Sanibel Island…. a place of serene, relaxing beauty. After spending part of an afternoon on Captiva Island, we drove back down to Sanibel to spend the late afternoon/evening. The relaxed, laid back feel of this place was so much more than we ever imagined. We really wanted to see the Sanibel Island Lighthouse, so we headed toward the lighthouse and beach.
When we arrived, we saw a little trail going off into the woods, complete with wooden walkway. A sign pointed the way to both the lighthouse and restrooms, so we decided to take a little hike. The walkway meandered through the trees and led to a small unpaved road. Walking down the road, we could see the lighthouse ahead, standing tall.
After exploring just a bit, we headed back toward the water, walking on the boardwalk next to the beach. We knew there were shells here, but this sign we happened upon really opened our eyes to just how many shells we could possibly find here.
The water was shallow and cold; the boys splashed and played, running and feeling complete and utter freedom. We could actually walk quite far out into the water, and it was still ankle to knee deep; it was amazing. Dan and the boys began to dig for shells, and we soon found out that wildlife here was abundant. Birds roamed the beach, probably looking for scraps left from earlier beachgoers. We were really excited to find this little guy, a beautiful live starfish. We so badly wanted to find conch shells, and the guys found quite a few live ones, which we promptly put back into the ocean. We did find a few, though (just shells; no animals), that we could take with us. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
As dusk arrived, we watched the sun slowly sinking in the sky. The lighthouse became brighter and brighter as evening settled in. The water was so calm here. I’ve honestly not felt this relaxed in a long time, as I did on this beach, in this moment. We all felt it and didn’t want to leave.
Though we only spent a day on Sanibel (and it truly wasn’t enough), it became a spot we feel we just have to explore more. I can’t wait to go back…. to ride the bike trails, to find more amazing shells, to see the dolphins. Our kids were never so happy as just spending a day on Sanibel Island Beach…. splashing, exploring, and digging in the sand.