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The Sanibel Arms Vacation Guide

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  • Quarterly Newsletter

    Fall/Winter 2015-2016  
       
     

     

    If You Are Getting  
    Cold
       
    ,
    Head to Sanibel Arms. Our Pristine Beach is Warm andSunny!


    If you are looking for sandy white beaches, peaceful ocean waves, the most exquisite tropical foliage, incredible native wildlife and the best shelling in the world, LOOK NO FURTHER! Sanibel Arms has it ALL, and so much more! Did we mention average temperatures in the 80's? Bring your bathing suit, flip flops and a good book, we will be waiting to'Welcome You With Open Arms'
      
     Guest Spotlight!
     
       
         
     The Bourland family has been staying at Sanibel Arms for many years, and their visits have increased to 5 or 6 times a year! This past summer the entire family enjoyed celebrating Independence Day, Sanibel Style! We certainly love our returning guests "Extended Family!"
        
    Sanibel Arms
    "Starfish Club"
     
    The Lantz and Whitaker families of Georgia had a wonderful time swimming in the Gulf of Mexico with the starfish this year. Much to the delight of our summer guests, the 9 Armed Millipede were abundant, along with thousands of sand dollars. 
     
     
     
    The Moore's from Kentucky also enjoyed the plethora of sea life and we have decided they should also be inducted into the Starfish Club!  
     
     
    Real Estate Update  
     
    Real Estate is definitely picking up on Sanibel! We have had 2 closings in the past 5 months, currently we have 2 condos for sale (see below) and Unit E8 is under contract! 
     
    F2 is a 1 bedroom 1 bath direct Gulf Front condo with spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico. The list price is $599,000.
     
    B1 is a 1 bedroom 1 bath Dockside unit with a private glassed/screened lanai! There are only four of these particular units at Sanibel Arms, it won't last long! The list price is $369,000.
     
     If you are interested in these condos or any Southwest Florida Real Estate, please call   
     Monica DeBarr at 239-472-2259
      
     
     
     

     

     

     
     
     
     
     
     

     

    Dear Monica,

     
    Welcome to our Sanibel Arms Newsletter! You are receiving this Newsletter because we value our Sanibel Arms guests and consider you our 'Extended Family'. Whether you have been staying with us for 30 years or you just stayed for the first time, we would like to keep you updated and in touch with us throughout the year. Sanibel Arms is a special place where guests return year after year just to be
    'Welcomed with Open Arms!'

     

    Sanibel Arms Wildlife

     

    The Monarch Butterfly may be disappearing in many areas of the world, but we certainly have them at Sanibel Arms! Our butterfly garden is a busy place with many varieties of butterflies, Monarchs visit daily. 

     

          
     
    This spectacular hawk was spotted, and posed for the camera in the very top of the Norfolk Pine located right behind the Sanibel Arms office. 
     
     
      

     

    Fishing at its Best!

     

    The Short family from Tennessee stayed in two of our canal side units and docked their boat for FREE! It is only about a 15 minute boat ride through the beautiful Sanibel canal to the open Gulf waters. Sanibel Arms canal is also a great place to watch manatee and occasional dolphin swimming by, looking for bait fish. There are fish cleaning stations, grills and picnic tables provided. The dock area is a great place to hang out with loved one's or enjoy some Sanibel solitude. 

      

     

     

    The Short family also sent us a great picture of a Goliath Grouper they caught and released while on Sanibel. What a Cool Catch! Fishing on Sanibel at its finest!

     

     

     

    Check out Sanibel Arms Website:
    www.sanibelarms.com
      
    Email us at:
    info@sanibelarms.com
     

    Thank you for continuing to choose  

    Sanibel Arms!

     

    The Sanibel Arms Board of Directors

    &

      Nancy Wright, Monica DeBarr, 

    Mary Irving and Bill Zeigler

     

     

     
    Save 10%
    Book Now and Save 10% for 
    Fall! Please use Promotional Code: SA Specials when securing your reservation. Book Online at www.sanibelarms.com or call 1-800-806-7368.
      
      
    Valid from: November to December 19, 2015.

     

  • Sanibel Island Beaches

    The Sanibel Arms Condominiums are located on Sanibel Island in southwest Florida. The island  is closely acquainted with its sister-island of Captiva. It is uniquely shaped from East to West, which allows Sanibel Island’s beaches to collect thousands of shells every year. Sanibel’s beaches also attract many birds crabs. They all sit elegantly upon the beautiful sands, adding their own touch to the many picturesque beaches surrounding the islands. Each beach is just waiting for you to come and paint your memories with its beauty.[break]

    Which Beach Is Best?

    With fifteen miles of beach to choose from, you are certain to find a beach that suits your liking. All of Sanibel Island’s beaches will supply you with the means for fun. You will find a wonderful array of Sanibel Island shells that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and even colors. Each beach has its own collections of shells and other benefits as well. They are conveniently accessible several different ways. When you’re out for a drive or cruise, taking a walk, or bike ride, running, skating, scootering, however it is you’re getting around, head to one of the many beautiful beaches that Sanibel has to offer.

