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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 (4.94)
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
Length
6 days
Rating (4.94)
Starts at
1,499
Program No. 20899RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

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
Dec 11 - Dec 16, 2022
Starting at
1,499
Jan 8 - Jan 13, 2023
Starting at
1,749
Jan 15 - Jan 20, 2023
Starting at
1,749
Jan 22 - Jan 27, 2023
Starting at
1,749
Feb 5 - Feb 10, 2023
Starting at
1,799
Feb 12 - Feb 17, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Mar 5 - Mar 10, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Mar 26 - Mar 31, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Dec 3 - Dec 8, 2023
Starting at
1,699
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 11 - Dec 16, 2022
Starting at
1,979
Jan 8 - Jan 13, 2023
Starting at
2,249
Jan 15 - Jan 20, 2023
Starting at
2,249
Jan 22 - Jan 27, 2023
Starting at
2,249
Feb 5 - Feb 10, 2023
Starting at
2,399
Feb 12 - Feb 17, 2023
Starting at
2,599
Mar 5 - Mar 10, 2023
Starting at
3,979
Mar 19 - Mar 24, 2023
Starting at
3,979
Mar 26 - Mar 31, 2023
Starting at
3,979
Dec 3 - Dec 8, 2023
Starting at
2,199

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 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.
Florida's Seashells- A Beachcombers Guide
by Blair and Dawn Witherengton
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.
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.
Images of America Sanibel Island
by Yvonne Hill, Marguerite Jordan
In collaboration with the Lee County Black History Society. The pioneers were a contrasting group of individuals, comprised of diverse ethnic origins and cultures, yet all seemed to share a common goal of using hard work, resourcefulness, and determination to make the island their home. Their efforts and sacrifices greatly contributed to the growth and rich history of Sanibel as we know it today
Historic Sanibel and Captiva Islands: Tales of Paradise
by Jeri Magg
The story of Sanibel and Captiva Islands stretches back over three hundred years, to a time when natives roamed the islands and Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon first met and tried to subdue the Calusa Indians in San Carlos Bay in 1513. The next few centuries were flooded with pioneers, fishermen and clergymen in their quest to tame the wilderness in search of a better life. Discover how anthropologist Frank Cushing visited pioneer Sam Ellis in 1895 after the farmer discovered bones on his homestead and how President Theodore Roosevelt's men saved a little girl from drowning when he lived on a houseboat in Captiva to study local marine life. Join local history columnist Jeri Magg as she recounts the storied history of these little slices of paradise.
19 Reviews
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4.94 Average
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Sanibel Is. was a lovely respite from the winter 'glooms'. Our guide, Mike, was always gracious, friendly and helpful. I found the events to be interesting , informative and enjoyable; the same for the dining experiences. The location was wonderful.

(5)

Great trip....beautiful!....check out my short - 6 minute - "movie" of some of the trip highlight!....just click on this link: https://youtu.be/pkT5YfXiIe8

(5)

WHAT A GREAT PROGRAM! FULL OF INFORMATION AND INTERESTING PLACES. TO TOP IT OFF WE HAD AN AMAZING GROUP LEADER AND AN OPEN AND FRIENDLY TEAM OF TRAVELERS. WE LAUGHED, SANG AND HAD A SPECIAL EXPERIENCE. IT EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS!

(5)

Another outstanding trip organized by Road Scholar.

(5)

Sanibel Island is an amazing place. If you just want a great vacation spot, go by yourself. If you want to learn about the eco system and the history of Sanibel schedule a trip with Road Scholar. You will be glad you did. Charlie Anderson

(5)

Beautiful Area

(5)

This program offered a mix of education: museum and national wildlife refuge tours, excellent meals at local restaurants, and unlimited shelling on beautiful white sand beaches. For anyone wanting to experience life on Sanibel Island, this is the trip for you.

(5)

The program was wonderful (especially our Group Leader, Mike Fowler). However, I was extremely disappointed that none of the program materials mentioned that the vaccination status of participants would not be verified because of Florida law.

(5)

The Sanibel Island trip was our 3rd Road Scholar program starting in 2008 and was outstanding, everything we expected and more

(5)

Shells are beautiful and fun to find on the beach but learning about the animal that lives in and creates the shell made them even more so. It was also wonderful to visit the remodeled shell museum and see shells from all around the world. Sanibel Island is a unique place because of the shells and also because of the land set aside to preserve native plants and life. Add Edison's life and research to the location and you have a wealth of learning opportunities. Much enjoyed!

(5)

This is my 2nd trip with Road Scholar and like the first trip i too with them, this was a wonderful and educational experience enhanced by the accompaniment of a very nice diverse group of other Road Scholar travelers!

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Loved this trip. Well done, very informative, fun. Laurieanne (Our tour guide) was the greatest! She went out of her way everyday to ensure we all had a great time with no bumps. I don't know how she did it. I came home sad that I had to leave, and facing below zero weather at home just put the icing on the cake. Thank you for the great memories. It is so comforting to take a trip like this and not worry about anything.

(5)

Road Scholars program will positively influence your life. I was blessed to have met such wonderful people who were experiencing life like me. You will learn how to go out of your comfort zone and participate with others our age.

(5)

I now see why Sanibel is such a gem. I'm very environmentally conscious, and Sanibel is for nature-lovers. This trip was enhanced by trips to the beach for 'shelling' and the Ding Darling wildlife preserve. Excellent all around.

(5)

I did write a review but have thought of additions The hotel was quite unsatisfactory for us. We arrived late on Sunday after a long day of airports and travel and were ready to relax by watching Victoria and the Oscars. In our room neither the television or internet worked. We called the desk and at about 10p.m. an engineer came and said he could not fix the router but it would be fixed the next day. It was not and they told me they have service on Mondays and Wednesdays and Monday was booked and we had to wait until Wednesday. It did not really matter as we had to change rooms Also our room was lacking a hair dryer and any amenities such as soap, shampoo, etc which we had to call for. The second day they changed our room because of a leak.(See other review I wrote) This room also did not have tv or internet but they fixed it immediately. They did mention that we would have to change rooms again because the owners were using that condo on Thursday p.m However, they never told us when we were moving and when we returned from a full day at The Ding Darling Conservatory the key to our room did not work.We went to the desk and they said our room had been changed and they had gone in and moved all our belongings. However, we did have to return to get our belongings out of the safe. We mentioned to Michael that we deserved some compensation since we had been so inconvenienced and he said that in our THIRD room we would be ocean front. As we had a full day of activity on Thursday and were leaving early on Friday that was quite useless! I've been on many Elder Hostels and in some the facilities were relatively primitive. We never minded as we knew what to expect and it was all part of the fun. However this was a luxury resort and we did not expect or appreciate such shabby treatment.

(4)

Sanibel. Slow, warm, relaxed pace. Interesting history and flora and fauna. Great weather....warm!

(5)

A good overview of the most important things to see or do in the Sanibel Island area

(5)

A wonderful program with historic places and nature venues. The Sundial Resort food was lacking but our meals out in Sanibel were great! The program itself was flawless. Great schedule and wonderful choices of things to see and enjoyable lectures.

(5)

Shelling on Sanibel Island is an excellent program. When reviewing the itinerary there is much more time for shelling than indicated on the program. Early morning walks, rest-time walks, and free time walks provide many opportunities to use the shelling knowledge received during the program. Excellent residence facilities also provide access to shelling locations.






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.