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We want anyone who visits to make the most of their time on Sanibel. We can help you understand the best things to do and can explain how we organise our flights and car hire (South West Florida International Airport is just over half an hour from the apartment). Send us a mail here and we'll call you back and help you plan the perfect holiday.
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Getting to Sanibel
The closest airport is South West Florida International (RSW) in Fort Myers, about 45 minutes away. From the UK this requires a change at one of the US Eastern hubs such as Atlanta (Virgin/Delta), Philidelphia (BA/American), Newark (United) etc. Alternatively we often fly London to Miami (BA/American), about a 3 hour drive and you get to the apartment usually around 6pm. Other airport options are Orlando (often direct but a 4 hour drive), Tampa and Fort Lauderdale (about 2.5 hour drive but fewer flight combinations).
All these airports have substantial car rental facilities and we find prices much cheaper than the UK, starting from as little as £16 a day for an economy vehicle. Your UK licence entitles you to drive in the US. We always bundle the basic damage insurance in with the car hire but don’t take the extra they push which can double the cost. One year we bought an annual policy in the UK for extra insurance on car hires for less than £100. If you want to have more than one nominated driver it is better to try and get this in the booking cost as the price at the counter for a driver add-on can be as much as $13 a day.
The final part of your journey takes you across the Sanibel Causeway where the toll to get on is $6 – it’s free to leave! There are toll roads across Florida but the only others within 40 miles are the bridges across to Cape Coral. If you travel down Alligator Alley to Miami, you will pay $3.50 each way to use the 100 mile motorway. Be careful if you pass through a cashless or toll-by-plate camera. Some rental companies charge you a daily rate for paying this toll on your behalf for each day that you trigger a toll payment and others will charge you for every day of the rental even if you only use a cashless toll once! Best to clarify with the car rental company. You can always avoid tolls, often with little or no loss of time. It can be helpful to have a satnav but again the daily rate is extortionate, perhaps $10. We bring a unit from the UK having bought the US map for around £20.
Sanibel City Information – good for tourists and locals http://www.mysanibel.com/
Sanibel Community Centre – regular eclectic mix of events https://www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net/
Fort Myers Airport - https://www.flylcpa.com/
Florida Fisheries and Wildlife Commission – good source of general information on http://myfwc.com/
Baileys Store - https://baileys-sanibel.com/ online ordering is possible by email, a bit clunky
Jerry’s Store - https://www.jerrysfoods.com/stores/sanibel/ proper online setup
Perwinkle Place Shops – on island https://periwinkleplace.com/
Tahitian Gardens Shops – on island https://shoponsanibel.com/tahitian-gardens/
Outlet malls – Sanibel Outlets, 4 miles off island https://www.sanibeloutlets.com/ and Miromar Outlets, 25 miles https://www.miromaroutlets.com/