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The Sanibel Arms Vacation Guide

  • Quarterly Newsletter

    Fall/Winter 2015-2016  


    If You Are Getting  
    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:
    Email us at:

    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 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. 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.


    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

    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

    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


  • 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]

3 Ways to Take More Vacation Time in 2017

condo rental

January is winding down, which means your New Year's resolution should be in full swing. According to a Google Consumer Survey, the most common resolution last year for Americans was to live life to its fullest. In addition, 78% of executives feel that taking a vacation is necessary for preventing burnout, and 75% feel vacations improve their job performance. Booking vacation rental accommodations would be a great way to accomplish their goal and perform better at work. But too many Americans are passing on their paid vacation times due to increased pressures to stay at work.

In fact, Expedia's annual Vacation Deprivation report showed that American workers took much less time off than the rest of the world. On average, Americans used an average of 12 vacation days, even though they were allowed 15. In comparison, workers in Spain get 30 vacation days per year -- and use all of them. Among the primary reasons for skipping their owed vacations? Guilt and worry.

It's more important than ever for employees to maintain a work-life balance, and one of the best ways to do that is to take the vacation days they are entitled to. Vacations are meant to help one recharge, but many people admit to working while on vacation! To alleviate some of the guilt and worry you might feel about taking some time away, here are three tips to use and enjoy your vacation time this year:

  1. Plan early

    Studies have shown that the positive emotional and mental effects you get from planning your vacation may even be stronger than what you feel while on the vacation itself. That's just one reason why you should start planning your vacation as early as possible. Of course, it will be to your benefit to book your beachfront condo rentals months in advance, as the selection will be better. Doing so will also ensure that you get your preferred time off from work and won't be able to back out due to work pressures. If there's a particularly busy season for your industry, you can also reduce some of that guilt and worry by planning your vacation during an "off" time.

  2. Provide advance notice

    By planning your vacation condo rental early on, you'll be able to notify your superiors and coworkers much sooner. That means your boss can anticipate your time off and you'll be in a better position to delegate your responsibilities. If you leave these arrangements until the last minute, you might have trouble relaxing while you're away. But taking the time to communicate with your peers and boss will also show your high level of responsibility and how much you care about your position within the company.

  3. Remember that you've earned a vacation

    Your vacation arrangement was agreed upon when you accepted your position, and you are entitled to use each and every one of those vacation days. You may feel a lot of pressure to be at work, but think about it like this: using your vacation days is no different from getting your paycheck. It's compensation that you are owed and that was agreed upon. If your company's culture doesn't line up with your own beliefs and your agreement with the organization, you need to do what you can to take care of yourself. You deserve your vacation days, so don't feel bad about using them.

If you really want to take advantage of your vacation time, weekly condo rentals in Sanibel, Florida will provide the picturesque beauty and RandR time you're after. To find out more or to reserve your vacation condo rental, contact us today!

Story Time Isn't Just For Kids: Stories For Grownups Returns to Sanibel Public Library

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Approximately 1,000 new people move to Florida every day, and countless others come here to experience our vacation rental accommodations each year. Whether you're a new Florida resident, a long-time snowbird, or are staying in one of our vacation rentals in Sanibel Island, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. Our Sanibel Island condos give you instant access to beautiful beaches, and you can easily take a boat ride, rent a bike, or take in our area's unique wildlife. But if you'd like to spend some time indoors for a change or are searching for something to do on a rainy day, you're not as limited as you might think.

The Sanibel Public Library is the perfect destination for those who want to experience some indoor family fun. You can get a temporary library card during your stay, which gives you access to DVDs, books, and their computer lab. This can be great for kids and teens – but what about their parents?

Fortunately, adults aren't left out of the equation at the library. There are tons of events each month that will bound to be of interest. But one in particular is making its return this year: Stories for Grownups.

These aren't fairytales, either. Renowned author and professor, Dr. Sidney B. Simon, has led this popular offering since 2002. Although he's authored two children's books, the stories Simon tells here revolve around themes that many people who enjoy our vacation rentals will appreciate: growing old in Florida, former teachers, relationships with people, parenting and grandchildren, and things that are unique to Sanibel.

Simon shares stories from his personal life for the first half hour of the program. For the last half hour, he encourages audience members to share their own stories. At the program's end, he hopes attendees become more actively involved in their family lives and have a more significant appreciation for their kids.


In addition to being a guest speaker on Oprah and the Phil Donahue Show, Simon has also served as a keynote speaker at conferences in 30 different states, focusing on psychology, counseling, self-esteem, and drug and alcohol addiction.

