Sanibel beaches earn top spot in magazine
The beaches of Sanibel have been ranked among the 20 best beaches in America by Men’s Journal magazine.
Men’s Journal ranked beaches by their location and best uses of what they have to offer.
For example, the beaches are separated by region — Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, California and Hawaii — and then categorized as best sports beach, secluded beach, family beach and such.
Sanibel is featured as the best family beach that the Gulf Coast, and in fact all of Florida, has to offer.
The only other Florida beach to be listed is Key West, but more for its party atmosphere.
According to the magazine, Sanibel was chosen because, “The water here is warm, calm and shallow, making it ideal for the kids; the beach is perfect for sandcastles and is loaded with shells, especially when low tide exposes its offshore sandbars.”
Bridgit Stone-Budd, of the Sanibel Island & Captiva Island Chamber of Commerce, said the organization was not aware of being mentioned in the magazine.
She added that despite the doom and gloom that some publications cite as the current state of tourism, it is good to be mentioned in a positive light.
“We are delighted to have been recognized by Men’s Journal for our beautiful beaches,” Stone-Budd said. “Our visitors tell us time and time again we have a paradise here on Sanibel and Captiva.”
She said the chamber’s membership numbers have remained steady throughout the tough economic times.
Tourist traffic on the island has also remained steady throughout the season, though Stone-Budd admits that the demographic of the visitors has changed a bit.
Instead of heavy spending in restaurants, visitors have doing more shopping in grocery stores and eating casually.
“Our traffic in the visitor center is higher than normal this time of the year. Our beaches are full, traffic is heavier than normal, but it seems to me we’re having more day-trippers,” Stone-Budd said. “They’re not shopping as we’d like or eating in the restaurants as much as we’d like, but it’s different and we’re rolling with it.”
The July issue of Men’s Journal, featuring Lance Armstrong on the cover, is available on newsstands.