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.

There are no big malls or franchise stores on the islands – just locally owned shops that are nestled into open-air outdoor malls surrounded with lovely sub-tropical flowers and trees. There is a shop to meet your every need with brand names you know and one-of-a-kind unique items. It’s an easy, friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy the Sanibel shopping experience. Here are three suggestions to get you started.


Periwinkle Place is located at 2075 Periwinkle Way. It includes 24 shops on 7 acres, all connected by a covered boardwalk. They sell clothing, toys, jewelry, household items and specialty items. There is a restaurant – the Blue Giraffe that is open every day from 7 AM to 8 PM. The shops are open every day except Sunday from 10 AM to 7 PM. There is also a day spa with all salon services. Visit the website for more information.


Tahitian Gardens is located at 1975 – 2019 Periwinkle Way and has 17 shops that sell a variety of things – clothing, gifts, jewelry, and shoes. There are three restaurants – Cheeburger Cheeburger, Among the Flowers and The Sanibel Café. The hours vary by store. Visit their website or call 239 472 2792.


Olde Sanibel Shoppes is located at 630 Tarpon Bay Road, at the west end of Periwinkle Way. There are 8 shops selling clothing, jewelry, gifts, art and pet provisions. It has a breakfast and lunch café – The Over Easy Café where you can relax after shopping. Hours vary. More information visit their website or call 239 472 2792.

These can get you started on your Sanibel shopping spree. But there are many shops on the island. There are garden centers at the Conservation Foundation and The Shaw Garden Center. Both are on the Sanibel-Captiva Road. There are many book stores and art galleries. The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum and the Wildlife Refuge, each on the San-Cap Road, have shops. There is even a Goodwill thrift store on Palm Ridge Road that’s stuffed with surprises for the treasure/bargain hunter. Shopping on Sanibel can be a big, pleasant surprise. Enjoy it.