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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 Workaholic's Complete Guide to Actually Enjoying Your Beach Vacation

vacation rentalSometimes, even vacation can feel like a chore. While the whole point of planning your vacation was to relax and leave stress behind for awhile, some people get so caught up in planning and doing things that they need a vacation from their vacation!

If you're one of those people who over-schedules their vacation, here are a few tips to help you actually enjoy your vacation, relax, and take in all of the beautiful sights.

Go Somewhere Truly Peaceful
You can book vacation rentals anywhere in the world, but instead of booking one in a busy metropolitan area, try booking a private space in one of Florida's quiet, hidden paradises. Approximately 1,000 new people move to Florida every day, and the lush flats and serene beaches are definitely part of the appeal. A beach vacation just might be exactly what your brain needs to relax.

Don't Over-Schedule Yourself
When you're in a new place and taking in new sights, it can be easy to schedule a ton of events. However, that can often make you feel frantic and stressed, which is the opposite of what you actually want to be doing here. Instead, take one event each day, and make sure to take a day to simply relax. Island fishing can be a great way to spend a whole day and get some peace of mind. Or, if you prefer, leave one day wide open to go exploring.

Savor the Moment
If you're in a beautiful little place like Sanibel Island in Florida, you should take the chance to savor every moment you have there. Discover some of the over 250 species of shells on the island's beaches right outside your vacation rental condo, or simply take a day to walk around and admire the beauty of the place you're staying.

Ditch the Social Media
While it's great to give friends and family occasional updates from your vacation, don't let technology consume you while you're away. Take some pictures, save them for later, and simply enjoy the people you're spending time with. After all, those are the relationships that really matter in the end.

Approximately 53% of travelers feel refreshed after vacation, but if more people followed these tips, that number would surely grow. Put that beachfront condo to good use while you have it and take some genuine time to relax, soak in your surroundings, and find real peace of mind.

Need a Place to Stay? 4 Benefits of Renting a Vacation Condo

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The United States draws tourists from every corner of the globe. But what's the most popular vacation spot in the greatest country on earth?

Reeling in more than 87 million visitors in the span of one year, Florida is the world's top travel destination. However, with so many people traveling to the sunshine state, it can be hard to find a place to stay that fits both your budget and your expectations.

To make your vacation a little more exciting (and affordable), why not try a vacation condo rental? Most of these beachfront condos offer gorgeous views of the ocean, as well as a multitude of other benefits. The longer you plan on visiting, the more practical Sanibel condo rentals become.

Still on the fence? Here are a few benefits that vacation rentals have to offer.

In-House Laundry

The vast majority of vacation rentals come with a washing machine and a dryer, which allows you to do your own laundry when you need to. Beach towels have too much sand on them? Throw them in the wash so they're ready to use tomorrow! Not only does it reduce the amount of laundry you'll have to do when you get home, it can actually reduce the amount of clothing you need to pack.

Cook What You Want

Although a nice dinner out is great, it's even better to save a little bit of money and eat in your own condo. At least 40% of travelers feel more romantic while on vacation, and nothing is more romantic than cooking a meal with your sweetheart and enjoying it in the privacy of your own space.

Privacy

Speaking of privacy, that's another one of the many benefits that come with renting a condo for vacation. Why stay in a hotel where there are nosy neighbors and people bustling all around when you could have a space all to yourself? The privacy of condos allows you to set your own schedule, rather than run on one the hotel has set forth.

Hidden Paradises

One of the best parts about vacation rentals is the hidden paradises they can help you discover. Sanibel Island, for instance, has an abundance of gorgeous beachfront rentals, not to mention some gorgeous beaches. In fact, more than 250 species of shells have been discovered on the small barrier island, making it the perfect location for beach lovers.

You never know what you'll find when you're visiting Florida. From bright lights to hidden paradises, the sunshine state is filled with adventure. You should be able to bask in it like a true Florida local!

5 Reasons Your Vacation Should Take You to Florida This Year

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Approximately 1,000 new residents move to Florida every day, and even if you're not planning on staying permanently, it's easy to see why so many people do!