    • Bowman's Beach has a gorgeous blanket of white sand and is welcomingly quiet and secluded. It’s a perfect place to lay out and undress your stress. The beach features barbecue grills and an outdoor shower. It is only a quarter of a mile from the parking lot with RV and trailer parking accommodations. Parking costs only two dollars an hour and is open from 7AM to 7PM. The beach is located on Bowman’s Beach Road just off of Sanibel-Captiva Road.
       
    • The Causeway Beaches are free to park and you can even pull right up to the shore. The Causeway toward Sanibel creates such a feeling of anticipation as you drive up and over, that when the view of The Causeway Beaches comes into vision, it calls you in like the Sirens of The Odyssey. These beaches are perfect for picnicking, swimming, surfing, and fishing. The umbrella of trees make ideal shady spots for those who choose to just kickback and relax.
       
    • Algiers Beach and Gulfside City Park is a very dog friendly beach and park situated right next to a nature preserve. This beach has picnic tables and restrooms available. There is an hourly parking fee from 7AM to 7PM when parking becomes free. It is located at Algiers Lane and Casa Ybel Road.
       
    • The Sanibel Lighthouse Beach and Fishing Pier is set on a wildlife refuge. The lighthouse is more than 120 years old and is still an important lighthouse for the area. It is a popular beach with two dollar parking from 7AM to 7PM. Located on Periwinkle Way, there is a boardwalk nature trail that winds within native wetlands. The pier at this beach is a wonderful place for fishing, but swimming isn’t recommended because of the currents created by the causeway.
       
    • Tarpon Bay Road and Beach is found mid-island, on West Gulf Drive, at the south end of Tarpon Bay Road. The beach features high sands and courtesy beach wheelchairs are thoughtfully provided upon 24-hour notice to City of Sanibel Police Department Dispatch. An excellent beach for the whole family, Tarpon Bay is a wonderful place to swim or windsurf. New restrooms have been recently installed and an ice cream truck even occasionally stops by. Parking is available for two dollars an hour from 7AM to 7PM. Tarpon Bay connects the northern part of the island to the southern public beach. There is not a bicycle path north of Sanibel-Captiva Road, however, the road  is pleasant for biking

    Respecting Nature and Her Guests

    Close to seventy-five percent of Sanibel Island is protected nature and wildlife preserve and the island asks that it’s beaches also be protected, by it’s guests. Whether you are visiting with friends, family, or pets, please remember to follow the beach rules when shelling and otherwise enjoying yourself on the beaches.

    1. Pets must be on leashes and owners must clean up after their pets.

       

    2. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited November through May.
    3. No open fire allowed.
    4. No collecting of live shells. Live shells must be returned to the water and not kept.
    5. Restrooms are located at all public beach accesses.
    6. There is a two dollar an hour fee to park at Sanibel Island and Captiva Island public beaches. Both cash and credit cards are accepted. Paid parking tickets are not interchangeable between Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. All have handicap parking

    Let the Good Times Roll In With the Tide

    It’s time to set up your beach chair, shake off your frisbee, or bait your line. If you’re questioning whether you will enjoy your time at the beach, ask yourself, what’s not to love? Every Sanibel Island beach is sure to make you want to stay. They all invite you to enjoy their raw beauty every minute you can. While Sanibel Arms Condominiums is situated right on the beachfront, we may be partial in our loving opinion of the Sanibel Island beaches, but we don’t doubt that you will love them too. As an added bonus, Sanibel Arms has free chairs & umbrellas for all of our guests
     

  • Do a Little Shell Searching This Year

    Whether your intent is to soul search, or shell search, you can accomplish both while shelling. “Shelling” is a favorite pastime of many beach goers throughout the world. Sanibel Island in Florida, is one of the World’s top locations for collecting shells, or, as the locals call it, shelling. The unique shape of Sanibel Island makes for phenomenal shell findings. The island is shaped from East to West, unlike the common North to South islands, allowing for the sea to rush in thousands upon thousands of shells every year. People come from all over the world to collect Sanibel shells. The island has been voted as one of the best shelling locations. Shelling is a relaxing and fun activity that you and yours should try today![break]

    Fun AND Relaxing? Might as “Shell”, Give it a Try

    To build a more productive collection of Sanibel shells, vacationers often ask the Sanibel and Captiva locals for shelling tips. Sanibel Island shells are some of the most beautiful of their varieties and many just can’t get enough. The first key to remember is always have fun with shelling. As you’re looking down searching for shells, you will find yourself in a position known to the island as,  the “Sanibel Stoop”. Don’t be too particular or you may pass up a shell with a wonderful history.

