Shell Shocked: Five Sanibel tourist hot spots
Sanibel is a true tourist hot spot. It offers treats for most visitors regardless of their interests. There’s something here for everyone. As a public service, I will now present the top five tourist treats. Hopefully, this list will compel even the most ardent Sanibel fence sitters to visit us. Our goal is to attract no fewer than five million new visitors this winter.
1. The garbage dump across from City Hall. Only in Sanibel would the city dump be directly across from the City Hall and library. Our dump is a monument to technology and state of the art waste disposal. The architecture for the dump was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935. It was his very first attempt to create elegance and panache for a city dump. It has become a must visit for tourists from throughout the world. Guided tours are available, which are informative and educational. The full history of Sanibel waste disposal is described.
2. Lawrence of Sanibel’s final resting place. Lawrence was one of Sanibel’s early pickle farmers and earned his reputation for his unique process of pickle fermentation. He discovered early on that pickles that are fermented separately from the brine bring together healthy bacteria and probiotics. Despite the fame Lawrence of Sanibel derived from his unique brand of sour pickles late life dementia proved his undoing. He would appear at Bailey’s periodically on a white horse dressed in white robes. Rumors had it that he fermented one pickle too many.
3. The softball field next to the Sanibel Elementary School. Every Monday evening, a group of 90-year-olds gather to play a seven-inning game of softball. Certain concessions are made based on the advanced age of the players. When a batter hits the ball he doesn’t have to run to first base. If the ball is clearly a base hit the batter gets credit for it. So much depends on the energy level of the participants each Monday night. On some occasions the players merely sit on each of the bases and engage in a bit of nostalgia, like the time Babe Ruth batted in one of the games and hit a ball that landed in the gulf.
4. The nuclear research facility. Not too many people are aware that there is such a facility right in Sanibel. No one knows exactly where it is but the Sanibel Chamber of Commerce has unveiled plans to identify the facility and invite visitors. Rumors abound on how this mysterious facility was first built in Sanibel. One rumor has it that former CIA director, Porter Goss, built the facility somewhere in Ding Darling when he lived in Sanibel, but that has never been authenticated. Apparently, this nuclear facility had the capability to send long distant missiles directly to Miami Beach, but hostilities between the two mega tourist spots never seemed to reach that level of fever pitch.
5. And, finally, the pizza rehab center. Hundreds of pizza addicts flock to our shores each year to end the heartbreak of pizza addiction. These social outcasts have nowhere else to turn. Sanibel’s pizza rehab center is run by the Philip Morris Company as a public service.
These five tourist attractions are considered to be off the beaten track. In fact most are on dirt roads that aren’t even on any maps. But, all are now being marketed as Sanibel’s top five tourist attractions. The Chamber of Commerce is planning for additional little known tourist attractions in the coming year, including the dinosaur exhibit, the revelation of the true identities of the no ‘seeums, and the quick sand reservation. Stay tuned.
-Art Stevens is a long-time columnist for The Islander. His tongue-in-cheek humor is always offered with a smile.