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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]

Vacation Time is Just Around the Corner...Where Will Your Family Vacation Take You This Year?

vacation condosWhether you're planning a getaway for two or for the whole family, taking time to spend together is excellent for everyone. But choosing the perfect destination? That can get tricky. Research shows that Florida is among the top travel destinations in the world, known for its sandy white beaches and relaxing atmosphere. Beach vacations may seem like they've all been done before, but you may be surprised at just how much beach towns like Sanibel, Florida have to offer.

Why Sanibel?
If you're looking for a quiet, beachfront condo getaway, far from all the chaos and color of big theme parks and people, Sanibel Island may be the perfect place for you. With only 6,000 permanent residents and a strict building code that prohibits buildings from being higher than three stories, you may feel like you've discovered Florida's best kept secret.

What is there to do in Sanibel?
If you think every beach town is the same, you're wrong. Although many a vacationer can be found in their vacation condos or lounging on the beach, there's more than tanning to be done on the beaches around Sanibel condo rentals. Some of the most popular activities include Sanibel fishing, bird watching, and shell hunting. Shell hunting is particularly popular among families, especially those with early risers! Over 250 different kinds of shells have been identified on the beaches of Sanibel, and early morning is the best time to spot them.

Is it a good spot for couples?
Vacation condos in Sanibel are perfect for any kind of vacation. You can choose between one or two bedrooms, and each condo has a full kitchen and comes stocked with beach supplies. Like a home away from home, you can stay in and plan a cozy dinner, or take advantage of all the fine dining options the island has to offer. Whether you're looking to plan a romantic getaway and want to look at one bedroom beachfront condos, or the whole family decides on a poolside stay, there's a place for everyone.

If you're bored with the same old beach vacation every year, Sanibel may be the perfect place to leave you feeling refreshed. Why wait to plan your next vacation?

7 Tried and True Travel Hacks for the Ultimate Summer Vacation

vacation rentals We’re so close! It’s almost time for summer vacation and you know what that means: rest, relaxation, and fun in the sun! Unfortunately, travel often comes with a side of stress as delayed flights, short layover times, and long airport security lines can take their toll.

Don’t let travel complications ruin your perfect getaway. Use some of the following tips and tricks for a stress-free airport experience.

Seven Useful Travel Hacks

  1. Fly under the radar: When you go online to book your flights, hotels, or vacation rentals, enable private browsing to search incognito. Travel sites often track your Internet activity and have been known to raise their prices simply because they see that you have visited their website before.

  2. Avoid wrinkles: Few things can ruin an important business trip or a destination wedding like unpacking your clothes to find that they have become totally wrinkled inside your suitcase. Even the most skilled at folding clothes encounter this problem, but here’s a hack: wrap your clothes in tissue paper. You’ll be surprised to see the difference a bit of paper can make.

  3. Roll ‘em up: You can save space in your suitcase by rolling your clothes rather than folding them. This is also another way to prevent unsightly wrinkles and creases.

  4. Stuff your shoes: Roll up your socks and underwear and stick them in your shoes. Don’t let any empty space go to waste.

  5. Keep your collars crisp:Once your nice shirts are neatly folded, keep the collar crisp and round by rolling up a belt and sticking it in the neck hole.

  6. Recycle: Instead of buying new travel-sized toothpaste tubes and shampoos, fill up your old ones once they are empty.

  7. Save water: Everyone knows you can’t bring a full bottle of water through security. Instead of buying a brand new bottle of water on the other side, keep an empty water bottle in your carry-on luggage and refill it at a drinking fountain before getting on the plane.

Another way to create the ultimate vacation experience is by choosing the right destination and vacation accommodations. With 87.3 million visitors in 2011, Florida has become the top travel destination in the world. And why not? An average summer temperature of 82.7 degrees is reason enough to make the trip to the country’s southern-most state.

When vacationing in the Sunshine State, you can maximize your relaxation by choosing to stay in one of the area’s many gorgeous oceanfront vacation rentals or island condos. With more privacy and fantastic prices, weekly vacation rentals are definitely the way to go.

More than half of American vacationers feel more rested and rejuvenated after they return from vacation. By using a couple easy travel hacks and choosing the right location and accommodation, you can return from your trip feeling like a whole new person.


Total Vacation Relaxation Tips for the Workaholic


A recent survey revealed that just over half of people feel more rested and relaxed upon returning from vacation. But if only 53% feel relaxed, then what are the other 47% doing wrong? Isn’t the purpose of vacation to come back feeling well-rested and rejuvenated?

If you are one of those type-A workaholics, you are probably pretty good at what you do. But let’s face it: relaxing is not your strong suit. You probably don’t feel refreshed after vacation because you never truly took the time out to just do nothing. Chances are, you brought that same go-getter attitude to the beach with you, and that can be exhausting. Here are some tips on how to let go and make the most out of your leisure time.

