It’s no secret I love the water, but guess what! I got to share my love for paddling with Visit Florida and they made this amazing video that will be coming out this week. I wanted to share some behind the scenes fun as I wait anxiously to see what their brilliant cameraman and camerawomen got because I still haven’t seen the final product. Heads up, this may look like a Jeep commercial as well but hey, if the shot looks good I’m gonna share it and my car just happens to be in the shot. Thank you Jeep for the excellent prop. Do I really need an off road vehicle on Sanibel? No… but it look nice don’t it!
When driving over the causeway, you instantly feel a wave of relief come over your body. I see so many people pull out their cameras to document crossing the first bridge declaring “this is the best $6 I’ve ever spent!” And it’s true, once you cross those three bridges, vacation mode begins. Everyone has their own way of enjoying the island, but that’s one of the things that make it great; you’ve got options. Of course, this is one of the most famous shelling destinations in the U.S., you can’t hit a single beach without finding some sort of sea treasure. Getting around the island hardly requires a car, in fact, most people use a bike and I highly recommend it. Along with shelling and biking, you have kayaking which allows you a new way to view places like Ding Darling and Tarpon Bay. Watch juvenile bald eagles swoop down for mullet, dolphin teach their young how to fish and manatees feed on sea grass. If you feel up to trying something new and gaining a different perspective, give paddle boarding a try. The extra couple feet above the water allow you to see so much more of what is underneath the surface. For me, paddle boarding does so much more than give me an excuse to go outside, it connects me with nature and provides me with tranquility. Floating in the bay, surrounded only by mangroves, birds and sea life, you have a chance to clear your mind and soak up your surroundings.
I have to share a few other adventures on the Visit Florida week, which aren’t too far from Sanibel. My favorite two highlights include fishing and sunsets, and let’s be honest, how can you possibly go wrong with fishing and sunsets? The imperial river is just south of Corkscrew, in Estero. It offers a boat ramp AND tarpon. Rolling tarpon! Everywhere! Did I land any? No…but I did jump two and kids… I was thrilled! While out on the water I did my normal thing and picked up trash. I don’t know who is throwing away keys (seriously?!), but I found four. After a day out chasing tarpon, I watched the sunset at dog beach, which is located in Bonita Beach. Don’t worry, a dog is not required to access the beach to watch sunset. For those traveling with your furry friends, this is one of the few beaches in Southwest Florida that allows your dog to run free off a leash.
If you’re a local Floridan, now is the time of year to take a weekend to check this place out. Whether you’re a solo explorer or family of four, there’s something for everyone. Added bonus… sea turtle season is starting May 1st. Click on the above links to find out more or if you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments.