Captiva & Sanibel Islands, Fla.

Distance from Baltimore: 1,206 miles, about a three-hour flight to nearby Sarasota Why it's hot: A narrow strait separates Sanibel Island from its smaller sister island Captiva. Located on the southwestern coast of the Florida panhandle, the islands are home to pet-friendly beaches, wildlife refuges, and lively nightlife scenes. Sunshine is abundant on the islands and winters are usually mild, with average daytime temperatures in the 70s or 80s. Don't miss: Searching for seashells. The islands are nicknamed "The Shell Islands" and rank as some of the best islands in the world for shelling. Gulf waters deposit shells from southern seas along Sanibel and Captiva's shorelines. Skim the beaches in North Captiva after low tide for whelk, conch, scallop and other shells. Information: Go to, 239-472-1080
Ellen Creager, MCT
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