Living on Sanibel Island we sometimes forget to notice how special our islands are to the outside world. We are always winning awards or being named as #1 in beaches, fishing, shelling, vacations, and so on. Over the years we have been mentioned in articles all over the world. Of course it doesn't seem like news to those of us who live here... we know how wonderful Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are!
Our Chamber of Commerce recently published a list of a few awards our Islands have received. I'll post a few of them at the end of this blog.
I recently put together an online survey to see what my friends and clients would pick for their favorite island place.
When I asked what beach is a favorite, it seems the beach at "Access 7" located on West Gulf Drive is the favorite choice! Parking is restricted and limited, but easy to access by bike.
Another favorite (came in as a strong second) is Bowmans Beach off Sanibel-Captiva Drive. I have a tough time picking my favorite beach. Some days I think Blind Pass beach is the best, but during our busy winter season I think I like the limited access beaches off West Gulf Drive. It's a tough choice when you have over 20 miles of beach to chose from.
In my survey I also asked for favorite bike ride, and favorite island restaurant. I'll post the results of those in upcoming blogs. Sanibel Island and Captiva Island always have something to offer, and many times we get chosen as "best" in a survey. Not bad for a tiny area located in Southwest Florida!
As for local news and current things to do on the island, you can always pull up the calendar at our Chamber of Commerce website. From education, to tennis, to our 10th annual "Pirate Fest," there is always something fun to do!
While on the islands you might as well put me to work looking for your perfect place in paradise! This is a great time to start your Sanibel real estate search. Just let me know your criteria and I can gather a list of properties that fit your needs. Whether a condo, home, or homesite, I know my islands and I can help you find just what you want. Call me Today!
If you want to start your real estate search on your own, I have the best search feature on my website. You can search by map, price, size, or any other criteria that's important to you! Click Here to give it a try!
If you're wondering what some of our "Island Awards" are, here's a list of just a few that were recently listed on our Chamber website; 2015 – US News Travel – Sanibel Island ranked #3 for Best Family Beach Vacation
2015 – FamilyFun Travel Awards – Sanibel Island ranked #1 family travel destination
2014 – US News Travel – Sanibel Island ranked #4 for Best Family Beach Vacations
2014 – Coastal Living – Captiva Island voted #2 happiest seaside town
2014 – CNN Travel – 10 Best Budget Vacations for spring – Sanibel Island
2014 – USA Today 10Best – Sanibel & Captiva ranked 6th best Birdwatching
2014 – Men’s Journal – Sanibel named ‘Best for Shell Hunting’
2014 – FlipKey by TripAdvisor – Top Beach Vacations
2014 – SmarterTravel – Sanibel Island Makes Smarter Travel’s 1 of 10 Best Beach Towns in Florida
2013 – Condé Nast Traveler Magazine – Sanibel & Captiva islands – chosen by Traveler Magazine for one of 5 Perfect Weekends in Florida
2013 – Coastal Living – 2013 annual America’s Happiest Seaside Towns – and also Sanibel was voted one of the best places to live on the coast
2013 – USA Today – voted part of the 10 best attractions in Florida – Seashells on Sanibel Island – voted in December 2013 by USA Today Readers’ Choice awards
2013 – TripAdvisor – Travelers Choice Awards – TripAdvisor choice awards voted Sanibel Island as one of the top 10 islands to visitin the US
2013 – Travel & Leisure Magazine – listed Captiva Island as one of the most Romantic Beach Getawaysin their August 2013 feature
2013 – Travel Channel – Top 10 Beaches in Florida– both Sanibel island and Captiva island make the top 10 list
2013 – Peter Greenberg – Best Bird-watching – Peter Greenberg, America’s foremost travel expert, listed the J.N. Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge among his top five recommended spots for a bird-watching spring break vacation
2013 – Smarter Travel – Sanibel Island Makes Smarter Travel’s 1 of 10 Best Beach Towns in Florida
2012 – USA Today – Sanibel – 10 Great Places for Families to Escape the Snow and Best Beach Towns in Florida
2012 – U.S. News & World Report – Best Florida Beaches – ranked Sanibel Island’s beach at the top of the magazine’s list of the 8 Best Florida Beaches
2012 – Dr. Beach – Most Romantic Beaches – Captiva Island has been ranked one of the country’s most romantic beaches for two consecutive years by Stephen Leatherman, Ph.D., (a.k.a. Dr. Beach) Florida International University, recognized as the nation’s foremost beach authority
2011 – Frommer’s – Arthur Frommer’s 10 Favorite Travel Destinations – Arthur Frommer named Sanibel Island one of the “Top Ten Favorite Places to Travel” in the world
2011 – Condé Nast Traveler Magazine – Sanibel and Captiva earned top spots in the Top-10 North America Islands list: Sanibel Island ranked fourth, while Captiva Island came in at number six
2011 – Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice award – Best Beaches in the United States voted Sanibel (#5) and Captiva (#8) and 16th in the world by Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award
2011 – Condé Nast Traveler Magazine – Best Kayaking 2011
Older Notable Awards
2010 – Condé Nast Traveler – Top 10 North American Islands voted Sanibel and Captiva in the top 10
2010 – The Travel Channel – selected Sanibel as “Best Shelling Beach.” Among the rare shells collected here are the brown speckled junonia, sculpted lion’s paw, coveted golden olive, golden tulip and Scotch bonnet. Live shelling is prohibited on our beaches.