"I hope that people validate their children more and cherish the good teachers and to teach your children how to gently raise their children," says Simon. "That's the contribution that my stories make. To celebrate teachers, to celebrate children and to realize how lucky you are to live on this island," Simon said.

His most recent Storytime for Grownups session took place on January 6, but if you're planning on booking one of our vacation rentals this spring, you're in luck. Simon's last event of the season will be on March 3. If you have questions or would like additional information, contact the Sanibel Public library at (239) 472-2483.

Don't wait until the winter's end to book your stay in one of our Sanibel vacation rentals! Take advantage of all the fun and sun Florida has to offer. Contact us today to get started.

5 Fun Family-Friendly Activities on Sanibel Island

beachfront condos in Sanibel

Located on Florida's southern Gulf Coast, Sanibel Island is only 33 square miles. However, you'll be surprised by just how many awesome activities and attractions our little island has to offer! The majority of our vacation rental accommodations have room for up to six people, which means the whole family can vacation together. And when you rent beachfront condos in Sanibel, you'll never even have a chance to be bored. If you're looking for some family-friendly activity ideas for your stay, here are just five of our favorites:

  • Sanibel Sea School
    We have an abundance of sensational sea life here in Sanibel. The Sanibel Sea School is an organization dedicated to teaching children and adults alike about marine ecosystems and how people, animals, plants, and the earth coexist. Their programs allow students to touch, feel, and interact with their environment to promote lifelong conservation practices. They offer both morning and afternoon sessions for kids aged 6-13 as well as family group programs. They even have offerings just for adults and day camps in the summertime.
  • Bike Rides
    With all of our beachfront condos in Sanibel, you might think our island is one big beach. But actually, Sanibel Island is also a great place to take a bike ride! Our island has more than 25 miles of flat, paved trails that are perfect for bikes and segways. The whole family can rent bicycles, scooters, or even take a guided segway tour at Billy's Rentals. You can get moving and see Sanibel in a whole new way!
  • Sanibel Public Library
    While you may not want to spend part of your vacation indoors, we occasionally do have a rainy day here and there. Our beautiful public library is the perfect destination when the weather won't cooperate or you simply want some quiet time. With a children's area, teen space, and tons of family-friendly events like story time, you won't have to feel like your day indoors was wasted. You can even get a temporary library card to gain access to the computer lab, as well as DVDs and books, during your stay.
  • Boat Rides
    You can rent kayaks and canoes or take a guided breakfast cruise with Tarpon Bay Explorers. You'll see beautiful Floridian wildlife like herons, egrets, and pelicans and search for dolphins and manatees. This organization offers numerous tour options, all reasonably priced and led by knowledgeable naturalists. You'll even get to experience their Touch Tank aquarium.
  • N. "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge
    Home to more than 245 different species of birds, the N. "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge was created as a safe haven for Sanibel Island's animal inhabitants. In addition to countless shorebirds and birds of prey, visitors may also see otters, alligators, lizards, raccoons, turtles, and more. You can go bird-watching, drive or hike through their Wildlife Drive, or visit their Education Center with children's interactive exhibits.

There's no shortage of things to do when you bring the whole family on vacation to Sanibel Island! For more information on our beachfront condos in Sanibel or to make a reservation, please contact us today.

5 Tips For First-Time Condo Renters

condosIf you're thinking of booking vacation condos for the first time, it's easy to become overwhelmed or to forget some important details along the way. Although booking your vacation should be exciting and fun, you'll also want to get everything you can out of your vacation rental. In order to book the right kind of vacation condos for your family and your budget -- and to avoid making a mistake with your choice of vacation accommodations -- follow these five tips for booking your first vacation rental condos:

  • Pick a popular destination
    Florida is a beloved vacation spot for its sun, its ocean views, and its many leisure activities. After all, Florida is home to more than 1,300 golf courses, tons of beautiful beaches, and all sorts of attractions. A popular vacation spot is much more likely to have lots of activities and sights to see, but there's also a better chance that you can get a more competitive price on your rental. Because there's higher demand, there'll be more vacation rentals to choose from -- and that means that there will likely be options in your price range.
  • Research and confirm amenities
    Some rentals may say they include all the bells and whistles, but you should confirm everything before booking. You shouldn't rely on information in a brochure or on a website, as it could very well be outdated. You'll also want to check that those amenities are actually included in the price you're given. You certainly don't want to have to deal with hidden charges after the fact. Don't feel like you're asking too many questions; even if you're staying for only a week, you need to make sure you're getting your money's worth and are able to stick to your budget.
  • Pick a good time
    If you can book your vacation during a non-peak season, you'll likely get a better deal and will have a better selection of rental properties. You should also do your research regarding Florida weather and choose a season that suits your preferences. Although winter is a popular time for snowbirds to travel south, decide on a time that works best for your schedule and your finances.
  • Reserve early
    You'll also want to book your rental well in advance. Rooms and condos sell out quickly, especially during popular times of the year. Aim to reserve at least six months before your arrival date. Don't put off making your reservation. If you do, you may miss out entirely! 

