Sanibel Island, which consists of Sanibel and Santiva (which is a combination of Sanibel and Captiva), is located on the Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida. The city of Sanibel is located on the eastern end of the island and Santiva is at the northwestern end. The island is linked to the mainland by the Sanibel Causeway. Blind Pass links Sanibel to the unincorporated town of Captiva on Captiva Island. Over half of the two islands is preserved in its natural state as wildlife refuges.
The J.N. "Ding" Darling National Refuge is a great way to see some of the islands wildlife. Visitors can drive, walk, bike or Kayak through the refuge. The refuge consists of 5200 beautiful acres and was established in 1976 to protect one of the country's largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem.
If you're looking for a nice quiet beach this is the perfect spot. I had the pleasure of staying on the island for a week last July (and are getting ready for this year's visit) and was amazed at the beauty of the island. There is tons to do but this isn't like most people think a tourist area is. You won't be finding a lot of "touristy-type" attractions. This island is well-known for its shelling opportunities and serenity, not its night-life and attractions. I, for one, can't wait to return this year and I hope you get a chance to at least visit the island while in Florida.