Sanibel activities abound, but there is nothing quite like a good old football toss in front of Ocean’s Reach on a calm day!
I had a dear friend that I met the second day of the first grade visit from Maine for three days this week. Dave and his wife Pam had never been to Sanibel even though they own property in North Port and Cape Coral. For guests that have never been here before I wanted to do all the first time tourist events, lunch at the old Lazy Flamingo, bike ride through the trailer Park, dinner at the Jacaranda and watching the sun set at the Mucky Duck Restaurant in Captiva. Not having been there in years for sunset I was amazed at the hundreds of people gathered to watch the event. As soon as the sun set, like magic the crowd faded into the darkness of Captiva.
If you have never experienced this special event, another reason to visit Ocean’s Reach and Sanibel.
Discover Bunche Beach which is located just a couple of miles from the Sanibel Causeway and only a short drive from Ocean’s Reach. It is located at the end of John Morris Road. Bunche Beach is a county-owned park which offers a long, narrow strip of sand that stretches from just south of the Sanibel Causeway to a residential area behind Fort Myers Beach. Bunche Beach has a wonderful view of San Carlos Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The waves are small and water close to the beach are very shallow. it is a popular spot for wade fishermen and kayakers, windsurfers and kitesurfers.
Low tide at Bunche Beach…
Sunset over Sanibel from Bunche Beach.
Forty years of helping injured wildlife – what a mission! This past January, CROW (Care and Rehabilitation of Wildlife) celebrated their grand reopening. CROW is one of the nations leading wildlife hospitals for tropical native and migratory wildlife caring, for 3500 injured and orphaned wildlife patients each year. The new facility has a real state of the art education center that is amazing. One outstanding new feature is the 11 live camera feeds placed in the patient cages to allow visitors to witness the animals up close. Another feature of this new interactive center is called “You be the Vet”. The “patient’s” symptoms or condition are given and the visitor chooses the treatment plan. The answer is then given to show the participant whether they chose the correct plan. Watching rehabilitated sea turtles in their tanks is a popular attraction as well. These are just a few of the educational opportunities to learn about the wildlife and how they have been rehabilitated to return to their natural habitat. CROW is waiting to share this exciting learning experience with each and everyone of you.
Ikki and Polly Matsumoto
This winter Sanibel Island was treated to several opportunities to see artist Ikki Matsumoto in person and witness his extraordinary talent. Ikki and wife Polly had a two person exhibit at Big Arts. This show was part of the celebration of Big Arts 30th anniversary year. Also, his work was on display at the Rotary Arts and Crafts show in February. Ikki’s prints are very popular not just on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, but worldwide. Many of us have a souvenior tee shirt from the arts fairs in the past, all with a print of his on the back. A little known fact about Ikki is that he was commissioned to do the illustrations for the 1975 edition of “The Joy of Cooking” cookbook. Check your cookbook shelf and see for yourself, I know I did and there it was. A nice surprise and it sure makes the cookbook even more of a treasure.
Ready for a fun filled time on Key West – just pack a small bag and head to there by way of The Key West Express. This is a high speed passenger ferry that departs Fort Myers Beach every morning at 8:30 AM and arrives at Key West at 12:30 PM. The ride is very pleasant and upon arrival on Key West the choice of activities is varied. Key West is the Southernmost city in the continental United States and it is home to many festivals, fishing tournaments and the annual Hemmingway Days. Louise Parker and Dick Carlen recently visited Key West and took an opportunity to explore the island on a scooter – great way to get around the small island. Also available to enjoy are the tours of the Truman Winter White House, Ernest Hemmingway’s home, complete with at least 60 cats, half of them polydactyl, meaning many- toed and the tram tours that cover the island. There are a variety of accommodations available from hotels to B & B’s. Needless to say there are many shops and lots places to eat and drink, ranging from bar food to gourmet dining. Not to be missed is the nightly sunset event complete with entertainment and lots of vendors selling their wares. If you only have the day to enjoy the island, the return trip leaves Key West each evening at 6:00 PM and arrives at Fort Myers Beach at 9:45 PM. Key West is a fun experience and this is an island that never seems to sleep – Duval Street is where it is happening! View the Key West Express here!