    Seashells are divided into six classes, as described by Michelle Wittenberg:

    1. Gastropods
      Gastropods include animals such as snails and slugs and are considered to be the largest class of mollusks. Their shells are spiral-shaped and univalve. Univalve shells are not hinged or joined in anyway; they are one single shell. Gastropods scavenge for food through a siphon, which looks like a foot, thus this siphon is called a stomach foot.

       
    2. Bivalves
      Bivalves are the most recognizable seashells in the class. This class includes animals such as clams, scallops, oysters and mussels, which are used commercially for food. The bivalve shell is used to identify this organism. It has two shell halves that are hinged together and are used to protect the body.

       
    3. Polplacophora
      There are 1,000 species of chitons in this class and each one is covered by eight protective plates. The shell is oval and each of the eight plates is held together by a leathery flesh giving it the ability to roll into a ball when threatened. Polplacophora hunt for food in the crevasses of rocks in deep water.

       
    4. Cephalopods
      Cephalopods include animals such as squid, octopus and the nautilus. The chambered nautilus is the only one in this class with a shell. This class is best identified by its long tentacles with suction cups that are used to capture prey. With the exception of the chambered nautilus, cephalopods have excellent vision and intelligence.

       
    5. Scaphopoda
      The long, tusk-shaped shell of the scaphopoda has an opening on both ends giving it the name "shovel foot." It is found buried in soft mud or dirt with only one end sticking up to collect food. It has a mouth called a radula that has the ability to grind food.

       
    6. Monoplacophora
      This mollusk was once thought to be extinct. It is an ancient species that lives in deep ocean waters. It has a single, disc-shaped shell with a mouth located on the underside of its body.


    When and Where To Look

    The best time to look for Sanibel shells is at low and high tide. It is recommended to investigate the times of these tides for the duration of your stay with a tide-chart. When the water is low, the shells become easily accessible for picking. A full or new moon period has the best tides for shelling. Sanibel Arms Condominiums is conveniently located right on the beach. Your chances of finding the “pick of the litter” of coveted Sanibel Island shells is greatly increased by allowing you to get out on the beaches before that days’ deliveries from the ocean have been picked over. Pay attention to the winds, as those from the northwest, are excellent conditions for shelling closer to the eastern side of Captiva; southwest winds are great for shelling near the western portion of Sanibel. iloveshelling.com posts tips for optimal shelling every day so that you get the best tips for that day.

    Time To Relax

    The best activities are those that involve relaxing and having fun at the very same time. With shelling, you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for the perfect two-for. Go on and get to the beach and start your collection today. Don’t forget to take your shelling tips into consideration and have a blast enjoying identifying all of the shells you find. Take in some magnificent scenery while walking your worries away, plucking treasures that nature put there just for you. Once you’ve started your collection, take a walk through The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum to compare what you have and get excited for what you have yet to discover!

  • Outdoor & Nature Activities On Sanibel Island

    There is a plethora of activities to immerse yourself into on Sanibel Island. With plenty of biking and hiking trails, the outdoor activist is due to have a fulfilling vacation. At Sanibel Arms Condominiums, you’ll find that no matter which direction you head out for adventure, you’ll find it. Whether you’re staying in a vacation rental, or visiting one of our guests, when you’re looking for something to do, you may discover there’s so much to see and experience, that you aren’t sure where to start. Sanibel Arms Condominiums hosts a beautiful beach and view for you to enjoy right in our own backyard. when you’re loving the beach and decide you want a more in-depth outdoor experience while you vacation on Sanibel Island, you are welcomed to start your journey at Tarpon Bay.

    [break]

    The Explorers

    Tarpon Bay Explorers is the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s official recreation concessionaire that offers many guided tours, in many different ways. You can tour The Wildlife Refuge by kayak, canoe, bike, pontoon boat, or even by stand-up paddleboard. This center of discovery will take you up close and personal with an abundance of wildlife. You will admire Sanibel’s splendid variety of birds, dolphins, alligators, manatees, and other intriguing wildlife.

    Tours Offered

    • The Refuge Tram Tour will assist you in spotting wildlife many visitors may never see otherwise. All of the tours are great fun and extremely educational. The tour describes “fascinating tales of the Calusa Indians and the early days of Sanibel and south Florida”.
       
    • The Kayak Trail Tour is a serene journey along the mangrove forest speckled with wading birds along the shore.
       
    • The Sunset Rookery Paddle Tour is an exclusive experience for the seasoned kayaker, especially for avid bird watchers. Many species such as egrets, herons, ibis, cormorants, and pelicans, among other birds, can be viewed in abundance on this tour.
       
    • Standup Paddleboard Ecotours at Tarpon Bay Explorers is simple fun. With the perk of being able to bypass board transportation and launch directly into the waters of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National WIldlife Refuge, you don’t have to waste any time getting into the estuaries to see dolphins, manatees, fish, birds, and much more. Reserve a guide to learn basic paddleboard techniques and about the ecosystem you are so beautifully immersed in.
       
