Sanibel Island is well known for its plentiful white-sand beaches and bountiful shelling opportunities, but it’s also a fantastic place for nature and wildlife enthusiasts of all kinds. Home to many endangered animals and a diverse collection of native plants, Sanibel Island is a great place to get lost in the wonder of the natural world. Here are three activities we think you’ll love. 

Explore Tarpon Bay

Hop aboard a Nature & Sealife Cruise to get familiar with the inhabitants of Tarpon Bay. These cruises are led by expert naturalists who can answer all of your burning questions about the animals that call this estuary home. Some of the wildlife you may spot while on the water includes bottlenose dolphins, manatees and seabirds. 

Spend a Day Learning At J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Learn the environmental importance of Sanibel’s intricate mangroves and witness beautiful migratory birds within this refuge. Fun fact: “Ding” Darling is home to part of the largest untouched mangrove ecosystem in the entire United States! Start things off at the visitor’s center to pick up some fun facts, and then head over to Wildlife Drive for four miles of exploration. Wildlife Drive can be completed by car, bike, or on foot, and there’s no wrong way to go about it! 

Pay a Visit to CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife)

CROW is a wildlife rescue that takes in anything from raccoons to sea turtles, and their devoted staff members provide top-of-the-line care to all of their patients — no matter their size. To witness the lifesaving work this rescue provides for the animals of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, stop by their visitor center and be sure to check their website for hospital tour times! 


So get out there and enjoy all that makes up this island paradise!