on looking at cottages and condos it's a bit much.

Also, I'm pretty ignorant so if there's somewhere around there, not on the islands, that seems like it would meet the criteria I'm interested.


-We have a small child, so it would be nice if she could sleep while Dad and I hang out at night on the balcony and look at the water. It would be great if she had her own room, secondly great if we could set her up in a nice spot in a central living area, less great, for all of the obvious reasons, if she's on a second bed in our bedroom. No offense, kid.

-We would like warm white sand, beaches that are mellow, and picking up seashells. We like animals a lot. Seeing dolphins would be delightful.

-I think we would like the gulf side better

-A pool would be nice.

-Access to food and drinks is important, and a range from 'fried clams and Coronas' to 'fancy pants' is kind of nice. We like both.

-A view is critical.

-We don't need great luxury, but like things pleasant and clean and well-run.

-Easy access to the beach is a must (so we don't want to have to drive--preferably we just get out of bed and walk over there.)

This would be the last week in February.

I'd really appreciate recommendations.

Thank you Metafilter.

posted by A Terrible Llama to Travel & Transportation around Florida (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you want a direct beach view and access on Sanibel, you will generally need to plan to drive for a nice meal. More casual options are easy biking distance; there are few dining options that are foot-accessible. Jerry's supermarket is adequate and your kid will probably get a kick out of the parrots. The Bean is great for lunch; Cip's is great for dinner.

In February the water, and thus the wet part of the sand, will not be warm. Seashell searches are easy pretty much anywhere as the beaches are mainly a walkable sand and broken shell mix with plenty of things washing up.

I have had good experiences with 2 BR units at Sanibel Moorings, which has direct beach access and some units with views.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:36 AM on July 8, 2013

Okay, I'd be more inclined to go with a condo/resort set up (timeshare ho!) than a cottage thing, and I'll tell you why.

If you know what you like and you have a good way of getting it, then that's one thing. But Florida is so weird. For example, most places in the keys are what I'd think of as sub-par. Window A/C, old and funky. Some love this stuff and will have no other, me, give me central A/C and a Starbucks on the premisis and I'm a happy camper.

I like Trip Advisor, that's my first stop. Get some ideas of the kinds of places folks are recommending. Then price them.

I have had excellent luck getting timeshare rentals through Hotels directly. Just call and reserve. The pricing is good because they don't have maid service daily and with a toddler, you'll love having a full kitchen so you can enjoy Cherrios in the living room with cartoons, instead of heading over to Denny's every morning. (Trust and believe)

Take a look at Sanibel Moorings it seems to be the kind of thing I could get behind, and it seems to tick your boxes. The reviews on Trip Advisor seem favorable.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:46 AM on July 8, 2013

We stayed at Sanibel Inn the last time we were there and I thought it was nice. Looks like they have suites. Our room overlooked the pool, with the Gulf beyond it. It's beachfront, so you'd be just a short walk to the beach. There's a bar by the pool, and I think they have a nicer restaurant on premises, too.

We did a sunset dolphin cruise (just across the bridge in Fort Myers), which was fun and dolphin-ful.

We liked the Over Easy Cafe for breakfast. It was a nice stop on our bike ride between the hotel and the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. We biked almost everywhere (bikes provided by the hotel), which was really nice (except that I never ride a bike, and it's so deceptively easy down there -- everything is perfectly flat -- that I completely overdid it and ended up with really sore legs for one of the days of our vacation).
posted by hovizette at 11:12 AM on July 8, 2013

Many moons ago, my family stayed at South Seas and Gasparilla Inn.
posted by oceano at 9:04 AM on July 9, 2013

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