What to do on Sanibel Island at night: 13 best options (2023)

What to do on Sanibel Island at night: 13 best options (1)

Sanibel Island Vacation Rentals

February 10, 2020

Off the southwest coast of Florida is Sanibel Island, an island famous for its sandy beaches, exquisite shells and spectacular sunsets. There is no shortage of articles explaining excursions and activities to do on Sanibel Island during the day, but after the sun goes down, very few of these publications describe the best things to do on Sanibel Island at night. As the golden sun sets beneath the sparkling waters, Sanibel Island comes alive for visitors, offering a variety of activities for singles, couples and families alike.

So if you're looking for inspiration on what to do on Sanibel Island at night, you've come to the right place. Our top 13 picks below show you the best places to eat, drink, play, relax and unwind so you can focus on making the most of your visit.


1. Happy Hour on Sanibel Island

While visiting some of Sanibel Island's best restaurants should definitely be on your to-do list, you should also take advantage of the many happy hour deals that allow you to eat and drink some of the area's tastiest dishes without feeling like breaking the bank. . the process.


Located right on the border between the islands of Sanibel and Captiva,Key-Lime-Bistrooffers award-winning food and is one of the best restaurants on the island. There's breakfast, lunch and dinner to suit all tastes at this casual, family-friendly restaurant. You leave without trying the award winning Key Lime Pie!

Come nightfall, Key Lime Bistro comes to life 7 days a week with live performances by local musicians, making it impossible to wander around without stopping to listen. Dine inside or outside under warm Florida skies and enjoy a taste of island life.

O Inselkuh

NoO Inselkuh, you can relax knowing you really are on island time. The family-run bar and restaurant serves tropical island cocktails, a healthy dose of live entertainment and a selection of outdoor fun and games for the whole family, 7 days a week, from breakfast to dinner.

Their extensive drink menu includes everything from island fruit cocktails to beer, wine and spirits, and if you stop by during happy hour you can take advantage of their incredible drink deals, including 3 drinks for $10! Whether you start your day with a fresh mimosa or end it with a Goombay Smash, put The Island Cow on your drinks menu.

Doc Fords Rum Bar e Grill

Known locally as the "home of Island Mojito", Doc Ford's flagship restaurant on Sanibel Island serves a variety of authentic Caribbean dishes with a focus on flavor, freshness and vibrancy. Open for lunch and dinner,Doc Fordsfeatures two indoor dining areas and a shaded outdoor deck, perfect for escaping the Florida midday sun or enjoying a cooler evening.

A personal favorite of bestselling author Randy Wayne White and other locals, Doc Ford's boasts some of the best local seafood Sanibel Island has to offer. So head over to happy hour and enjoy some of their amazing appetizers and drinks at reasonable island prices. Who knows, you might even bump into the author himself, who still writes at the restaurant several times a week.

Die Mucky-Ente

Right in the heart of historic downtown Captiva is another great happy hour spot, famous for its sunset -Die Mucky-Ente. This friendly British-style bar offers a cozy beachfront atmosphere and plenty of seating for the curious who want to watch the Florida sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico with a cold beer.

With over 16 beers on tap and many more bottles available, you'd be hard pressed to find a better selection on the island, but make no mistake, that's all Mucky Duck has to offer. The pub also serves a delicious selection of craft beers - cooked food for lunch and seafood for dinner on the doorstep.

Andere Sanibel Happy Hour

One thing is for sure, Sanibel Island certainly has no shortage of great happy hour spots, and while we recommend the spots above, we can't help but mention a few of our other personal favorites.

Some other places to try on your trip are:

  • cocos
  • the sandbar
  • to the shell hut
  • the lazy flamingo

Available 7 days a week, rain or shine, most of Sanibel's happy hours are a great way to sample the best local cuisine or enjoy a few drinks without breaking the bank.

