Sanibel and Captiva Island Rebuilding Update

As many of you know, Sanibel Island was forever changed on September 28, 2022. Sanibel took a direct hit from Category 5 Hurricane Ian, the deadliest storm in Florida since 1935 and the 3rd costliest weather event in US history, causing over $100 billion dollars in property damage, with the majority of that centered in Sanibel and Fort Myers. The 15ft of storm surge left nearly all of Sanibel underwater. As we near the 1 year anniversary of Hurricane Ian, we thought it was time to give an update on what’s open, what to expect, and how the overall rebuild process is going on our beloved island.

The businesses that have managed to reopen are really struggling, the near complete lack of tourism to the island is taking a major toll on all of them. We do not recommend a first time visitor to make the trip at this time, but if you are someone who has been to the island before and knows the beauty of what it once was, they could really use visitors. That being said, you must keep your expectations in check. Here’s a few tips to remember if you do come to visit:

  • Traffic will be horrendous, most notably on the causeway. They are working on rebuilding the causeway and it is down to one lane
  • Staffing levels at open businesses are at all time lows, due to lack of patrons
  • Even though tourism numbers are as low as ever, on-island lodging is also as limited as ever

Currently Open Sanibel Resorts

  • Island Inn on Sanibel
  • Sanibel Island Beach Resort
  • Sanibel Island Moorings
  • Sanibel Siesta on the Beach
  • Tarpon Tale Inn
  • Beach Road Villas
  • Seahorse Cottages

Currently Open Captiva Resorts

  • Jensens on the Beach
  • Tween Waters Island Resort
  • South Seas Resort

Currently Open Sanibel Restaurants

  • Doc Ford’s Sanibel
  • Mudbugs Cajun
  • Great White Grill
  • Bleu Rendez-vous
  • Cielo
  • Huxters Deli
  • Rosalitas Cantina
  • Island Pizza
  • Sanibel Deli
  • Sweet Melissa’s
  • The Sanibel Grill
  • Traders
  • Tutti Pazi

Currently Open Captiva Restaurants

  • The Mucky Duck
  • Crows Nest at Tween Waters
  • Captiva Island Pizza
  • RC Otters
  • The Shipyard at Tween Waters
  • Starbucks Captiva
  • Boops at the Bubble Room

We will try and keep this post updated as more businesses rebuild and hopefully reopen. A vacation back to Sanibel and Captiva is going to require more patience than normal, and definitely a change in expectations, but the natural beauty and amazing beaches that originally drew us all to the islands are still as great as ever. Even if you decide to stay somewhere else in Lee County, the businesses on the islands would appreciate you stopping by for awhile more than ever before.

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