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A Beach-Lovers Paradise

My first morning in Sanibel Island, I had breakfast in the Holiday Inn, where I met a group of interesting international travelers. Much to their delight, I showed them my early morning finds - some really unique shells to add to my collection.

An historic charm and languid pace make this world-famous shelling beach-town welcoming. Walking the beach, I saw fishermen, sightseers watching manatees and dolphins, and couples marveling at the uber-impressive real estate.

I love lighthouses, so visiting one of the oldest in Florida was a must! Afterwards I checked out the J.N. "Ding" Darling 6400-acre wildlife refuge where I sighted gators, cranes, and explored 8,000 year old shell mounds left behind by ancient Indians. Next - eighteen holes of golf and then I was ready for lunch at the wildly fun and eclectic Bubble House. The remainder of the day I sunbathed on Bowman's Beach watching shell-seekers doing the "Sanibel stoop."

Nearby in Captiva, a serene island with colorful restaurants, where I wandered many-a-days, you'll find must-eat-at destinations like Tween Waters and the Mucky Duck. My favorite dinner spots in and around Sanibel are Thistle Lodge and Sanibel Harbour Resort and Spa. Sanibel nightlife centers around Dairy Queen - "see ya at DQ" are probably the most spoken words on the Island.

I found all the information I needed online at: www.SanibelsBest.Net from the luxury of the Sundial Beach Resort to the clean accommodations of Best Western and everything in between.

At the end of the day, I always made time to take in the kaleidoscope of colors that fall over the Gulf each evening and later, to relax under the stars on a palm-lined beach. Summed up in one word, Sanibel is stunning!

Until next time, Happy Travels!

© 2006, Jessica McDonnell for GoldenTravelGuides, a national network of 80+ Internet-based guides to the "Best of" cities like the Poconos, Naples, Hershey, Niagara Falls, and Punta Cana. They arrange group, leisure, and business travel at 40,000 hotels worldwide. 877.465.3368 /

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