If you're visiting Sanibel Island for a romantic getaway and interested in a more intimate night out, you've come to the right place. Check our articleRomantic Restaurants on Sanibel IslandYou will fall in love.

(Video) Best Things to Do on Sanibel Island Florida

2. Movie theaters on Sanibel Island

If you're looking for something to do on Sanibel Island at night and enjoy going to the movies, then as a small island, Sanibel may not be overwhelmed with theatrical options, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality.

the island cinemais a small, double-screen movie theater serving Sanibel Island and its surroundings, allowing islanders to catch the latest release without leaving their little piece of island paradise. Despite being a small theater, The Island Cinema offers exceptional service in a hometown style while showing a variety of the latest Hollywood blockbusters.

Movies in the cinema range from 1-3 weeks and so there is usually a good rotation of movies ensuring there is something you really want to see during your stay. Seating just 59 people at a time, The Island Cinema is the perfect, cozy evening experience for the whole family. Just make sure you get your tickets in advance, and note that the cinema is usually busiest when the weather is overcast or stormy.

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3. Enjoy a Sanibel dinner cruiseWhat to do on Sanibel Island at night: 13 best options (2)

While Sanibel Island's sunsets are breathtaking from the shore, there's nothing quite like enjoying them from the water. A Sanibel Dinner Cruise is the perfect romantic date for two and a chance to escape the island's busy coastline so you can focus 100% on each other and the beauty around you.

One of the most popular dinner cruise providers is the Marriott Resort, which offers the opportunity to hop aboard their 100-foot cruise.Sanibel Harbour Princess Yachtto enjoy a selection of culinary delights on the water. The Princess Yacht departs daily for a sunset cruise and is also available for Sunday brunch, where you can enjoy two hours on the water accompanied by a lavish brunch buffet.

Sailing times for the sunset cruise vary from day to day based on the time of sunset, but the brunch cruise regularly departs at 11:15 am and returns to port at 1:15 pm. Seats aboard the yacht are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. Once on board, you can choose from several rooms to enjoy the view, including an open-air deck and two air-conditioned interior lounges, before tucking into one of the many hot and cold dishes from the luxurious buffet. You might even see some dolphins while on the boat.

4. Catch the sunset on Sanibel Island

As day turns to night, Sanibel Island experiences some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world. We've already mentioned catching the sunset by boat, but if you don't want to get out on the water, there are still plenty of ways to catch a Sanibel sunset.

Some of the most popular places to watch the sunset are:

  1. Blind-Pass-Strand
    Located where Sanibel and Captiva meet, Blind Pass Beach is a quiet and peaceful place to enjoy the sound of the waves and the sunset. Parking at this beach is quite small, so get there early to secure a spot.
  2. sanibel lighthouse
    An iconic landmark on the island, the Sanibel Lighthouse is a great spot to watch the waves illuminated by vibrant sunsets. While you wait, enjoy the delights of Lighthouse Beach below, and make sure your camera is ready to capture the lighthouse's iconic sunset photo.
  3. Die Mucky-Ente
    Sanibel Island has several beachfront bars and restaurants that are great spots to enjoy the sunset. The one that often stands out is the Mucky Duck. Right on the water, with lots of casual seating and a wide selection of cold drinks, it's hard to see the sunset here.
  4. Gulfside City Park
    Gulfside City Park is a large public park with direct access to the water. With plenty of open space, the park is the perfect spot to spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy the sunset.

The Sanibel sunset is definitely a natural phenomenon not to be missed, and if you come here during the winter months, you might even catch a glimpse of the Sanibel Island Sunset Green, where the sun briefly changes from red to green in the final seconds as it submerges. the horizon.

For more great places on the island to watch the sunset, see our articleBest places to watch the sunset on Sanibel Island.

5. Sanibel Island Live-Musik

Sanibel Island might not be a party town like Key West or New Orleans, but that doesn't mean there isn't amazing live music here. A simple stroll around town most nights of the week reveals a selection of music in every genre, from laid-back jazz to downtown country, energetic rock 'n' roll to heartfelt swing and soul.

