On Sanibel, Periwinkle Way and Palm Ridge Road are the primary shopping, restaurant, and entertainment district. Locals sometimes refer to it as “downtown” – but don’t expect traffic lights or skyscrapers (or anything over four stories high anywhere on Sanibel/Captiva for that matter). Pines, palms and brilliant blossoms frame commercial buildings that are designed to blend with the island’s lush and laid-back aura. Boardwalk-crossed shopping centers, offering resort wear, sea shells, jewelry, sundries and souvenirs, evoke images of Old Sanibel and faraway islands. More shops spill onto Palm Ridge Road off Periwinkle. Art galleries specialize in wildlife renderings, but run the gamut: Island art, “Shelligrams” and folk art. Look along Tarpon Bay road for more galleries.
Captiva’s beach shops and galleries cluster along the northern end of Captiva Drive and on Andy Rosse Lane. Look for antiques, pottery, dolphin sculptures, elegantly casual fashions and showcase butterflies.