With 87.3 million visitors in the span of a single year, Florida is the world's top travel destination.

Some may attribute Florida's popularity to the Disney and Universal theme parks, but its vast, ecologically rich lands have so much more to offer than just theme parks. In fact here are five reasons you should put Florida at the top of your vacation destination list.

History

While most people come for the fun and sun, Florida actually has a deep and rich history to offer to its visitors and residents. Vacation rentals in or near historic locations offer easy access to cultural history, as well as local cuisine and learning opportunities that can make any family vacation interesting.

Natural Sites

Florida is home to over a dozen national parks, monuments, and seashores, all of which provide the perfect opportunity for an explorer to test their mettle. Not only that, but Florida's nature preserves are a great opportunity to learn about the local wildlife, as well as have adventurous encounters with creatures like peacocks and alligators.

Watersports

Florida is known for many things, and watersports is one of the biggest things there is. The crystal clear waters of the Florida shore offer endless opportunities for kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding, and a multitude of other activities that are fun for the whole family.

Beaches

It's nearly impossible to have fun in the sun without visiting a Florida beach. Vacation condos have become a big part of vacationing in Florida, largely in part because of the availability of beachfront condos that allow immediate access to activities like shell hunting and sunbathing. Many northerners make an annual winter pilgrimage to vacation condos to escape the brutal winter back home, while families from all over the world flock to Florida over the summer.

Hidden Paradises

Florida is home to countless hidden paradises. Places like Cabbage Key and Sanibel Island boast small towns, prime island fishing, and vacation condos that could make any trip a romantic getaway. In fact, Sanibel Island only has about 6,000 permanent residents and nearly 15 miles of pristine beaches, making it feel like a true hidden gem secreted away in Florida's expanses.

Vacationing in Florida is so much more than theme parks and rides. If you want a gorgeous getaway complete with small town vibes, rich culture, gorgeous scenery, wildlife, and opportunities to make amazing memories, a Florida vacation should be at the top of your list.

Three Reasons Your Beach Vacation Should Be in an Oceanfront Rental This Year

beachfront condosMore than 50% of travelers report feeling more rested and relaxed after returning from vacation, and one of the biggest contributing factors is where they decide to stay while on vacation.

Sanibel Island is a popular destination for families and couples alike for various reasons, but the biggest draw to the island by far is its beautiful beachfront condos. The idea of renting a condo instead of staying at a hotel may seem strange to some, but here are three benefits that may have you booking your Florida vacation in a beachfront condo.

Plenty of Space for All
Being cooped up in a small hotel room with limited resources is sure to put a damper on your vacation time. In a beachfront rental, you'll have all the space you need. Whether you're vacationing with the whole family, a group of friends, or your sweetheart, any vacation rental is sure to offer enough space to roam and rest comfortably.

More Authentic Spaces
If you're a regular traveler, every hotel room may start to feel the same. However, renting a condo offers more unique accommodations. The place you're staying in will often reflect the setting of the area surrounding it. For example, a Sanibel Island condo may offer displays of some of the near 250 species of shells that can be found and collected along the beaches there.

Live Like a Local
While walking in and out of a hotel can enhance the awkward tourist feeling during vacation, settling into a cozy beachfront condo can make you feel like one of the locals. Your own kitchen and living space will make it easy to feel like you're coming home after a long day of activities in the pristine island town. Not only that, but you won't have to worry about being surrounded by other tourists and harried business people.

With a strict building code and a mere 6,000 permanent residents, Sanibel Island may feel like it's one of Florida's best-kept secrets, but beautiful beachfront condos may just be Sanibel's best-kept secret. It's no ordinary beach vacation when you have a gorgeous beachfront home to come back to.

Top Five Fishing Islands to Visit on a Florida Vacation

sanibel island fishingWith 87.3 million visitors in a single year, Florida is the top travel destination in the world. While millions may come to visit the attractions and bright lights at Disney, others are looking for a more restful vacation.