In terms of live music, many bars and restaurants on the island feature local musicians on Friday and Saturday nights, with some places like The Island Cow and Key Lime Bistro advertising that they have live music and entertainment 7 days a week, rain or shine. shine. While Friday and Saturday nights are the best nights of the week for dancing, the Upper Deck Pool Bar features live music on Wednesdays and is another popular spot to watch the Sanibel sunset, with its large outdoor patio. offering a fantastic view over the island.

6. Dance the night awayWhat to do on Sanibel Island at night: 13 best options (3)

Daylight on Sanibel Island can be for enjoying the beach, trying bike trails and spotting wildlife, but night on Sanibel Island is the time to start dancing, especially if it's a Friday or Saturday night.

Live music and dancing can be found at various venues across the city, includingbeach traditionsLocated in the historic Island Inn, it offers a good selection of live music, dancing and nightlife on West Gulf Drive. If you want to dance during the week, George and Wendy's Seafood Grille has something on offer almost every night, including:

  • Montag- Go ahead and enjoy a local jam with local musicians and talented tourists.
  • Tuesday- It's an open mic night and a chance to hear from some of the best talent in the area.
  • Wednesday -Wednesday is ladies night and they also offer half price drinks
  • Thursday - The fun doesn't stop there, on Thursdays George and Wendy's turns into a karaoke house.
  • Friday and Saturday - And on Friday and Saturday nights you'll find live music shows to dance the night away.

To make the most of Sanibel Island's fantastic weather, also visit one of the many bars and restaurants that offer live music on their outdoor patios. There's nothing better than an outdoor space under the stars with live music, good food and something cold to drink. Then check out Doc Ford's, RC Otter's and Key Lime Bistro, which offer this magical combination.

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7. Watch a great art show

Big Arts was created in 1979 by and for the community as a meeting place for artists and artistic and educational experiences for all.great artshas a rich history thanks to a small group of dedicated artists who were inspired by their own talents and those of others and chose to incorporate the grace of island life into their work to create a space shared by all.

Today, Big Arts remains true to its vision of “creating great arts, entertainment and learning experiences thatalways inspire, enrich and delight. exists nowthree locations on Sanibel Island, including Christensen Performance Hall on Dunlop Road, Big Arts Strauss Theater and Big Arts Periwinkle on Periwinkle Lane. These Big Arts venues host a variety of arts events and educational programs, including film, theater, visual arts and music, with performances and open mic nights available year-round for the Sanibel Island community.

If you're not sure what to do on Sanibel Island at night, check out the Big Arts cpresentation calendarto support their work and experience some of the world's best performing arts.

8. Play miniature golf with Gators in Fort Myers

A trip to Florida wouldn't be complete without a round of golf and some alligators. Good for you, In Smuggler's Cove on Sanibel Island, you can check off both items on your list at the same time.

Start by choosing your commemorative ball and putter before heading to the educational exhibit, where you can see up to 30 American alligators. There is even an option to feed them! Back on the golf course, you'll find challenges on every green, including waterfalls, caves, tunnels, bridges, lagoons and even a pirate ship. The family-friendly 18-hole miniature golf course is fully lit and provides the perfect evening entertainment for young and old and makes you want to play another round.


After golfing, head to the snack bar for a variety of refreshments, including alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine, and you can even purchase souvenirs from the gift shop to tell your friends you golfed with crocodiles in Florida.

9. Enjoy a moonlit walk on a Sanibel Island beach

Often cited as some of the best in the world, Sanibel Island's beaches feature soft white sand and an abundance of shells alongside crystal clear sea water. With so much to do on Sanibel Island, it's easy to forget that sometimes the simplest evening activities are among the most enjoyable, like a moonlit stroll along one of the beaches.

