For many, vacationing on Sanibel or Captiva Island means lying on white sand beaches, snorkeling, swimming, dining at the best establishments, and soaking up the sun. These islands, both popular spots found 25 miles south of Fort Myers, offer all these things in abundance.
But what about those who wish to explore other facets of these beautiful islands, such as local art, theater, and more? Luckily, there are countless things to do on Sanibel to appease these vacationers as well.
If you’re one who enjoys seeing art produced by local artists while you’re vacationing, Sanibel Island offers three galleries that display everything from acrylics to watercolors, as well as theater performances and concerts. Best of all, you can experience it all just minutes from our Sanibel vacation rentals.
BIG Arts (Barrier Island Group for the Arts)
With nearly 80% of reviewers giving the Barrier Island Group for the Arts an Excellent review on TripAdvisor, you know you’ll find something that appeals to you here.
This location houses two galleries for local artists. Each new exhibit opens with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres with the artist. Past exhibits have included works by a local abstract artist, a themed collection of various regional artists, and paintings completed by talented individuals in a local mental health therapeutic program billed as Art by the disABLEd.
A new performance hall gives vacationers the opportunity to experience musicians and other performance acts from all over the country, ranging from classical music to ensembles to dancing performances. The BIG Arts Strauss Theater has Monday Night Films as well as specific series shown on Wednesdays, such as the Ethics Series and the Documentary Series.
BIG Arts also offers more than 200 workshops each year in the arts, such as painting, dance, glass fusion, and so much more.
Calling a spacious Florida cottage home, Tower Gallery on Sanibel Island is a 23-artist cooperative generating creations in watercolors, acrylics, oils as well as ceramic, wood, and glass. The gallery has been in operation since 1982.
Current artists work in such mediums as clay, wood painting and carving, jewelry, watercolors, and even wooden bowls. Each artist can be contacted on the artist’s page found on the Tower Gallery website.
Artist exhibits are displayed in a large, inviting gallery area. The gallery typically shows between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and artist works are for sale in the gallery’s shop. The Tower Gallery is open from April through December, seven days per week.
Watson MacRae Gallery
Referred to as a Sanctuary of Art, the Watson MacRae Gallery on Sanibel features exhibits in 2- and 3-dimensional mediums by both national and regional artists. The gallery will begin its 12th season in November 2019 and has shown more than 50 exhibitions.
Exhibits are shown during the winter season (November through April) and the summer (April through October). In addition to paintings, visitors can experience works in ceramics, glass, jewelry, and much more.
On TripAdvisor, 82% of visitors to the gallery gave it an Excellent review and the remaining 18% dubbed it Very Good. The curating has been described as “exquisite” and reviewers have used words and phrases such as “wonderful,” “fantastic,” and “a special place” to describe the gallery and their experiences there.
Visiting Sanibel and Captiva Islands
If you’re planning on spending your next vacation on Sanibel and Captiva Islands to take in the beaches, sun, outdoor events, and the artistic culture, you’ll of course need to book your lodgings.
Gopher Rentals has many Sanibel and Captiva vacation rentals to choose from, including many condos offering beachfront and Gulf views. You’ll find these offer many amenities as well, from heated swimming pools to tennis courts and sundecks. If you ever want a day where you don’t leave your home away from home, you’ll still have plenty to do.
Most of these condos are close to the many great places to eat in Sanibel (some even within walking distance of a fine restaurant), as well as shops and other popular venues. It’s not hard to find something to do while vacationing in Sanibel and Captiva, and chances are whichever accommodation you choose will be nearby to something you’re interested in.