The good news is that if you're one of those people looking for a quiet spot with good fishing, you're in luck. Florida has many hidden paradises in its vast, flat expanses, and if you're looking for good fishing, here are five places you need to visit.

Islamorada Island
This small island getaway is about two hours from Miami and is a perfect place for a vacation with family or friends. Filled with little coffee shops and local eateries, it boasts some of the best local atmosphere in small town Florida. Don't leave without going fishing, though! There are charters that will take you out to sea, and plenty of small locations for island fishing.

Anna Maria Island
For those who love the beach bum life, this little island is only an hour from Tampa and filled with beautiful beachfront condos to rent. Perfect for a group of friends getting away from the big city, vacation rentals and pristine beaches provide endless fun. Not only that, but the piers boast amazing fishing, so long as you get to your catch before the pelicans do. Marco Island

Located a short way from the everglades and Naples, Marco Island is the largest and only developed land in Florida's Ten Thousand Islands. Collier Seminole State Park, just a few miles from the island, has primitive camping, canoeing, fishing, boating, picnic grounds, and a mile-long nature walk, making this location a great vacation spot for nature lovers and adventurers.

Key Largo
As the self-proclaimed dive capital of the world, Key Largo is a gem among Florida's Keys. Filled with gorgeous oceanfront vacation condos and home to the world's largest artificial reef, Key Largo is where water-sport enthusiasts can thrive. The island boasts both amazing diving and fishing opportunities from beginner to expert.

Sanibel Island
With a permanent population of just over 6,000 residents and a strict building code, Sanibel Island may just feel like Florida's best-kept secret. Sanibel island fishing will take you from small waterways to piers, and the island boasts many other activities. If Sanibel Island fishing doesn't do it for you, over 250 different species of shells can be found and collected on the island.

Whether you're looking for open-ocean fishing or small waterways like Sanibel Island fishing boasts, these five hidden paradises are sure to offer some of the best Florida vacations around.

Top Five Beaches to Visit in Florida on Your Next Vacation

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There are more than 1,300 golf courses in Florida, and while they're a staple of permanent residents and vacationers alike, the Sunshine State's beaches are its true gems.

You may think that all beach vacations are the same, but Florida has endless miles of beach and hidden paradises tucked away in its vast, flat expanse. So for your next trip to Florida, here are the top five beaches to visit.

Clearwater Beach
Spread along a narrow, three-mile stretch of the Pinellas Peninsula on the Gulf Coast, Clearwater beach is well-deserving of its title. Its reputation as one of America's finest beaches has attracted countless families, friends, and couples to its broad, sandy shores and beachfront condos. It offers multiple activities for everyone, such as sunbathing on white-sand beaches, renting fishing boats, taking a dolphin-watching cruise, parasailing, or heading to a mainland museum or aquarium.

Atlantic Beach
Over 505 of employed vacationers report feeling more relaxed and refreshed after a vacation, and Atlantic Beach is definitely the place to get some well-deserved relaxation in. With its soft, white sand and small town charm, this location is only a short drive from Jacksonville, so you can enjoy a short commute and get straight to your vacation rental and relax.

Delray Beach
This beach is a family-friendly location that boasts a small-town atmosphere and a two-mile-long beach that's ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and sandcastle building. After the sun goes down, Atlantic avenue becomes a festive display of lights and shops, offering vacationers endless options for evening activities.

Siesta Key
For those who like being kept busy, Siesta Key is certainly a good place to be. Beach lovers flock to these silky shores to take advantage of the wide expanse of sand while strolling, shell collecting, or engaging in more active pursuits, such as renting a catamaran or kayak.

Sanibel Beach
With just 6,000 permanent residents and a strict building code that prohibits buildings above three stories, Sanibel Island may feel like Florida's best kept secret. Sanibel condos offer amazing family vacation spots, as well as romantic getaways for couples. It's a prime location for shell-collecting, boasting over 250 species of shells on its near 15 miles of pristine beaches.

Whether you choose a family vacation rental near Clearwater Beach or opt for the more romantic Sanibel condos, each of these beaches is sure to give you a vacation to remember.

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