With five beaches on Sanibel Island and a few more on neighboring Captiva Island, you really are spoiled for choice. There really isn't a bad choice when it comes to Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches.

For the ultimate non-stop, romantic getaway, we recommend Bowman's Beach, which is pristine and peaceful. Far from all the hotels, you'll have to park and cross a bridge to reach this secluded white sand beach, but it'll definitely be worth the trip.

If you're looking for easier access and more parking, Tarpon Beach has ample parking that accommodates oversized vehicles over 20 feet. Located at the southern end of Tarpon Bay, it's a short walk from the parking lot to the beach, where you'll find Sanibel's signature white sand and a large collection of seashells.

Finally, for a sunset tour that tops them all, you must take a stroll to Lighthouse Beach, home to the iconic Sanibel Lighthouse, T-Dock Fishing Pier, and Boardwalk Nature Trail. The sunset from here is really spectacular and the lighthouse provides an unforgettable image.

10. Drink a local craft beer

When you think of a relaxing beach drink, beer often comes to mind. It's no surprise, then, that Sanibel Island has a thriving craft beer culture and is home to several independent breweries. While you'll find beers on tap in most Sanibel bars and restaurants, there's something special about drinking one straight from the brewery, so here are our 3 favorites:

  1. Point Ybel Brewing Company
    Point Ybel Brewing Company has grown from a humble family brewery to one of the best known in the region. Their name comes from the site of the first lighthouse on the Gulf Coast and the beer they brew is inspired by ingredients found on the beaches of Sanibel and Fort Myers. For a taste, visit the tasting room on San Carlos Boulevard Tuesday through Sunday for live music and a small selection of blends of their finest pale ales.
  2. Momentum Brewery
    Momentum Brewhouse was founded in 2014 as a place that aims to be as fun for kids as it is for adults. The brewery offers old-fashioned entertainment, including vintage arcade games and a selection of board games that can keep the family entertained for hours while you sample some of the brewery's best craft beers.
  3. Old Soulbrew
    Old Soul Brewing was also opened in 2014 by two brothers who combined their talents to create a range of beers, including an Imperial Chocolate Stout and an innovative Chai Tea Pale Ale. The Fort Myers Tavern is open to the public and provides the perfect opportunity to learn about the brewing process in an actual glass.

While beer is a very popular drink on Sanibel Island, rum is also a popular drink, and you won't find anything better than Wicked Dolphin real Florida rum, made with ingredients from the Sunshine State.

11. Take a sunset bike ride

Believe it or not, there is more to Sanibel Island than beautiful beaches and spectacular sunsets.Biking on Sanibel Islandit's popular thanks to over 20 miles of paved bike paths waiting to be explored. Bicycles can be rented in various places on the island and are a great way to get around and see the area. You have your choice of single speed cruisers, recumbent cruisers or even tandems.

When night falls over Sanibel Island, a sunset bike tour is an active way to take in the views, with many trails passing through some of the most scenic spots on the island. There are dozens of trails to choose from, but three must-sees are:

  • Das J.N „Ding“ Darling National Wildlife Refuge
    Embodying natural Florida, this trail winds through the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Preserve. Along the way, you'll see alligators, populations of migratory birds and a variety of other native species in their natural habitats, and your $1 entrance fee goes towards maintaining the National Refuge.
  • perennial path
    Unlike a typical tourist strip, Periwinkle Way is a charming lane of shops and restaurants with bicycle parking. Secluded from the road, you don't have to worry about cars and can enjoy your bike ride through the city at sunset on the way to a delicious dinner or a well-deserved drink.
  • Radweg Middle Gulf Cemetery
    While it may sound a bit morbid, the Middle Gulf Cemetery Bike Trail is actually quite beautiful and the perfect way to explore this historic site.

Need to check availability for that perfect Sanibel vacation rental?
Take a minute to fill out a short form and send it to us so we can check the availability of the property you are looking for.