2010 – Travel Channel – Top 10 Beaches in Florida – Sanibel Island has been named one of the “the best in the world” in Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards
2005 – Condé Nast Traveler magazine – 2005 Readers’ Choice Awards have acknowledged Sanibel and Captiva islands as among “destinations approaching perfection.”
Sarah Ashton, Broker Associate
Royal Shell Real Estate
239-691-4915 Web Contact Form
If you are looking for something to do this weekend - don't fret - there is more than a mere mortal can take in!
Friday kicks off a long standing tradition on the islands - Luminary. On Friday, Sanibel Island businesses will be keeping their doors open and the food and beverages flowing as Periwinkle Way is lit up with hundreds of white luminary candle bags. It is a sight to behold. The San-Cap Chamber of Commerce does an outstanding job working with the businesses and running a trolley service to get folks from one plaza to another.
Friday will also host a fund-raiser on Captiva Island to support the month-long Captiva Holiday Village celebration and events. Many great silent auction items will be there for the bidding. Check out www.captivaholidayvillage.com for more info.
Satuday is Captiva Island's luminary night. at 3:30 the festivities are kicking off with a Golf Cart Parade. Don DeLuca of the Royal Shell Companies is the Grand Marshall of the parade. It will be a good time and again - the streets will be lined with white luminary candle bags. It is a pretty sight.
Last week I attended Lee County Days in Tallahassee as part of the Sanibel – Captiva Chamber of Commerce delegation.These are days set aside so that community leaders and interested citizens from Lee County can meet with elected officials and heads of different state government departments.
A couple of things I learned were:1.Lee County leads the state in Waste to Energy.Almost all of our trash is converted, cleanly, to electricity.Covanta Energy – a nationwide company – has a plant in Lee County and generates enough electricity to power 29,000 homes. Pretty neat!
2.Lee County has a major initiative to create an Innovation Hub – not far from the airport.The intention here is to attract green businesses into a campus setting – think Research Triangle in North Carolina.This initiative is in conjunction with FGCU and the R&D will focus on renewable energy research.Again – pretty neat.
Lee County Department of Transportation has decided to drop their plans to change the county toll structure, including the Sanibel Island Causeway toll. After two public meetings, one on Sanibel and one in Cape Coral, and meeting with the Sanibel City Council this past Tuesday, they have decided not pursue their proposed changes.
The changes would have increased the toll expense for Sanibel Island residents and business owners considerably. We are grateful that the Toll increase is off the table - at least for now.
There is a move afoot by the Lee County Commissioners and Lee County Department of Transportation to raise the tolls on the Sanibel Island Causeway. To the casual visitor or day tripper, the proposal is for the toll to remain the same $6.00. The increase comes to those residents and employees on the island who use the transponder discount program. The proposal is to raise these rates to $3.00 per trip. This is going to place a huge burden on all our island businesses, not to mention all the residents who have kids in school off island, residents with doctors off island or any other errands that occur off island. Check out The News-Press article from today's paper for more detail on this issue. http://www.news-press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009906110321