People who are attracted to Sanibel Island usually love the outdoors: biking, sailing, bird watching, being in nature and enjoying a multitude of other water activities. More than half of the Island comprises wildlife and nature preserves, which are home to hundreds of species of birds – both native and migratory. The community excels in its protection of loggerhead sea turtles, especially through the protection of nests for new hatchlings that will make their way out to the sea. Around the island, dolphins abound, along with occasional manatees.
Along with the nature preserves, the Island is beautifully adorned with natural flowers and palm trees throughout. In keeping with Sanibel’s natural environment, development is controlled: about half of the island is protected against development, and restrictions prohibit building anything higher than three stories. This also helps maintain the love of beach bungalows that scatter the Island’s private beach areas – interspersed with luxury waterfront homes that still maintain the island feel.
The community protects its slow pace of life by not having any traffic lights on the island, and 25 miles of multi-use paths intertwine throughout the Island. The Island caters to the slow-paced life. There are a large variety of island-themed shops and restaurants, along with arts and education excursions inland and by sea.
Sanibel, by far, is most known for its shell-covered beaches, which attract visitors from around the world, including many famous people who have made a home on the Island. Geographically, Sanibel has a unique east-west orientation that adds to the accumulation of a multitude of shells and the protection of its sandy beaches.
Throughout the 15-mile stretch of island, homes of varied types can be found both in-land and beach front, including condos and time shares, island cottages, and luxury homes in golfing communities and right on the beach.
Some photos courtesy of: Jim Anderson (also home page photo), Marc Berry Reid, Ryan Mullett, Bernard Spragg and Christina Welsh (CC).
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