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Top Ways To Experience Sanibel Island This Summer

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Aerial ViewSanibel Island and Captiva Island are thought to have originated approximately 6,000 years ago. The island paradise is growing old gracefully with the help of human foresight and careful consideration of the environment. Sanibel Island, Florida is home to a healthy population of mangrove flora and fauna protected by an expansive wildlife refuge. A plan was instituted by the City of Sanibel in 1976 to identify ecological zones and help planners designate appropriate land use allowing the island to grow without exceeding its natural capacity. The plan was integral in preserving this island paradise for all its inhabitants: alligators, manatees, iguanas, sea turtles, river otters, bobcats, pelicans, owls (over 240 species of birds), and people too! Sanibel Island is an incredible place to live and a wonderful place to visit. There are many remarkable ways to experience this natural and managed island paradise this summer. We hope to see you in the water, on the sand, on the path, on the links, and in the mangrove! 

Experience the Mangrove on Sanibel Island 

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is your window into the mangrove. The refuge was established in 1945 to protect the wildlife habitat of Sanibel Island. Alligators can be seen best at dawn and dusk and the baby sea turtles begin to hatch and make their way to the water in August. Manatees can be seen all summer long in Tarpon Bay. The migratory birds will arrive in August while wading birds and shorebirds will be present all summer long. You can take a leisurely four mile trip through the mangrove on Wildlife Drive. The speed limit is 15mph and strictly enforced, as it is shared by motor vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Non-motorized boating and fishing are permitted in designated areas in the refuge. There are a handful of trails to explore by foot or bicycle too! Parking is free at the Visitor & Education Center and is the perfect place to start your visit…complete with a water bottle filling station and an information desk with staff to answer your questions and get you on your way. 

Experience the Links on Sanibel Island 

Sanibel Island has two public and one private 18-hole championship golf course for you to experience: Sanibel Island Golf Club, The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, and The Sanctuary Golf Club. The courses are all sanctioned by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf. The program was set up to help people enhance and protect the wildlife habitats that golf courses provide. You can enjoy your round knowing a lot of care has been taken to consider the local wildlife and natural habitats of the animals…you might be sharing the fairway with an alligator, iguana, or bobcat (be a good neighbor and let them play through). Captiva Island, our island neighbor, is home to a 9-hole executive course designed by Chip Powell. The Captiva Course has been ranked in the “Top Five Short Courses” in the world. The course will put your short game to the test. Players of all skill levels are welcome to this exceptional island experience. Wow! 

Experience Sanibel Island by Bicycle 

There are over 25 miles of paved shared use paths commonly referred to as bike paths on Sanibel Island. The paths run adjacent to the roads in shopping districts, wind through neighborhoods, take you to beaches not accessible by car, and through wooded areas. The shared use paths are a great way to experience Sanibel Island. If you plan to bicycle through Wildlife Drive at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge don’t leave home without $1.00 in your pocket. Bicyclists 16 years of age and older must pay $1.00 to ride on Wildlife Drive. Several businesses in town rent bicycles, adult tricycles, and trailer carriers for the kids.

Experience Sanibel Island by Sand and Sea 

Many of your summer days on Sanibel Island will be spent enjoying our sandy and pristine beaches. The unique east-west orientation of this barrier island (rather than a typical north-south orientation) provides excellent sand and an abundance of sea shells. Sanibel Island has become synonymous with shelling in the sea shelling community because of the naturally occurring bounty. The local hotels even feature special shell rinsing sinks to process the daily treasures gathered by visitors. Blind Pass Beach is popular with shellers and fishermen alike. Swimmers are warned of the swift currents at Blind Pass Beach and would be well advised to visit another beach to enjoy a proper swim. Of course, there are plenty of beaches on Sanibel Island to enjoy a proper swim including Causeway Islands Park, Bowman’s Beach, and Tarpon Beach (the latter two beaches are also favorites among the shellers). And with more than a dozen artificial reefs in a 15 mile radius around Sanibel and Captiva Island the snorkeling and scuba diving are excellent! 

Kingfisher Real Estate offers an elevated level of service to our clients on Sanibel Island & Captiva Island. We look forward to helping you with all of your real estate needs, whether you are buying, selling, or planning the perfect Island vacation. Contact us today!

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