Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Off-Island Beach Tour

I've been sharing a little about my recent trip to Sanibel with my friends Moira and Traci  here and here.  On this trip we did something I've never had a chance to do before - visit some of the beaches off the island that I keep hearing about from other bloggers.  The shelling on Sanibel wasn't really great, so it didn't take much arm twisting to get me to visit some new beaches. 

The first one we went to was Fort Myers Beach.  The biggest problem with this beach was finding a place to park.  If they have beach access parking lots, we didn't find one.  So we took our chances, parked where we shouldn't have and then snuck onto the beach by cutting through a hotel.  Not my favorite thing to do because I don't like worrying about my car being towed.  Whatever, we're rebels like that.  LOL.


There were shells all over the beach, but nothing spectacular, so I grabbed my camera and went for a walk down the beach.

 I saw my first periwinkles...


A bird sunning himself....



And this little guy who wasn't the least bit concerned by my presence....



We spent about 2 hours there and decided to call it quits since the shelling wasn't very good.  We high tailed it back to our car and heaved a sigh of relief to find it parked where we left it.

Next up was Lovers Key....



I've been wanting to check out this beach for a long time and it did not disappoint.   Moira and I were finding a few shells while Traci hiked further up the beach and before we knew it she had come back to collect us.  There was better shelling ahead and off we went.  I found a good variety of shells as well as sand dollars and sea urchins.  The beach area was very nice, there was ample parking in their lot and we found shells - I'd definitely go back here again.



Third up on the Off-Island Beach Tour was Barefoot Key, which is well known for it's colony of Gopher Tortoises.  We were even forewarned to check underneath the car before leaving to make sure one hadn't crawled there.  Thankfully none did.


This was another beach with plenty of parking and this time of year we had our pick of parking spaces.  To get to Barefoot Beach you have to drive through a neighborhood of gorgeous houses.  What a fabulous area to live in.



Once we hit the beach we were surprised at how empty it was.  As we strolled down the beach we stopped to pick up a shell here and there, as well as some nice pieces of coral.


We set up camp in a lovely area with some shade and spent a few hours just laying in the sun, playing in the water, and of course, shelling.  Traci and Moira did better on the shelling front than I did however.  They went over and started to investigate a tall sand wall and found some goodies poking out of the sand.  I was content to float in the water and just soak up the sun.



 On our way out of the parking lot we saw several turtle nests and this huge tortoise was standing on the side of the road chowing down on some grass.  He was really cute and didn't mind us snapping pictures of him....

 Barefoot Beach was pretty but it wasn't one of my favorites, so I don't know if I'd go back there again.


And the final beach on the tour was my personal favorite - Little Hickory....


The parking lot was small and we were lucky to get a parking space - probably because it was later in the day.  We timed it to get there just before low tide and we were happy with that decision...


The beach was nice and because it was low tide, there were a lot of shells - mostly fighting conchs but we did manage to get some nice olives, angel wings, paper figs and pear whelks.  I just plain liked this area and would definitely visit again.  I think we spent the most amount of time here.


And that wraps up our off-island beach tour.  I'm glad I finally got a chance to visit some of these beaches that I've heard so much about from other bloggers.  Each beach has it's own appeal and advantages.  And you never know from day to day what the beach conditions will be or what treasures you may find.  I guess that's part of the fun.  You go and decide for yourself which beaches you like.  Here's a few links for you to check out.  Have fun!

Ft. Myers Beach

Barefoot Beach

Lovers Key

Little Hickory

18 comments:

  1. Some really neat pictures of a lovely day. I haven't been to the beach in way too long and I need to go and sit and listen to the ocean. It's good for the soul.
    Your day with friend and the beach...what a great way to spend time.

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    1. It was a wonderful trip and I hope you get to the beach one day soon. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  2. It's always so much fun to explore new places, especially with good friends.

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    1. This trip was a long time in the making and we were thrilled to finally pull it off.

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  3. Oh, I agree! I love to explore new beaches! We've noticed that the parking is few and far between around Clearwater. I'm so glad you got to spend time with friends at the beach...there's nothing better! Hugs!

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    1. One of these days you're going to join me Diane!

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  4. Looks so pleasant and relaxing! Glad your car wasn't towed.

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    1. Me too - that wouldn't have been good, would it? LOL!

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  5. This will have to be my vacation this year looking at your beautiful photos. I love them! One of the best times the kids and I had were at Ft. Myers with my brother in law Ernie. He was a laid back beach bum..(not really a bum) and we enjoyed him so much! Beautiful area, and water. I found the most beautiful sea shells when there. Love your posts Kim.

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    1. Thanks Dolly - I appreciate that. Do you still have your shells? How long has it been since you were there?

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  6. Lil Hickory is my favorite too. I met Moi & Marty there a few years ago. Very nice people. I like kayaking down that side inlet. The shelling has just been flat this summer but I have high hopes for November. Loved your photos. xo

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    1. Moira was telling us about meeting you there and what fun she had. And I would love to have my kayak there too. xo

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  7. I've lived in Florida my entire life and have never been to any of those beaches other than Fort Myers! So glad you had a nice time :)

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    1. I think you need a couple of days at the beach Martha - they were some good ones. :-)

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  8. I'm still jealous!! :D We never got to Little Hickory or Lovers Key when Jess, Brad and I went in July, so it's still on my to do list....even more anxious now after this great report!!

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    1. Thanks Cheri - hopefully you can get there next time.

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