    • Daytime, Breakfast, and Evening Nature and Sea Life Cruises aboard a pontoon boat, each offer their own unique benefits corresponding to the time of day. All cruises include the interactive Touch Tank Presentation. Visitors can enjoy and learn about live shells like conchs, lightning whelks, tulip snails, and other sea life including horseshoe crabs, oysters, sea stars, sea urchins, hermit crabs, and the list keeps going.
       
    • ”Free Deck Talks” is a great easy on the budget lunchtime sea life lesson. Nature experts freely offer their knowledge and answer questions in relation to many topics like the habits of alligators, dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, sharks, and other interesting subjects.


    Can It Get Any Better?

    Those of you visiting Sanibel Island who just want to get outside and into nature, can’t go wrong when exploring with the experts at Tarpon Bay. While it may be difficult to leave the comfort of your vacation rental at Sanibel Arms Condominiums, we would love for you to have a well-rounded vacation. It would be a shame to not get out and share the beautiful sights and exciting activities that Sanibel Island has to offer with your friends and loved ones. Tarpon Bay is a perfect place to start your fulfilling vacation experience. Not only do you get to be outside and take part in the heart of the wildlife action, you also get to build amazing memories of adventure, to be cherished by all, for years to come.
     

  • Ding Answers the Call of the Wild

    One of the most amazing amenities of vacation, besides those covered by Sanibel Arms Condominiums of course, is the ability to immerse yourself in your surroundings. When beautiful beaches, fascinating wetlands, enchanting nature trails, and captivating wildlife surround your vacation rental, you’re in for a real treat! The island of Sanibel and sister island, Captiva, have so much to offer outdoors. Sanibel Arms Condominiums proudly supports the efforts of the nature conservationists, who maintain and protect all of the beauty these islands hold. And we encourage you to see and experience it for yourself![break]

    Thriving Island Life

    Beautiful Sanibel Island has evolved immensely from what was once only a sandbar, into the lush and awe-inspiring vacation destination it is today. Native to the island, prior to even the earliest settlers more than 2,000 years ago, is the intricate food web. The island is home to hundreds of species of intriguing animals and plant life. The Sanibel wildlife and vegetation are actually to thank for the magnificent views and delightful nature activities. If it hadn’t been for their purposeful preservation, the island would be a much different, much less soul-gratifying place.[break]

    Roughly seventy-five percent of Sanibel Island is under protection of development, allowing a large majority of the island, to stay purely natural. An astonishing half of the entire island, is the well-renowned J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. It is known nationwide and is a must to experience for a fun-filled vacation. The more than 6,000 acre wildlife preserve, has a splendid history and a well-developed Education Center with employees and volunteers eager to share their knowledge. There is even a special tribute full of historical facts dedicated to The Refuge’s beloved J.N. Darling. While you enjoy your stay at your vacation rental, be sure to visit for an intimate endeavor into the wild.

    J.N. “Ding” Darling

    In 1906, a later two-time Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist, Jay Norwood Darling, coined himself the nickname “Ding”. He used this signature on his many illustrations to raise environmental awareness. In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed “Ding” as the Director of the U.S. Biological Survey. With much concern for the sustainability of wildlife habitats, he founded the Federal Duck Stamp Program. As of the same year, with the addition of the passage of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act, Darling helped changed the future of endangered and threatened species. Hunters aged sixteen years and older, must purchase a Federal Duck Stamp. Ninety-eight cents of every dollar from the sales of Duck Stamps goes to the purchase of wetlands. These wetlands are used for preserving nesting locations for endangered birds.

    With much encouragement from “Ding”, in 1945, President Harry S. Truman endorsed an Executive Order, thereby establishing the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge. The Preserve is located on Wildlife Drive in Sanibel, Florida. In honor of his many years of pro-environmental service, the refuge was renamed the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge in 1967.

    National WIldlife Refuge

    Of the more than 550 National Wildlife Refuges in the United States, J.N. “Ding” Darling has the largest population of mangroves. These trees have intriguing tangled roots that twist above ground, making them appear almost magical. Something else beautifully interesting about them, is the microorganisms that feed from their leaves, as well as seagrasses, are just one beginning thread of a sophisticated food web. The presence, or lack of, even one type of organism, can affect the existence and condition of many other species.

    When poisonous DDT was used as a cheap crop pesticide, it would seep into the water and retain in the fat of the fish. The birds that fed on those fish produced fragile eggs and resulted in diminishing populations. One particular type of bird affected was the Osprey, also known as a Sea Hawk. In 1974, two years after DDT was banned, Sanibel and Captiva Island joined forces to build the first-ever nesting platforms for the dwindling Osprey. Those have, to date, been able to increase their population by an incredible four-hundred percent. The refuge is currently one of the top birding spots in the country. Dedication proves results and the  J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge displays this by visibly changing lives.

