Tortuga Beach Club Resort is on the amazing Sanibel Island, in Florida. I have stayed at a number of resorts on Sanibel and 2 other nearby islands lately, and I was happy to be going back. The area has so much fun to offer.
Video by Nick Parnaby
Day One Travel and Arrival at Tortuga Beach Club Resort
Lately, it seems like when I come to south Florida I only do so by plane. I enjoy the drive down to I95 from my home in Virginia. My time recently has been too busy to spend time on the road. If you are traveling solo or as a couple, flying from outside the state will probably be cheaper in addition to saving you some time. There is a reason, however, that Clark Griswold packed up the family trickster and that is because tickets for a family get expensive.
For me, on this trip, I was solo again as this was a working vacation of sorts on an assignment to write about the resort and the area. It is not that I can not bring guests; I do when I can, but most of my friends and relatives can not travel on a whim and these mini vacation bookings often come last minute or with little notice. For this area, you could fly into Miami if the flight was much cheaper, but when booking, just keep in mind that will add an hour or more to your drive.
I came straight into Fort Myers Airport and that made things very simple and easy. You grab your bags and your rental car and you are on your way quickly from this small airport. The airport is officially called the Southwest Florida International Airport if you are looking for it online while planning your trip. From the airport to Sanibel, it is about a 46-minute drive. It is less than a 25-mile drive with light traffic most of the year.
The resort is very easy to find. Once you get off the causeway just go straight. The resort is straight ahead on an island just go until you are almost on the water on that main road, and you will be right at the resort. This, I think, is the easiest resort to find in all of Sanibel.
The suites here are from 1,200 to 1,500 sq ft and are 2 bedroom units that offer a 2nd bedroom with 2 twin beds, and a separate bathroom perfect for the kids. For large families, the sofa in the living room also is a queen-bed conversion. Mom and Dad can enjoy their own bedroom and bath, and the entire family can stay together.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Ice Maker
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor Pools
- Business Center
- On-Site Restaurants
- Fitness Center
- Concierge Services
After getting settled in, I wanted to hit the grocery store on the island to supply up and grab some dinner. I went to Jerry’s foods near the resort and picked up snacks, breakfast items, and a sandwich to go from their café.
Day Two Beach time at Tortuga Beach Club Resort
When you stay in the water and on this island, you simply must see a sunrise and sunset. The sunsets here are amazing but the sunrise too is impressive. I paint some mostly for creative inspiration and fun, but seeing a great sunrise feels a bit like watching God paint.
As the sun rises, the sky is the canvas and the colors and clouds seem to pop up on that canvas as the light reveals all of their beauty. If I could ever truly capture the sunrise and sunset here in a painting, I could just sell printed copies and retire. It is so lovely that everyone would want one. Someone who masters it truly and captures the beauty of the sky on a perfect day here would have arrived as an artist.
I have made a few attempts, but none have captured the likeness yet.
I am here in May and as the morning carries on, it is warming. Not too uncomfortable temperatures, but enough to remind you of the need for sunblock before you burn.
Down so close to the Florida Keys, the sun is stronger here by far than in my home in Virginia. So, I headed back to the resort room and took a shower, then coated some sunscreen on for the day before heading back to the beach. No need to cook yourself and have that lobster look at dinner time.
There is a ton to do in the area, but today I just want my feet in the sand and occasional trips into the Gulf to play in the waves. The water temperature today is well into the 80s, so it feels warm when you get in, which is wonderful. It is one thing getting in and adjusting yourself to the temperature, but it is so much nicer just enjoying it from the start because it is warm enough. Back in Virginia, the water temperature is still in the upper 60s so far.
I spent most of the day on the beach, but now it was time for a late lunch, early dinner kind of meal. For the meal, I headed to MudBugs Cajun Kitchen I had stuffed shrimp and a fillet and was a happy camper. It did not hurt that I also enjoyed a few drinks as well. If you are with a group, grab some crawdads and a few beers and enjoy the location and great service for a while.
Video by Shore Me Some More
Day Three Exploring
Today I booked a scuba trip to the U.S.S. Mohawk which was sunk 28 miles off the coast of Sanibel to encourage a coral reef to form in 2012. Now a healthy reef and the remains of the ship offer a great trip for scuba and dive fans from around the world.
I went with H2O Offshore Adventures and they did a great job as captain and crew, making sure everyone was safe and was attended to before, after, and during the dive.
This is an all-day affair between the ride out and back and the time on site with all the dive prep and steps taken for safety, but it is a great time. This is not a beginner’s dive and while I hold an advanced certificate, I likely should not have been going, but I was with a group and not a novice so I went and just took it slow. There are many other great dives available in the area if you are new to scuba and just want to get some great hours in the ocean under your belt.
Sanibel Island is a great location for fishing, scuba diving, boating, sailing and so much more. The fishing in the area both inshore and offshore is truly some of the best in the world. So if you have the time and funds an offshore fishing trip here is a great thing to do for a group. In some of my other travel blogs about the area, I share my fishing trip stories and I try not to embellish my fish stories too much.
This trip was a dive of a lifetime. I have only been on one ship before doing scuba and that was about 4 years ago. I do not know how many more I might do in my lifetime, but this was fun. Thanks to movies, you expect to see a dead body at any turn even when you know this was sunk on purpose with all safety measures followed in 2012.
Do you want to scuba dive, fish, or just enjoy the Gulf of Mexico? If so, book through TZort and come and stay at this wonderful resort on Sanibel Island Tortuga Beach Club Resort.