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5 Tips for Biking on Sanibel

Thousands of people frequent the 27 miles of  bike paths on Sanibel every year, and how can we blame them? We are so lucky to have such a beautiful, bike friendly island! Here are some local biking tips from our staff:

1. If you're visiting, rent a bicycle at Billy's Bike Rentals. They have a bike for everyone - single-speed, multi-speed, hybrids, and bikes for kids! Billy's also has a bike shop for all of your gear needs if you are an experienced cyclist, and they have a great map of our island bike paths on their website!

2. Bike through Wildlife Drive at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. For only $1.00, this trail will take you inside the refuge where you will see many types of wading birds, mullet jumping, and maybe even an otter or two. Wildlife Drive is a 4 mile pedal within the refuge, then brings you out on Sanibel-Captiva Road where it's just 3 miles back to the refuge entrance. A great 7-mile loop that will leave you deserving an ice cream!

3. Visit Bailey Homestead (off of Periwinkle Way just past Dairy Queen and the Lazy Flamingo) for off-road biking. One of the most serene off-the-beaten-path spots on Sanibel, this hard shell-packed trail is great for mountain bikes (or walking) and allows you to feel far removed from the hustle and bustle of the main bike path. It's also a great place to spot large alligators and dozens of cormorants and anhingas drying their wings.

4. Take a turn down the back roads. There are dozens of charming neighborhoods off of San-Cap and the Gulf Drives, just waiting to be explored. Fill up your reusable water bottle and venture out in search of your island dream home. 

5. Bike the entire island at least once! Just under 15 miles, the main bike path takes you from the Sanibel Lighthouse all the way to Blind Pass in Captiva. This day trip is a must-do for all levels of bikers because there is just so much to see - Gopher Tortisoes munching on grass, Red-shouldered Hawks soaring overhead, and lush vegetation lining the roads. You can refill your water bottle at Ding Darling along the way and refuel with a delicious lunch in Santiva. Or if you're ambitious, carry on all the way to Captiva and say hello to the manatees at Jensen's Marina! 

 

Do you have biking tips to add? Do share!

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5 Great Places to Fill Up Your Reusable Coffee Mug


Piggybacking off of our last 'Sanibel Tips' blog post, we are back this week to help you fill up those reusable mugs with our top picks for coffee on Sanibel. Here's where we recommend to get hydrated or caffeinated: 

1) Bennett's Fresh Roast. Delicious coffee and homemade donuts - the perfect morning kick start.  

2) The Sanibel Bean. At this family friendly establishment, you can cool down with a yummy frozen chai or even a smoothie. 

3) Bailey's Coffee Bar. Fill up your reusable mug here to fuel your grocery shopping. 

4) Dolce Tesoro - Simply Cupcakes. Enjoy your coffee paired with the best cupcakes on island. 

5) Sanibel Sea School. That's right, SX3 is now serving our own house blend coffee - organic, artisan roasted, fair-trade African beans. Our coffee comes with great conversation and fun facts about the ocean. The best part - it's free! 

Still need a reusable bottle? Sanibel Sea School has two stainless steel Kleen Kanteen bottles for sale: an 18oz water bottle and a 20oz vacuum insulated thermos. The insulated thermos keeps your beverages cool for 24 hours or hot for 6 hours and even comes with a cafe lid - a must have! 

Still need a reusable bottle? Sanibel Sea School has two stainless steel Kleen Kanteen bottles for sale: an 18oz water bottle and a 20oz vacuum insulated thermos. The insulated thermos keeps your beverages cool for 24 hours or hot for 6 hours and even comes with a cafe lid - a must have! 


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5 Ways to Eliminate or Reduce the Amount of Plastic You Use

Plastics were first invented to make our lives as consumers easier. Unfortunately, with overconsumption and improper disposal many of the plastics we use end up in the ocean. Plastics in the ocean are harmful and even fatal to sea creatures, so we need your help in reducing the amount that we use! Here's how you can do your part: 

1. Reusable Grocery Bags.  When plastic bags end up in the ocean, animals such as sea turtles often confuse them for their prey (jellyfish). Don’t have one? Stop by Sanibel Sea School and we will give you one - free!

2. Reusable containers for food. These can be washed and reused again and again instead of single-use plastic wrap and baggies - more for your money.

3. Use real silverware! I always keep a spoon and fork in my backpack and simply wash them after use. Plastic cutlery is made out of molecules produced from petroleum and takes an enormous amount of energy to produce - a very long process for something we use in just minutes! 

4. Reusable water bottle. Plastic bottles and lids are frequently washed into the ocean and consumed by animals. These bottles never break down! With a reusable water bottle, you can keep your beverage nice and cool and even infuse water with yummy fruit! Check out this fascinating video on plastic water bottle use : 

5. Make your own shampoo/toiletries.  We go through a lot of shampoo, body wash, and lotion – all of these are packaged in plastic bottles. You can eliminate these bottles by making your own toiletries. Not only is this beneficial for the environment but it's good for your body too! These can be made with aromatic essential oils and without harsh chemicals! Here’s a recipe to get you started:  http://shalommama.com/homemade-shampoo

Check out Emily being super sustainable with her reusable bag and water bottle! 

Check out Emily being super sustainable with her reusable bag and water bottle! 

 

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