Sanibel Island Earns National Accolades As Best Beach Town

Southern Living Magazine features Sanibel on its March cover as “The South’s Best”

LEE COUNTY, Fla. (March 10, 2021) – The editors of Southern Living Magazine chose Sanibel Island as best beach town of 2021.

Sanibel graces the cover of its April edition because of its “natural wonders” and because it “kept the heart of the South beating during some of the toughest times of 2020 and 2021,” according to the magazine.

The recent accolade was noted within the magazine’s double issue, which also includes Cabbage Key as one of the best places to stay in 2021. The magazine hits newsstands on March 19 and is currently available at

“We are elated that Sanibel Island has been recognized and will grace the cover of this month’s Southern Living,” said Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman, Chairman of the Tourist Development Council. “They got it right – Sanibel Island is a special place with natural wonders and hidden treasures. It has everything a beach town should have – beautiful beaches, piles of shells, abundant wildlife and great places to eat, visit and relax. You don’t find this combination and a commitment to conservation in many other places and we’re very proud of it.”

The article also describes Sanibel as “a brand of utopia built on the understanding that what Sanibel has to offer—in terms of community, town pride, and natural assets—is special.”

The cover features fashion model, Hoda El-koussa and Allie, a Fort Myers rescue dog adopted from Dog House Rescue Academy, shot on Sundial Beach Resort & Spa. Many other local businesses are featured in the article including Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, Bailey’s General Store, Adventures in Paradise, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, 400 Rabbits, Sweet Melissa’s Café, Joey’s Custard, Periwinkle Place, Billy’s Bike Shop, Sanibel Sea School, Island Style Galleries, Gene’s Books and Trader Rick’s.

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