Winter Getaway: Sanibel, FL

If you follow along on Instagram you may have seen that Brad and I got to escape the bitter midwest cold for warmer temps for a couple days last week...I would now like to take an annual trip to warmer weather the first week of every new year from here on out lol. {consider this me manifesting} I'd never heard of Sanibel but we had such an amazing time so I thought I'd round up all the details of our little winter getaway for you all!

Sanibel is an island on the west coast of Florida. It's small and obviously a snow bird destination but it was also the perfect spot for a winter escape that didn't require a rental car or much preparation {which we love}. It's also one of the number one spits in the US for shell finding/collecting. In all transparency, our flights and accommodations were gifted to us by my husbands boss as a "ThankYou" for the great year he had at work. We flew non stop from Kansas City to Fort Myers and then took a 40 minute Uber to our resort on the island. We stayed at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa and had a fabulous time! It was very family friendly but also perfectly relaxing for just the two of us. {We opted to skip the pool and spend our time at the beach} Although the resort prices are more than your average hotel, I can attest to the fact that the amenities definitely help justify the price!

Other than our ride to and from the airport {approx. $65 each way}, we were able to explore the island on the complimentary rental bikes that our resort provided. We would HIGHLY suggest taking a bike ride to the Sanibel Island Lighthouse; we found the water temps were a little bit warmer, water was a little bit clearer/calmer, and the views and location were beautiful. Had we had one more full day, we would have definitely gone back to spend a whole day on the beaches around the lighthouse. Additionally, we took advantage of the kayaks {hoped to paddle board also but the wind prevented us while we were there}, lounge chairs, and beach umbrellas all provided by our resort as well. The pool deck had lots of daily activities, daily music, and a ping pong table as well...basically if you find yourself bored, it's your fault. If you're anything like Brad and I, we can only spend so much time laying out or reading on the beach...we like to get out and adventure and we were able to get a wonderful mix of both without any additional fees to us! {always nice!}

Food was a different story. We arrived on a Thursday afternoon and left the following Sunday afternoon...we agreed at the end of our trip that three full days would have been the perfect amount of time to be able to take advantage of the full kitchen we had in our room. We did have some wonderful meals {and I'll share more about that in just a minute} but like any resort/vacation destination, meals were not cheap and it seemed no matter where you went, the prices were all comparable. We definitely considered venturing to the neighboring island of Captiva to try some places that were suggested to us but after learning that Uber's would be tough to get on the island, we opted for locations that were at or in walking distance of our resort.

Where we ate:

  • Blue Giraffe: just under a half mile walk from our resort, this was a great little restaurant for a night out. Though they were short staffed (as is everyone in the world of Covid) the live music was great and the meals were tasty plus the walk to and from dinner was so nice!

  • Shima Japanese Steakhouse: we actually opted for the Shima grab and go option (same sushi menu, made to order and take with you) and ended up eating her twice it was SO good. Our first night we took our sushi down to one of the empty cabanas to have dinner with out feet in the sand and the sound of the waves int he background...would also be perfect for a picnic on the beach during the spring summer months when it gets dark later! The Thaizhi roll is OUT of this world!

  • Sea Breeze Cafe: this restaurant was also located at our resort and it's where we had breakfast every morning.

  • Slice of Paradise: a pizza and ice cream shop located on the pool deck of our resort was a great little sweet treat during our stay

Other restaurant suggestions we received:

  • The Bubble Room: a really fun ice cream shop on Captiva Island...it's the one spot I was really bummed that we missed

  • The Lazy Flamingo

  • Mucky Duck (for cocktails and sunset)

Money saving tips:

  • Our resort had a great little marketplace that was perfect for grabbing some snack foods on our first night.

  • Also on our first night we took rental bikes to the nearest liquor store. We agreed on pina coladas (since we had a blender available to us at the resort) and were able to grab all of the ingredients (including a whole bottle of rum) for the price that we paid for 2 cocktails at the resort. We were able to rewash our plastic cups from the resort bar for our homemade pina coladas so that no one questioned outside beverages.

  • Pack a refillable water bottle. I threw a swell bottle into my suitcase last minute and we were able to use it for water when we were out exploring and extra pina coladas when we were beaching so we didn't have to run back to the room when we were ready for a refill.

  • If you're staying at least 3 days, stop into a grocery. We found one right across from the liquor store and wish we would have grabbed some things like sandwich stuff and breakfast foods. Had we gotten them our first night, we could have easily used a dozen eggs by the time we left which would have helped us save. The resort had a wonderful breakfast buffet but at $18 a person, it added up quickly. We mostly just snacked for lunch and then ate out for dinners. I definitely don't want to cook full meals on vacation but simple breakfast and lunch food would have been ideal for minimal work but big savings while on our trip.

All said and done, we loved our time in Sanibel and definitely hope we get a chance to visit again in the future!

Welcome to Funny Little Fairytale! FLF is our way of sharing our day to day adventures. The new chapters and challenges of doing life together. Here, we hope to create a place to share our favorite places, adventures, eats, drinks, and ideas. FLF is a new journey for us. We want to make this a place where you can learn and share. We hope you enjoy!!