12. Refresh yourself with a sweet treatWhat to do on Sanibel Island at night: 13 best options (4)

After a long day of fun in the Florida sun, there's only one way to end the day: with a sweet treat from one of Sanibel's favorite desserts. In addition to fresh seafood, Sanibel also offers award-winning Key Lime Pie, delicious Italian ice cream and delicious pastries. Here are some places you should definitely try.

Joeys pudding

Joey's Custard is a family-owned coffee shop that has been serving Sanibel residents since 1998. The cafe focuses on a delicious selection of treats including Italian ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen pudding, waffles and ice cream sandwiches - there are even ice cream options for vegans .

Run by Debi and her son, the house offers a warm and friendly atmosphere with free WiFi, puzzles, games and outdoor seating. Whether you want to grab an ice cream and go, or stay and relax, you'll be well accommodated.

Love Boat ice cream

For ice cream lovers, check out Love Boat Ice Cream, which has been a popular Southwest Florida destination for over 50 years. Founded in 1967 by the Love family, the business has changed hands a few times since then, but still serves some of the most delicious homemade ice cream in the area. The chain now has three locations, including one in Sanibel, and serves more than 85 flavors, including classics like:

  • cookies and cream
  • birthday cake
  • lemon pie
  • Vanilla Peanut Butter

And seasonal flavors too, including:

  • Lawyer
  • Ginger Pumpkin
  • pepper mint
  • Jack salgado

So if you fancy an ice cream on a hot summer night, you know where to go.

13. Try bombing Sanibel at night

Sanibel's pristine white sand beaches are famous not only for their soft, fluffy sand, but also for their abundance of seashells. Shell lovers and collectors from all over the world travel to Sanibel just to harvest shells from the beaches, and the island even has a shell museum dedicated to all aspects of shelling.

Take a short walk along any of Sanibel's beaches and you're sure to see someone doing the "Sanibel Stoop" - that is, bending over at the waist to pick up a shell, and we wouldn't be surprised if you joined them. very fast.

All of the Gulf of Sanibel beaches are excellent shelling spots, but for the best selection, try to go at low tide or after a storm, when fresh shells have been scattered on the sand. In order to preserve the ecology of Sanibel's landscape, it is important that you remain environmentally conscious when shelling. So try to limit your collection of empty shells and remember never to pick up or touch live shells inhabited by residents.

Some of the types of shells you can find are:

  • mussel shells
    Battle clams are most likely to be found on Sanibel beaches, with their distinctive spiral appearance and vibrant color patterns.
  • Junonia-Schalen
    One of the most prized clams on the island, the Junonia clam is a beautiful milky white color covered with brown spots. People who find one can get their picture taken in the local paper!
  • mussel shells
    Cockle shells are one of the most common shellfish found on Sanibel beaches and can get quite large. Some islanders use large cockle shells as soap dishes.
  • sand dollar shells
    When sand dollar shells are bleached, they take on a beautiful creamy white color and look great hanging from trees as Christmas decorations on the island.

Plan your Sanibel vacation with Royal Shell

Here at Royal Shell, we specialize in Southwest Florida vacation rentals, and we know a lot more than just what to do on Sanibel Island at night. Our team of experienced vacation consultants live and work nearby. This makes us your go-to resource when deciding what to do, where to go, what to eat and what to see to ensure you have the trip of a lifetime.

We manage over 2,000 vacation rentals and long term rentals throughout Southwest Florida. So if you prefer a sophisticatedSanibel Island condo rentalor are you looking for oneSanibel Island Vacation Home Rentalsto accommodate your whole family we can help you.

Find out more about our wide range ofSanibel Island Vacation Rentalsor to discuss your dream Sanibel Island vacation, check our availability orcontact usToday!

Need to check availability for that perfect Sanibel vacation rental?
Take a minute to fill out a short form and send it to us so we can check the availability of the property you are looking for.

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(Video) Revealing Sanibel Island's BEST Kept SECRET!


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