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Won­der­ful get­away choices in South­west Florida

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Tourist in Your Own Back­yard

Some­times you just need to get away―but then re­al­ize you can’t. Luck­ily we live in a pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion mak­ing for a won­der­ful lo­cal va­ca­tion! Here is a great three-day itin­er­ary for be­ing a tourist in your home­town.

FRIDAY

Check into your quiet re­treat at South

Seas Is­land Re­sort on Cap­tiva for a peace­ful stay in the mid­dle of a be au­ti­ful wildlife sanc­tu­ary.

Af­ter set­tling into the re­sort, take a drive around the bend to The Mucky Duck for cock­tails and a won­der­ful sun­set view be­fore head­ing to din­ner at Keylime Bistro. But hold off on dessert here, be­cause you will want to walk across the street to in­dulge in a huge slice of cake and a walk-around at the su­per-fun Bub­ble Room.

SATUR­DAY

Start the morn­ing with a cof­fee, tea or smoothie from The Cof­fee Bar at Bai­ley’s on Sanibel be­fore rent­ing bikes for ev­ery­one at one of two Billy’s Rentals. From there bike over to the Bai­ley-Matthews Na­tional Shell Mu­seum, then to the J.N. “Ding” Dar­ling Na­tional Wildlife Refuge.

Time for lunch. There are so many great restau­rants from which to choose, but since you are on your way to hang out at the beach, stop in at Sch­nap­per’s Hots on Sanibel for a quick and su­per-tasty meal. Then spend an hour or two search­ing for shells (Sanibel stoop) and re­lax­ing on one of the is­land’s beau­ti­ful beaches.

As you head back to the ho­tel to get ready for din­ner, stop at Pinoc­chio’s Orig­i­nal Ital­ian Ice Cream to cool off with a yummy serv­ing of home­made ice cream that is al­ways topped with an an­i­mal cookie!

En­joy a fine-din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence while over­look­ing the gen­tly break­ing waves of the Gulf of Mex­ico at This­tle Lodge at Casa Ybel Re­sort.

SUN­DAY a.m.

Head to the Is­land Cow on Sanibel for a cowa-bunga break­fast, a cool spot listed in the Top 5 Break­fast Spots in Florida in trade mag­a­zines. From Pigs in a Pan­cake to the Loaded Seafood Omelet, you will not have trouble find­ing a unique dish to try.

Then en­joy a re­lax­ing mid­day at the ho­tel pool be­fore time to check out. On your way home, be sure to stop at Peri­win­kle

Place on Sanibel to browse all the shops to com­mem­o­rate your is­lands’ staycation. Mandy Carter is a lo­cal mom with a pas­sion for fam­ily travel, a pop­u­lar travel blog­ger in­clud­ing her own fam­ily blog at Acup­ful. com and the Dig­i­tal Con­tent & En­gage­ment Edi­tor for TOTI Media.

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