Planning on a Florida vacation? Make your stay more memorable and fun by renting a Sanibel Island condo for your stay! Contact us today to find out more.

Why Snowbirds Should Consider Renting Vacation Condos in Florida

vacation condos

After our 50th winter, many of us get the urge to get out of the cold and head south for the winter. While many retirees dream of the day they can move to a warm climate permanently, others may change their plans when they realize they'll be away from their loved ones. The ideal solution to those winter blues?

A beachfront condo rental in Sanibel Island! With vacation condos, you're able to get the best of both worlds: you'll have a relaxing, refreshing vacation in one of the most beautiful parts of Florida, but you won't have to deal with a long term commitment or the significant financial burden of owning or renting a second home. If you're still not convinced that Sanibel Island condos are right for your winter getaway, consider the following:

You can escape from the cold in Florida
There's a reason why Florida is such a popular destination for snowbirds. In the wintertime, temperatures here average a balmy 68.5 degrees Fahrenheit. That's quite the change for many northerners! Even if you opt for weekly vacation rentals, you'll still feel revitalized from your getaway and ready to take on the rest of the winter. Many snowbirds will even break up the doldrums of winter by planning two or three short visits throughout the season. Some time in the sun is just the thing to get you through another cold, harsh winter.

You won't have to leave the grandkids for long
When you decide on a permanent or seasonal move, you have to sacrifice time with your family. But if you rent vacation condos for a week or two, you can get your fill of sun and sand without having to be separated from your loved ones for a long period. Plus, you'll be able to come back home and share your vacation memories with the ones you care about most! If you do decide to stay for a month or more, it's a great excuse for the grandkids to come for a visit on spring break. In fact...

You can even bring the whole family to your Sanibel Island condo rental
One of the best things about our vacation condos is that many of our units sleep up to 6 people! That means that you will have the freedom to bring the whole family along on one of your trips. And because they come fully furnished with completely equipped kitchens and fantastic amenities, you'll never have to feel like you're compromising on comfort.

Want to find out more about our renowned condo rentals? Contact us today for more information or to get started on your booking! We'd love to see you in Sanibel Island this winter!

I'm Dreaming Of a White (Sand) Christmas: 3 Reasons To Spend the Holidays in Florida

condo rentals

Right now, millions of people are dreaming of a white Christmas. But for the Americans living through four months of unending snow and ice, a warm, green Christmas might sound more appealing. That's why so many snowbirds escape the frigid temperatures of the north in favor of someplace more tropical around the holidays. That's a big reason why Florida is the top travel destination in the world -- we received 87.3 million visitors in 2011 alone, and the tourism industry infuses $67 billion into Florida's economy every year.

If you're looking for a new way to spend your holiday, a trip to Florida may be just the thing. Here are three reasons why you should be dreaming of a white sand Christmas this year:

  1. Trade in snow for sun
    The biggest reason to book vacation accommodations in Florida in the winter is a no-brainer: the warmer weather. Generally, winters here in Florida are balmy, which is a welcome change for many of our visitors. Instead of bundling up in big parkas, you'll be able to wear shorts on Christmas Day! You won't have to huddle up under layers of blankets because you'll be out in the sunshine, soaking up some rays. It can be exactly what the doctor ordered.
  2. More to do
    When we spend Christmas at home, we generally have to stay indoors. But when you book beachfront condo rentals on Sanibel Island for the holidays, there's so much more to see and do! You can spend your days swimming in the water or searching for shells, visit our farmers market, go to a museum or concert, or even decorate a palm tree instead of an evergreen! You'll simply be able to enjoy going outdoors, rather than thinking of it as a chore. And that can make the holiday season even more magical.
  3. Quality time
    When families are spread out across the country, deciding on one place to congregate for Christmas can be quite the production. But when you all decide to rent Sanibel Island condos, you can be together without hurting anyone's feelings or crowding into one person's home. At home, you might see each other for a few hours during a meal. But when you opt for weekly condo rentals, you'll get so much more time together without stress or distractions. 

Want to do something different this holiday? Beachfront condo rentals are the perfect solution to your seasonal woes! Contact us today to find out more or to book your stay.

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