The Glorious Fall on Sanibel

Fall in Sanibel Island is one of the best times to visit. Crowds are slim, but there are still plenty of events to attend and natural beauty to appreciate. And of course, you can always take part in year-round activities, such as kayaking or pickleball. Whatever your preferences, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Sanibel Island in the fall.

Here’s everything you can expect when you stay in our Sanibel or Captiva condo rentals during the fall.

What is the Weather Like?

At this time of year, the weather is particularly pleasant on Sanibel Island. Temperatures begin to drop from the 90s to the 80s, and the air is far less humid. While it is still warm enough for the beach, it is not sweltering hot! 

Things To Do on Sanibel


As North America’s number one shelling spot, shells are Sanibel Island’s main attraction, bringing shell collectors from around the world. Sanibel’s beaches are protected by a broad underwater shelf, which gently washes intact shells onto the sand. In fall, the tides are typically low, which means there will be even more area for shell collectors to discover prime specimens. Up to 260 different types of shells can be found along Sanibel Island’s shore. 

Lighthouse Beach and Turner/Blind Pass Beach are particularly promising spots to find the best shells. It is even possible to book a shelling trip with Captain Brian on the Water. 

Turtle Nesting

Starting in May and stretching to October, visitors to the island can experience one of nature’s most stunning events: mother sea turtles landing on shore to lay their eggs in the sand. Watch these beautiful creatures emerge from the water, dig through the sand, and deposit their eggs before returning to the waters again. 

baby turtles

This is certainly an experience worth witnessing, but keep in mind sea turtles are protected and there is certain protocol to be followed. Keep your distance from the nesting turtles and their hatchlings, don’t shine any bright lights near their nests, and dispose of any litter or man-made items left on the beach, including beach chairs and towels. 

For more information about these stunning creature and their nesting process, visit the Sanibel Nature Center, located at 333 Sanibel-Captiva Road.

Bird Watching

At least 245 bird species have been found on Sanibel Island. J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, 6,400-acre refuge, is one of the best places to spot them. During fall especially, many migratory species can be spotting wading near its shores. Keep your eyes open for egrets, plovers, laughing gulls, Eurasian collared-doves, and Eastern screech owls. The roseate spoonbill, with its bright pink feathers and unique spatulate bill, is an especially impressive sight. 

egret by water

The Sanibel Lighthouse is another ideal birdwatching location. Here you may catch a glimpse of hawks, warblers, orioles, buntings, and thrushes. And of course, birds can be spotted at nearly any other point on the island. Tracing the many bike paths is a good way to explore the full length of the island. 


“Red October” is what locals call the gathering of redfish in schools of hundreds of fish. This is the perfect time to catch redfish, as well as snook and Kingfish. Even the weather at sea tends to cooperate with fishermen at this time of year. Book a charter or seek the advice of locals in planning your perfect autumn fishing trip. 

fishing pole in hand

Sanibel Masters Art Festival

On November 27 and 28, join the Sanibel Island art community for a Thanksgiving weekend of exhibitions from artists across the country. With 70 outdoor booths and 30 indoor spaces, the festival will showcase oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, drawings and pastels, 2D and 3D mixed media and collages, photography and digital art, woodworking, sculpture, and more. Guests can interact with the artists, ask questions, purchase art, and even commission new works. There will also be food booths and live entertainment. The event lasts from 9am to 4pm. Admission is free. 

Plan Your Next Visit

This fall, book your vacation with us. We offer a wide range of Sanibel vacation rentals to meet your needs, with all the amenities and comforts of home. We look forward to welcoming you to Sanibel, Florida!