    Getting In Touch With Nature

    What’s better than a vacation that’s affordable and fun? When staying at Sanibel Arms Condominiums and vacation rentals, you can be confident you’ll have an amazing time, even on a budget. At the nearby J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge, there are three wonderful nature trails off of The Wildlife Drive. It is a four mile road that leads you through the heart of a magnificent mangrove forest. Every year the Drive welcomes more than 800,000 visitors. Guests are invited to enjoy themselves via vehicle, a guided tram, on bicycle, and by foot. The trails are accessible Saturday through Thursday. There is a five dollar and one dollar entrance fee per vehicle or person (over fifteen years of age) respectively. Visitors carrying a current Federal Duck Stamp, Senior Pass, Access Pass, Annual Pass or Refuge Annual Pass are not required to pay the entrance fee. A self-guided tape/CD about the Wildlife Drive and a souvenir booklet are available for purchase in the Education Center. Binoculars are available for rental at the information desk.

    Wildlife Education

    According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “272 bird species have been identified utilizing refuge habitats, as well as 60 species of reptiles and amphibians, 33 species of mammals, and 102 species of fish. There are more than 250 volunteers helping to educate visitors and to join in partnership with the residents of Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Lee County, and the State of Florida, to safeguard and enhance more than 7,300 acres of pristine subtropical habitat for the benefit of wildlife. The refuge fee program is one of the most successful fee programs in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The refuge concessionaire staffs the collection booth and provides helpful information. The refuge collects over $300,000 annually, of which $240,000 stays at the refuge. Monies from the entrance fee program are used to support the refuge’s environmental education, interpretive, and public outreach programs.

    Visitors can orient themselves with the refuge and receive valuable information at the Ding Darling Education Center. This state-of-the-art Center was constructed with $3 million in private donations from the refuge friends’ group, the Ding Darling Wildlife Society. The Center, opened in 1999, features interactive exhibits on refuge ecosystems, the work of “Ding” Darling, migratory flyways, the National Wildlife Refuge System, and a hands-on area for children. The Center is open January 1 – April 30 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and May 1 – December 31 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and is free of charge. The Center is staffed by the hundreds of volunteers.”

    What You Will See

    At the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the best time for wildlife observation is near low-tide in the morning or evening. Birds will be feeding in the exposed mud flats. The flats are a key part of the life cycle for the birds on Sanibel and Captiva Islands, as it’s the shallow waters that allow for the birds to feed easily on the visible fish.

    The three trails of The Wildlife Drive each have their own viewings to offer.

    • The Indigo Trail departs from the Ding Darling Education Center parking lot with visitors regularly spotting wildlife such as night-heron and alligators.
       
    • The Wulfert Keys Trail is a short trail following a  power line, accessing Pine Island Sound, which boasts the best fishing and mangrove tunnels. The osprey platforms were also built on top of the electrical poles to avoid shock to the birds. With a phenomenal landscape view and great Osprey and Pelican watching, it’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed.
       
    • The Shell Mound Trail is a quarter-mile long “interpretive “boardwalk” that starts near the end of Wildlife Drive. The Trail leads through a hardwood hammock growing atop of an ancient Calusa Indian Shell Mound. Migratory songbirds, like Warblers, can be heard amid the spring and fall migrations. The best months for bird watching at the refuge are November through April.

    The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is located next to the Florida Power and Light Company's Orange River Power Plant. A dominant wintering area for the endangered West Indian manatee, is the Orange River's outflow. Warm water created by the power plant makes for excellent breeding conditions.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports other threatened and endangered species positively affected by the refuge are “Eastern Indigo snakes, American alligators, American crocodiles, wood storks, Florida manatees, Atlantic Loggerhead sea turtles, Atlantic Green sea turtles, Hawksbill sea turtles, Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, Leatherback sea turtles, Piping Plovers, and smalltooth sawfish.”

    See, Learn, Do!

    With so many outdoor activities and the luxury of so much pristine land to enjoy, visitors are handed the recipe for fun on Sanibel Island. The conservation of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is magnificent. It’s on-point concession offerings are the vacation-goer and local resident’s ideal ingredients for a truly enjoyable and educational retreat. Throughout your stay at your vacation rental at Sanibel Arms Condominiums, we encourage you to head over and take in the scenery and let out the stress from your daily life. Take time now to breathe in nature and help support a wonderful cause. Just like Sanibel Arms Condominiums, if you haven’t been there yet, you don’t know what you’re missing.
     

  • Unique things to do on Sanibel Island

    The first one is so obvious we feel kinda silly saying it but… go shelling on Sanibel! With Sanibel Island being the third best shelling destination in the entire world, you will you find hundreds of varieties of conch and other beautiful shells walking our beaches. Need help identifying them? Stop by the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum and view their exhibits! If you take the time to head out and comb the beaches during low tide you will have a true basket of natural treasure. In not time you will master the world famous “Sanibel Stoop.”

