We make personal and family use of the condo 6-8 weeks each year. As such, we furnish, decorate and equip the unit to the standards required to make it a comfortable second home.
We include 4 bicycles which are available for your use at no extra charge, provided a waiver of liability is signed.
⁃ Bird and Wildlife Viewing
⁃ Live Theatre
⁃ Art Galleries
⁃ Major League Baseball – spring training
Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge
Babcock Wilderness Adventures
Thomas Edison & Henry Ford Estates
Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)
Tarpon Bay Canoe and Kayak Trails
Theatre, Dance, Music
Everglades Day Trips
SANIBEL VISITOR & TRAVEL INFORMATION
This question has as many answers as the island has visitors and residents. Sanibel Island is a sub-tropical barrier island located in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Fort Myers in Southwest Florida. Like a sparkling emerald in a sea of shimmering aquamarine, Sanibel is truly a gem and like no other place in the world. Because there are no big hotels on the island, visitors will find the best accommodations in private vacation homes and gulf front condominiums that are vacation rentals. This website has made it easy to find hundreds of Sanibel vacation rentals homes and cottages for holiday rentals and seasonal vacations. From secluded beachfront homes to luxury condos or tropical cottages there is a Sanibel vacation rental for any budget.
When development was running rampant across Florida and high rises were erected up and down the coast lines, Sanibel residents had the foresight to incorporate into a city so that they could determine the islands destiny. Sanibel became a paradise were man can coexist with native plants and animals without destroying their natural habitat. Building codes still restrict any home or structure to a maximum height of 35 feet above the natural grade. This insures that no building is taller that the tallest palm trees. Viewed from offshore on a boat the profile of Sanibel Island would lead one to believe that the island might be uninhabited as no buildings mar the skyline. Property owners must also adhere to a strict guideline of landscaping to allow for plenty of native plants that provide food and shelter for the many creatures that live on these fragile barrier islands. It is quite easy to take a short stroll on the island and spot several species of birds including Ibis, Pelicans, Ospreys, Bald Eagles, Hawks, Roseate Spoonbills, Blue Herons, Great White Herons, Woodpeckers, and many others. It is also easy to spot an American Alligator sunning along the banks of the many ponds that dot the islands. Alligators are also found in abundance on three island golf courses. It is best to remember if you hit a shot into the water to let it be or you might lose more than just your ball. The Alligator population on Sanibel Island is healthy and they can be found in and around all of the island’s bodies of fresh water. If you do find yourself in the company of an Alligator do not approach it and DO NOT FEED IT. If fed by humans gators lose their natural fear of people and will associate you with food the next time they are approached. Do not be fooled by their lazy appearance as they bask in the sun, gators are lightning fast and are taking in all motion around them. Even though Sanibel sits in the northern edge of the viable Crocodile habitat range, the island does have one resident Crocodile “Bessie”. She is over 13 feet long and is usually on the west end of the island near the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. Because there are no other Crocodiles on the islands, Bessie can’t reproduce. She was once relocated to the Everglades National Park but eventually made her way back to Sanibel.
Today flocks of tourists come to Sanibel to enjoy a truly relaxing island style vacation. No hustle and bustle. The island beaches are the main attraction. Sanibel is famous for some of the best shelling in the entire world due to Sanibel’s position along the coast. The island sits East and West perpendicular to the coast before the island turns north paralleling the coast like most other barrier islands. This boomerang shape also cuts across the current forcing shells as they roll along the ocean floor towards the islands beaches where they are trapped and wash up onto the sand. The shells are so thick at times that they bank up several inches thick allowing the avid Sheller to sit atop the mound and shell with ease. Shelling on Sanibel Island is so popular that there is even a name for shellers as they bend down repeatedly to pick up a keeper: The Sanibel Stoop. Shelling is always best during the outgoing tide until the peak low tide is reached. The islands beaches have a gentle slope and do not become deep quickly allowing for little ones to explore the tidal areas without fear. Species of shells also remain protected on the island just as do the land creatures. There is a strict now live shelling law in place. Because there are plenty of beautiful shells to collect that are already empty there is no reason to kill a living mollusk just for its shell.
For sports enthusiasts, Sanibel Island is a year around play ground. There are over 22 miles of paved shared use paths that run all over the island allowing for a safe area for biking, running and walking. Completed in 2007, the Sanibel Recreation Center is a wonderful addition to the island with tennis courts, resort style pools, and much more. There are three golf courses on Sanibel: The Sanctuary Golf & Tennis Club which is a private club and two semi-private courses The Dunes and Beachview Golf and Tennis. Water sports are also a Sanibel favorite with kayaking, boating, fishing, windsurfing, kite boarding, and sailing.
Sanibel has a large offshore population of Dolphins that can be seen easily from the beach as they play and feed in the shallow waters. In addition to the Dolphins, many island visitors will see their first Manatee in the waters surrounding Sanibel. Manatees are seen more frequently in Pine Island Sound and Tarpon Bay where they feed on the abundant sea grasses that grow in these shallow waters. Manatees also frequent the shallow canals that run behind many island homes to seek shelter and warmer water. If you want to fish then take your camera. Sanibel Island is teeming with sport fish for all seasons. Enjoy fighting a Tarpon, or Redfish, or Snook and don’t forget to land that Grouper for dinner. Sanibel fishing is always a day of sights and delights. There are many fishing guides on the islands and also areas where you can charter you own charter. If you don’t have a boat then grab a pole and head to the beach or to the Sanibel Fishing Pier to try your luck.
Sanibel is home to the Bailey Matthews Shell Museum where you can learn about the shells and history of shells in our culture. The Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge is open year around with guided tours, and self tours of the refuge and has a wonderful learning center for the whole family. To learn more about Sanibel’s rich island history, don’t miss the Sanibel Historical Museum located on Dunlop Road next to Big Arts and the Sanibel Library. If you wish to learn more about the native plants and wildlife visit SCCF the Sanibel and Captiva Conservation Foundation where you can tour a butterfly garden go on a nature hike and see native plants up close. There is even a wildlife clinic on Sanibel called CROW which stands for Care and Rehabilitation of Wildlife. At CROW you can learn more about how to co-exist with animals so that we do not harm them.
Be sure to take in a show at the Schoolhouse Theater. This small Broadway size theater puts on some of the best entertainment in theater in Southwest Florida! You will also want to visit Big Arts where various musicians play throughout the Sanibel Season and during the summer you will find a multitude of hands on Arts classes.
If you really want to learn more about Sanibel Island up close and personal, you won’t want to miss the Sanibel Sea School! This new island school is dedicated to teaching children and adults about Sanibel ecology and conservation by direct hands on field study. Their motto is “Man was meant to Wade” and they will not disappoint you with their wealth of island knowledge and excitement in the field of study!
To help you explore Sanibel, we have provided a number of links to additional information. We hope you find everything you are looking for. In the event that you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.