Thursday, April 7, 2011

Old Florida RoadTrip: Sanibel & Captiva Island

Are you ready for a road trip? Well buckle up! We're going on a roadtrip of the Florida gulf coast, what I like to call the "Old Florida" roadtrip. I want to rediscover those old tourist dives that were once the hotspots back in the 40's- 60's. These were THE places to vacation before "the mouse" moved into Florida. Today these hotspots are charming little seaside villages, small on crowds but big on fun and adventure. So come along with me and my family as we explore Old Florida (and vow NOT to eat at a single chain restaurant along the way....its all local!)

Today, in our final stop along the Old Florida Roadtrip: Sanibel & Captiva Island!!!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands are located off the coast of southwest Florida, just west of Fort Myers, Florida. Sanibel Island measures roughly 12 miles long and three miles across at its widest.  Little sister Captiva Island has more compact measurements of approximately four miles long and  mile wide.

Sanibel Captiva Islands Florida are the perfect choice for your vacation whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a family trip or a nature vacation.

The  islands provide the perfect vacation. And guess what.....there is not a single traffic light on the island!
On the islands you will find plenty of adventures in the form of biking, shelling, fishing, bird watching, boating, golfing, and snorkeling just to name a few. Sanibel Island & Captiva Islands also feature cultural offerings in the area of the Arts, Theater, and Music. And lots of great shopping!

But who wants to shop, when you have the beach???
On the island we headed to  the pristine and quiet, Bowman's Beach. You won't find any hotels here, but we did find crowds. Apparently everyone else was looking for a "private beach".
(the picture below was from the internet...I didnt take one, there were THAT many people!)
At Sanibel and Captiva, you can also find shells.

Lots of shells!!

A friend of mine found out that I was going to be making a trip to Sanibel and recommended books by author Randy Wayne White . I bought a couple books and did some research. It turns out that RWW has a restaurant on the island by the name of "Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grill" (after the main character in his books).  I put it on the list for lunch. We found it right away and arrived before the crowds (they came in soon after).

We chose to sit outside on the partially covered deck that was surrounded by palms and flora.

We ordered:

Big Daddy: CARIBBEAN JERK GILLED MAHI MAHI SANDWICH - jerk grilled mahi with sliced avocado, melted Monterey jack cheese, cilantro-lime mayonnaise $12.95

Leigh-THE OLD SCHOOL ICEBERG SALAD - one huge hunk of local farm lettuce, red onions, carrot threads with Doc’s Buttermilk Bleu Cheese dressing $5.95

Sister Sledge-Panko fried Chicken strips

J Smooth-Cheeseburger...for the life of me, I dont know why I didnt take a pic of it!!!

We throughly enjoyed our meal. In fact, I cannot stop dreaming of mine. As simple as it was, it was one of the best I have had. The homemade bleucheese seemed to be injected under each lettuce leaf. Incredible! (Kids meals came with ice cream sandwiches)
After our meal, we shopped a little in the gift shop, picking up some beach reading!

More Info:

And this, my friends, wraps up our Old Florida Roadtrip....well almost. I have a special something planned for Monday to officially close that trip.

But we will not be idle long. Another trip is in the future. I will discuss that next week as well!
Thank you for joining me on the roadtrip. I appreciate you. You're a good road companion. No complaints. No spilling of drinks. Not even any bathroom!

Thank you for being a Louise to my Thelma!

For more stops along the way of our family trip to "Old Florida", click here.
Today is also Foodie Friday, be sure to check it out at my recipe blog: Plates & Places!

You can always visit me on FACEBOOK,

I love me some friends: be they new friends or old friends!


deborah said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed your visits to "Old Florida" - even though I don't live in Florida, I've visited many of those you've blogged about
Sanibel Island is one I want to visit next year. It looks so calm and peaceful-
Thanks for bringing back many delightful memories for me!

Susan said...


Mari said...

You found some great places to visit on this trip! I enjoyed riding along!


I love Sanibel and Captiva. WE used to vacation there all the time when I was a child. Frank and I have been since we married...and it is just as lovely as it was then. The beaches are to die for, the seafood is the best...and the sunrises/sunsets are beyond words! Glad you enjoyed it.

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady. I did live in Fla. for a long time~~~ I love you Beautiful Blog all the lovely storys you have put together for all of us sweet.Im your newest follower on your Blog.

Keetha Broyles said...

1) That food looks amazing!

2) Fisherhubby grew up in Fort Myers, Sanibel is where he took his dates for a little make-out action.

3) MY PACKAGE CAME IN THE MAIL TODAY AND I'M WEARING IT RIGHT NOW!!! Thank you!!! (No, I'm not wearing the package - - - I'm wearing what was IN the package)