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20899
Florida

Beautiful Sanibel Island and the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast

Discover the rich cultural and ecological heritage of Sanibel Island as you explore its museums, photograph its diverse wildlife and beachcomb for shells with an expert conchologist.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20899RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,499
Florida

Beautiful Sanibel Island and the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast

Discover the rich cultural and ecological heritage of Sanibel Island as you explore its museums, photograph its diverse wildlife and beachcomb for shells with an expert conchologist.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,499
Program No. 20899 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jan 9 - Jan 14, 2022
Starting at
1,649
Jan 30 - Feb 4, 2022
Starting at
1,799
Feb 6 - Feb 11, 2022
Starting at
1,899
Feb 13 - Feb 18, 2022
Starting at
1,899
Feb 20 - Feb 25, 2022
Starting at
1,999
Mar 6 - Mar 11, 2022
Starting at
2,099
Dec 11 - Dec 16, 2022
Starting at
1,499
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Jan 9 - Jan 14, 2022
Starting at
2,149
Jan 30 - Feb 4, 2022
Starting at
2,349
Feb 6 - Feb 11, 2022
Starting at
2,499
Feb 13 - Feb 18, 2022
Starting at
2,499
Feb 20 - Feb 25, 2022
Starting at
2,749
Mar 6 - Mar 11, 2022
Starting at
2,919
Dec 11 - Dec 16, 2022
Starting at
1,979

At a Glance

Pure white sand beaches strewn with 400 species of shells; wetlands and mangrove swamps; and wildlife like manatees, dolphins, tortoises, alligators and nearly 250 species of birds make Sanibel Island a tropical Eden tucked along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Get to know this fascinating island like a local. Learn why the “Sanibel Stoop” is the preferred posture on the local beaches, encounter marine life inhabiting island waters and discover the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the US.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking on mostly flat terrain with some rocky, sandy surfaces 1-1.5 miles per day. Standing at cultural sites and stair climbing

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Join volunteer docents inside Sanibel Historical Village and Museum, a tribute to the island’s early pioneers where each building has been restored to its original state.
  • Meet a special kind of marine expert on a beachcombing field trip with a conchologist who helps you identify the many species of shells washed up on shore.
  • Spend a day at the winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, examining the lives of these two remarkable men.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Charles Sobczak
Charles Sobczak is an award-winning author who lives and writes on Sanibel Island. His first novel, “Six Mornings on Sanibel,” was originally published in 1999 and is currently in its seventh printing. He has written several other novels, a fictional memoir and a collection of selected writings titled Rhythm of the Tides. In 2010, he published a regional nature guide, “Living Sanibel - A Nature Guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands,” which quickly became the best-selling book on Sanibel Island.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Charles Sobczak
Charles Sobczak View biography
Charles Sobczak is an award-winning author who lives and writes on Sanibel Island. His first novel, “Six Mornings on Sanibel,” was originally published in 1999 and is currently in its seventh printing. He has written several other novels, a fictional memoir and a collection of selected writings titled Rhythm of the Tides. In 2010, he published a regional nature guide, “Living Sanibel - A Nature Guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands,” which quickly became the best-selling book on Sanibel Island.
Profile Image of Charles Lebuff
Charles Lebuff View biography
Charles LeBuff is a historian and naturalist who worked at Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge and lived in one of the lighthouse quarters for 22 years. He became a charter member of the Sanibel City Council and had a part in keeping Sanibel, Sanibel. Charles has written many books about the island including “Sanybel Light: An Historical Autobiography” and “J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.”
Profile Image of Bonita Dorsman
Bonita Dorsman View biography
Growing up on the island of Aruba, Bonita Dorsman’s love for turquoise water and beautiful beaches stems from her roots. After finishing high school, Bonita chose to continue her education in the U.S. Needless to say, her interest in travel peaked after meeting people with different backgrounds and cultures. When the opportunity arose, Bonita decided to pursue a career as a group leader. An adventurer at heart, Bonita is up for any challenge and is a great addition to any Road Scholar program.
Profile Image of Joyce Matthys
Joyce Matthys View biography
Joyce Matthys is an expert in shells, the science behind them, and the art of shell collection. Working typically with small groups, she makes sure all questions are answered and that the shells participants find during their beach walk are identified. She focuses on the scientific aspect of seashells while exercising her hobby of shell collecting.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century
by Steven Watts
How a Michigan farm boy became the richest man in America is a classic, almost mythic tale, but never before has Henry Ford’s outsized genius been brought to life so vividly as it is in this engaging and superbly researched biography. The real Henry Ford was a tangle of contradictions. This fascinating biography uncovers the man behind the myth, and situates his achievements and their attendant controversies firmly within the context of early twentieth-century America.
Edison
by Edmund Morris
From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris comes a revelatory new biography of Thomas Alva Edison, the most prolific genius in American history.
Protecting Sanibel and Captiva Islands: The Conservation Story
by Charles LeBuff *Lecturer*, Betty Anholt
The vibrant Sanibel and Captiva Islands are ecological marvels compared to Florida's many overbuilt barrier islands. Development began with the construction of the Sanibel Island Lighthouse in 1884, when only the lighthouse keeper and assistant and their families lived on the island. Noted conservationist Jay N. "Ding" Darling led the charge in preserving the islands' wildlife and natural beauty from the greed of real estate speculators and land developers in the 1930s. Former presidents like Harry Truman and cabinet-level executives worked alongside Sanibel and Captiva residents, setting up preserves and wildlife refuges to guard the integrity of the islands' unique natural blessings, abundant wildlife and aquatic stores.
Remarkable Women of Sanibel & Captiva
by Jeri Magg
In the history of Sanibel and Captiva, countless women bucked the system to make their marks. In the early 1950s and '60s, Sarita Van Vlick and Zee Butler led the fight to preserve the island from unbridled growth and destruction. Helene Gralnick, in the early '80s, opened a small shop that became the foundation for Chico's Inc. And it was city manager Judy Zimomra who put into practice policies that helped Sanibel flourish after the devastation of Hurricane Charley. Author and local historian Jeri Magg compiles the stories and celebrates the achievements of the remarkable women who forever shaped Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
A Land Remembered
by Patrick D. Smith
In this best-selling novel, Patrick Smith tells the story of three generations of the MacIveys, a Florida family who battle the hardships of the frontier to rise from a dirt-poor Cracker life to the wealth and standing of real estate tycoons. A Land Remembered was winner of the Florida Historical Society's Tebeau Prize as the Most Outstanding Florida Historical Novel.
The Living Gulf Coast: A Nature Guide to Southwest Florida
by Charles Sobczak *Lecturer*
The Living Gulf Coast is the first comprehensive nature guide to Florida's Southwest region. The book covers six counties: Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Glades and Hendry. There are more than 160 parks, preserves and eco-destinations covered in this work, with sixty-one of them described in great detail. Not only does the book describe these outstanding destinations, it also covers all the major birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians found throughout the region. ***You will receive a copy of this book at the start of the program as we visit many locations mentioned in this travel guide.
Florida's Seashells- A Beachcombers Guide
by Blair and Dawn Witherengton
Updated 2nd edition. A guide to Florida seashells, including species common to the south eastern United States and the Caribbean. 252 species of seashells, with a color photo of each, as beachcombers are most likely to find them.





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