Sanibel v Stump Pass

Last spring we discovered the beach at Stump Pass State Park on Manasota Key. As part of our 14 in 14, we took a Spring Break trip exploring new places along Florida’s Southwest coast, and we fell in love with one of those places, Stump Pass State Park.


In fact, we decided to return in the summer for a short beach trip. A time that’s traditionally spent on our favorite beach, Sanibel, and much to our surprise we found many things about Stump Pass that we liked better than Sanibel. This lead us to evaluate the two beaches.

Shells: Sanibel


Shark’s Teeth: Stump Pass


Fishing: Sanibel

Turtles: Stump Pass

Bicycling: Sanibel

Sunset: Stump Pass


Beach: Stump Pass

Restaurants: Sanibel, Sanibel,Sanibel!!!

Sanibel Grill! Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill! Island Cow! Cheeburger, Cheebuger! Lazy Flamingo! No comparison!


Maybe the best lesson to learn is not to get in a rut. Enjoy a favorite place, but not to the exclusion of trying something new.

We’ll just need to spend more time on the beach so we can go to Sanibel and Stump Pass.

Grouper Time

After spending the day on the water at Crystal River, it was time to satisfy our seafood craving. We motored over to Crackers Bar and Grill, located on King’s Bay, where we sat on the deck at one of the picnic tables under a grass umbrella to soak in a little more of the view while we ate lunch.

We rarely order appetizers at lunch, but there’s no way we could pass up the potato skins. It’s hard to call them skins since there’s plenty of potato on the skin which is smothered in cheese, and then topped with bacon and onions. These are by far the best potato skins.


photo 4 After loading up on an appetizer, we split the grouper sandwich with cole slaw…didn’t need any more potatoes so passed on the french fries. Plenty of food to split and very tasty. Not as good as the grouper sandwich at Sanibel Grill, but about three hours closer!

photo 2Good food. Waterfront dining. Great way to end a trip to Crystal River.

World’s Best Grouper Sandwich

IMG_0087On both Friday and Saturday night last week we ate at the same restaurant in Sanibel. That’s because Sanibel Grill serves the world’s best crunchy grouper sandwich.

More than fifteen years ago, after staying on the beach longer than planned, we searched for a restaurant where we could place a take out order. The thought of getting five people cleaned up to eat was not an option that evening. Looking through a local magazine found in the hotel room, the ad for Sanibel Grill included a phone number to call for orders to go. Just what we were looking for! The menu items satisfied those of us looking for seafood options as well as those who turn up their nose to seafood. The grouper sandwiches and pizza ordered that night hooked us.

Every subsequent trip to Sanibel has included one or more visits to Sanibel Grill. The fried crunchy grouper sandwiches can’t be beat. Hot, crunchy, fresh, delicious, large portion of grouper served with french fries or pasta salad. Can’t go wrong with either choice.

The following review of Sanibel Grill found on Trip Advisor confirms our experience:

When I go to Sanibel I’m there for 8 days. Last year I managed to go here 7 of the 8 days. I guess I should expand my horizons, but when you’re comfortable with a place and the people who work there (and remember you from the previous year), then why bother? Good specials, good food and a great atmosphere. Can’t ask for anything more. And if you have a sweet tooth late at night, be sure to order a piece of cake. Absolutely wonderful.

Sanibel Grill is a must for anyone visiting southwest Florida!