    Next up on the list, we can’t say enough about the joys of kayaking. There’s just something peaceful about kayaking through the mangrove kayak trails of Tarpon Bay and Buck Key off of Captiva. You can also give standup paddleboarding a try. We recommend Finnimores Cycle shop. They’re knowledgeable and have nice rental prices.[break]

    Third thing on the list to do is to take an eco-tour with Tarpon Bay Explorers.They offer breakfast and evening cruises. They also have a fantastic touch-tank at Tarpon Bay where the kids can join a naturalist to see what lives beneath the water.

    Next up we recommend the Sanibel Thriller Cruises. We’re talking speed, nature and exotic wildlife all wrapped up in one. Everyone in your party will find something to love about this cruise. You can check them out at www.sanibellthriller.com.

    If you are feeling ambitions, you may choose to tour Sanibel via bike on the 28 miles of pathed Sanibel bike trails. For more info go to www.sanibelcaptivamap.com.

    Finally, we recommend you take one day to wing it. Just grab a copy of the Treasure Islands Guide map and explore the best of Sanibel and Captiva. They do a great job of laying out restaurants, art galleries, and everything else there is to see and do on Sanibel Island.

    Let the adventure begin!

     

  • A Sanibel Island history lesson this summer

    The perfect vacation for both Florida residents and National vacationers may involve a history lesson on Sanibel Island, which is just off the coast of Ft Myers, Florida. Think of the untampered, pristine beaches like in Gilligan’s Island or Cast Away that are littered with beautiful sea shells. Think history!

    While much of Florida’s coastline has been razed and covered in high rises, that is not the case on cozy, intimate Sanibel Island. Sanibel was settled by the Calusa Indians over 200 years ago. They built their homes on foundations of shell mounds and when you and your family visit Sanibel, you’ll see why. The variety and number of beautiful seashells is famous worldwide.

    In the 1800’s the U.S. government placed a lighthouse on Sanibel Island, which quickly became a homestead for Floridian families.

    If you want to combine a lazy get-away with the backdrop of a rich history, then Sanibel is the place for you and your family. Aside from shelling and swimming you can enjoy some great day cruises with companies like Santiva Salt Water Fishing Team where you can go fishing, shelling and snorkeling. You can also get out to watch the dolphins. Captains Jimmy Burnsed, Rob McKay and Jim Burnsed are well known on Sanibel for their local knowledge and guide expertise.

  • Sanibel Island, Florida Voted 3rd Happiest Seaside Town!

    Life in this South Florida island town just west of Fort Myers is a pastel dream, combining pale blue skies, white-sand beaches, and millions of seashells that have literally built the island on which it sits. When locals dig in their backyards on Sanibel, they turn up conch, scallop, and clam shells—intact.

    As for the quiet, away-from-it-all life that Sanibel offers its 6,469 residents, consider that there are no stoplights, nor buildings taller than the tallest palm tree. And the shell-seekers know that Bowman's Beach, a natural stretch accessible only via pedestrian bridge, is one of the best for shelling (and birding).
     

    Original Article Appears on Costal Living
     

     

  • Travel & Lesiure Ranked Sanibel Island #1 of the Top 10 Best U.S Shelling Beaches

    Sanibel Arms Guest With A GREAT Find!

    Shell-lovers from all over the world make pilgrimages to tiny Sanibel Island’s Gulf Coast, considered the best shelling spot in North America according to Travel & Leisure Magazine. Sanibel’s beaches, protected by a broad underwater shelf perfect for gently receiving deliveries from shell-laden currents, are carpeted with tiny, perfect pastel coquinas and false angel wings.

    Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce

    http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/10-best-us-shelling-beaches

     

  • Property Tour

    The Entrance

    From direct Beachfront to Beachside to Dockside with FREE boat dockage), our well maintained and updated condos offer the best of Sanibel Island. View our photo gallery to see what Sanible Arms Condominiums has to offer. [break]

The Importance of Stormproofing Island Condos

island condos

As the top travel destination in the world with almost 90 million visitors each year, Florida has about 1,000 new people moving to the state every single day. Considering the state's average annual temperature is 82.7 degrees in the summer and 68.5 degrees in the winter, this number isn't very surprising. With more people flocking to the state everyday, properties are popping up everywhere. These properties include island condos, beachfront condos, and oceanfront rentals.

For those who own vacation rental accommodations or a permanent home, storm-proofing is an incredibly important aspect of homeownership. With hurricanes and strong storms ripping through the state on a relatively consistent basis, windproofing and hurricaneproofing your condo can mean the difference between having a home after a storm passes and being left with nothing.

Florida has certain laws in place for condos and other properties in terms of necessary insurance policies. However, having insurance isn't enough to protect you and your home from destruction when a storm hits. By installing windproof garage doors and roof, you can insure that a strong wind won't find a way to tear your roof off its foundation after your garage doors fail.

Another important aspect of wind and stormproofing is to clear the area surrounding your home. Making sure your front and backyard are free of any debris before a storm hits will help keep branches, sticks and rocks from becoming dangerous objects when they're caught by a strong wind.

Impact-resistant windows and doors will ensure that flying debris won't wind up in your home, posing serious threats to the well-being of those in the home. Even the smallest objects can become deadly when caught by hundred mile per hour winds.

While stormproofing may seem like a luxury that isn't necessary, those living in coastal states, especially in island condos, can't afford to pass on it. The process may be a hassle but it can be the difference between life and death for those occupying a home during a severe storm or hurricane.

4 Rules for Short-Term Vacation Rentals

vacation rentals

Vacations are an important aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for many people, especially those with stressful jobs. Two out of three top executives feel that vacations improve their creativity, while 40% of travelers feel more romantic while on vacation. More than half of adults in the United States feel more refreshed after a vacation. With such emphasis placed on vacationing, the industry is fraught with opportunity for those looking to make a profit by using their properties as vacation rentals.

If you travel a lot and are looking to make some extra money, renting out your properties as short-term vacation rentals can be the perfect solution. Allowing guests to stay at your townhome, condo, apartment or home is a great way to make some cash, but it can come with its fair share of potential issues so be sure to tread carefully.

Before you open your home to friends or strangers for a place to stay during their vacation, be sure to do the following to avoid hassle and headaches:

Check your local laws. If you own the property you are going to be renting out, you may be required to pay a hotel tax or else you may be conducting illegal business in the eyes of the government. If you rent an apartment or house and you're looking to rent it out to guests while you're away, it will be smart to ask your landlord before making any decisions. Landlords are sure to vet their prospective tenants before allowing them to rent a home and they may require the same for anyone else who hopes to stay there.

Thoroughly screen your guests. You will want to know a decent amount of information about anyone who is renting out your property. If they have a criminal background, it may not be the smartest idea to rent to them. Knowing about the people staying at your home will take some of the anxiety out of renting out your home.

Set ground rules. While certain boundaries and rules may seem self-explanatory, they may not be for a potential renter. Make sure to draw the line for each guest and make it clear what you would not like to happen at your property while they stay there. It's also important to get a signed contract as proof of your agreement to follow the set rules. You don't want to come home to any surprises.

Properly price your property. If you are renting out beachfront condos, oceanfront condos, or island condos, your pricing will vary greatly from a small apartment in a rural area. Checking the pricing of other properties in your area with the same type of vacation accommodations is the best way to get the best pricing range for your property. Charging too much for your property will deter potential guests while charging too little may leave you with some leftover costs.

After you have done the above, you can start to promote your vacation rentals and wait for the offers to start coming in. There may be some trial and error involved for the first few rental periods but after you learn how to navigate the process, you can expect to make some extra cash!

Island Condos: The Rising Trend in Vacationing

island condos

Are you planning a Spring Break vacation to remember? Are you a parent hoping to show your kids the best family vacation yet?


With the cold weather fast approaching, people are taking their vacation days and flocking to warmer weather. A new trend has taken over the world of vacationing in the form of island condos. While southern states have long been a choice for vacations, some vacationers are taking it a step further by looking for vacation accommodations in the form of island condominiums.

When most people think of "island" vacations, they think of the Caribbean or another equatorial destination. However, families are now finding the same tropical feel without leaving the United States. A popular vacation destination for years, Florida has become the place for families seeking island condos without having to get out their passport. The peninsula state is also the top travel destination spot in the world, with more than 97 million visitors in 2014. That record number continues to climb each year. The tourism industry Florida has an economic impact of $67 billion on the state's economy.

The appeal of Florida isn't lost on most. South Florida has an average summer temperature of 82 degrees and 68.5 degrees in the winter. This makes for perfect golf weather and with more than 1,300 golf courses, Florida has golfers of any skill-level covered. Aside from the weather, Florida is large enough that there are accommodations for every type of vacationer.

Many vacation spots are now offering weekly condo rentals and oceanfront condo rentals. For instance, Sanibel Island is a popular destination for families looking for a small-town feel with a tropical atmosphere. It boasts classic Florida weather but maintains the look of Small Town USA. The island has no traffic lights and only two buildings are taller than three stories, making it the perfect vacation spot for families looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland.

Contemplating Retirement? Where to Spend Your Golden Years

vacation condos

If retirement is within your reach, there's no better time than the present to make plans for your Golden Years. Many are choosing to flock south, where warm weather and sunshine are available in abundance. There is a large retired population in Florida particularly. Whether you're interested in vacation condos to escape to for the winter or a permanent home, Florida is a great option. If you find yourself contemplating a move to this peninsula, you're sure to find something you love.


One thousand people move to Florida each day. Part of the popularity might have to do with Florida's lack of harsh weather, with average temperatures hovering between 68 and 82 degrees. Florida also has living situations to fit any lifestyle. It boasts the two ingredients for a perfect retirement: sun and surf.

If you're looking for advice on a specific location, look no further. One well-hidden destination spot is Sanibel Island. It has a tropical atmosphere with a small-town feel. There are only 6,000 permanent residents on the island and not one traffic light. It boasts 15 miles of white sand beaches and only two buildings higher than three stories tall. It is lined with vacation condos and homes, making it a great place to relax and unwind.

Geographically speaking, Sanibel is a barrier island off Florida's southern Gulf Coast. It is 33 square miles. The island maintains its small-town feel through a strict building code, put in place during the development boom in the 1960's. Residents don't have to worry about Sanibel becoming a hub for industry and commercial businesses. Instead, they are free to enjoy their vacations and retirements in peace.

On Sanibel Island, you can find a home that suit your retirement. Whether you're interested in island condos, oceanfront rentals, weekly vacation rentals, or other vacation accommodations, there is something for everyone on Sanibel Island.

5 Places To Visit On Sanibel Island

condos in sanibel islandWith 1,000 new people moving to Florida every day, it's clearly one of the most desirable states to live in and visit. In particular, Sanibel Island is one of the prime places in Florida for vacationers. The island was protected from Florida's development boom in the early 1960s by a strict building code, which has preserved 15 miles of pristine white sand beaches and ensured that only two buildings on the entire island exceed three stories in height. With 6,000 residents inhabiting the island year-round, this barrier island is a throwback to the days before Florida became such a hot tourism commodity, and still affords those breathtaking vistas and quiet beauty.

But with this whole tropical paradise at one's fingertips, what places should one make sure to visit on Sanibel Island? We've put together a list of five particularly worthwhile spots to check out.

  1. Take one of the many exciting boat tours that leaves from the island, such as the Sanibel Thriller or the Sanibel Island Cruise Line.
     
  2. Stay in some of the many resorts that offer condos in Sanibel Islands. Our Original Sanibel Arms is highly recommended, with the only condos in Sanibel Island that are directly on the waterfront, as well as bike rentals, outdoor grills and many other fantastic amenities.
     
  3. Take a visit to the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village if you get the chance. This charming location approximates the ambience of a prior era of Sanibel Island community life, making it an informative and entertaining exploration of the island's history.
     
  4. Go for a stroll on the beach and collect seashells or partake in Sanibel Island fishing. There are over 250 types of shells that have been identified on Sanibel Island. Get up early for the added beauty of the early morning, or wait unttil sunset to experience that amazing moment.
     
  5. If you like staying in condos in Sanibel Island but could also use a more rugged adventure, the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a great place for a day trip, affording many opportunities to explore the natural landscape of this scenic island.

    In short, living in condos on Sanibel Island is a fantastic place to spend your vacation. With weekly vacation rentals in island accommodations, we believe that your experience on the island will be nothing short of sublime. Chime in below with your thoughts, experiences and feedback.

Why The Original Sanibel Arms Is The Best Resort Destination In Florida

sanibel condos

With over 1,300 golf courses in Florida, temperatures in the low 80s during the summer and the high 60s during the winter season, and miles of beautiful coastline, it's no wonder that Florida is the top travel destination in the world with 87.3 million visitors recorded in 2011. Given the renown of South Florida, one might be tempted to choose Miami as a vacation destination, but the city's overcrowded nature isn't always the best for a vacation experience.

However, the west coast of Southern Florida is home to Sanibel Island, a hidden gem of Florida’s tourist and residential culture. Sanibel Island is ideally suited to provide the desired respite, with an area of 33 miles total, only two buildings over three stories in height on the island as well as an absence of traffic lights and other symptoms of traffic congestion. It's easy to see why many people love to visit Sanibel Island. But with many Sanibel condos, resorts and other areas to visit, it begs the question: where is the best place to vacation on Sanibel Island?

In terms of choosing your specific Sanibel getaway, the Original Sanibel Arms is the ideal spot for vacationers of all kinds, particularly families, couples and foreign travelers. With Sanibel condos directly by the beach with access to the Gulf of Mexico, plenty of opportunities for Sanibel fishing, birdwatching and other beachfront activities, and a full clubhouse for guests to utilize, it’s hard to beat the Original Sanibel Arms for a seaside getaway.

Staying at the Original Sanibel Arms affords travelers the opportunity to check out a wide variety of local attractions, such as an observation tower, a small zoo containing birds and lemurs, and many walkable trails. There is even said to be a couple of bald eagles that perches up in a tree behind the local Dairy Queen, that can be best seen around sunrise and sunset. It's little discoveries like these that make Sanibel Island such an amazing place to visit.

With weekly vacation rentals in island accommodations in Sanibel condos of magnificent beauty, we're sure that you will have a lovely vacation experience here at the Original Sanibel Arms and on the island in general. Chime in below with comments, questions and feedback.

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