Tips for Total Vacation Relaxation

  • Choose the right location: Go someplace calm, serene, picturesque. If you think you are going to feel good after a weekend at an amusement park, think again. You need to give your senses a break. No place on earth is more soothing than a clean beach with a warm breeze.

  • Choose the right vacation accommodations: Hotels are overrated. They are crowded, loud, overpriced, and about as far from leisurely and serene as you can get. For privacy and ultimate relaxation, check out beachfront condos and other types of private vacation rentals where you can enjoy your own space away from the crowds.

  • Don’t overschedule: Slow down. Be flexible. You are so used to planning out your day to the very last second, but on vacation, you just need to loosen up and listen to your own natural rhythm. Don’t look at your watch. If you’re hungry, eat. If you’re tired, sleep. Around 49% of people say that they sleep later when they are on vacation. Try it! There’s no rush to be anywhere.

  • Bring on the romance: At least four out of 10 travelers report that they feel more romantic while on vacation. Bring along your significant other and take some time to bond. How often do you really get to just be together during your busy day-to-day lives?

What else can you do to make sure you maximize your relaxation time on vacation? If you have any of your own tips and tricks, feel free to share them in the comments section!

For now, don't spend too much time planning it out. Go online, check out vacation condos, and get yourself to the beach.

Quarterly Newsletter

Spring 2016  


Sanibel Arms Now Has the
Longest Beach Boardwalk on Sanibel Island! 

We are very proud to introduce our newest property improvement, a 290 foot beach boardwalk! The summer rains will no longer be an issue, and the elevation allows guests a stunning view of our Sanibel beach as well as the native vegetation and wildlife.
Guest Spotlight!
Gretchen from Michigan has been staying with us at Sanibel Arms for about 12 years. She comes down every winter with her brother and family. Gretchen especially enjoys sitting by the pool chatting with new and old friends. This year Gretchen bought, and proudly wore one of our colorful new tie-dyed t-shirts! We certainly love our returning guests "Extended Family!"
Bring Your Boat or Rent One!
Sanibel Arms is one of the few properties on Sanibel with FREE boat dockage. You will also find grills and picnic tables along our 300 feet of dock space. Many of our guests who stay in our Dockside condos say it is because of the quiet and peaceful dock where manatee and dolphin play. 
Abundant Wildlife
Stan and Emily from Maryland shared some fabulous pictures of Iguana they photographed on Sanibel in March.
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






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!'


"Snowbird Gatherings"


Our winter guests (Snowbirds) once again enjoyed the opportunities to mingle and get to know each other through continental breakfasts and picnics. David and Nancy from Pennsylvania provided the hot dog cooking and world famous beans while other guests brought pot luck dishes to share. A great time for all!
Sanibel Shell Art
 Glenna from Virginia began shell doodling last year while staying at Sanibel Arms.  She loved making people smile with her beautiful designs which are all related to Sanibel vegetation and wildlife. Other guests were so inspired by her artistic designs so she began teaching . Bobby, also from Virginia, has always liked shells and unusual artwork, so when Glenna showed him what she had created last year, he was hooked. Together they created lots of original shell art to share with friends at Sanibel Arms this year! In fact, they are already planning a demonstration and maybe a class in shell art for next season at The Original Sanibel Arms! We cannot wait to see what our wonderful guests come up with from year to year.


Real Estate Update  
Real Estate is definitely picking up on Sanibel! We currently have the following condos listed for sale:

F2 is a 1 bedroom 1 bath direct Gulf Front condo with spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico. The list price is $559,000.
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.

E2 is a lovely 1 bedroom 1 bath Beachside condo located near the clubhouse and pool and only steps to the beach path. The list price is $375,000.

If you are interested in these condos or any Southwest Florida Real Estate, please call   
 Monica DeBarr at 239-472-2259

Save 10%
Book Now and Save 10% for 
Spring and Summer! Please use Promotional Code: SA Specials when securing your reservation. Book Online at or call 1-800-806-7368.
Valid from: April 23 - August 20, 2016.


Make the Most of Your Florida Vacation: Tips for Maximizing Your Vacation Rental

vacation rental What would it be like to live in paradise? Well, a 1,000 new people move to Florida every day to find out. And why not? After all, the average annual temperature of South Florida in the summer is 82.7 degrees, and 68.5 degrees in the winter. Indeed, sunny skies every day and balmy beach conditions relieve more stress than you'd think -- you'll never get back all that time you spent bundling up and digging your car out of the snow.

But for some people, picking up and moving isn't an option quite yet. That's why beachfront condos and vacation rentals exist -- and there is no reason why you shouldn't take advantage of them.

Photograph on Day One
As soon as you arrive at your rental, hold the urge to flop down on the bed or dive into the pool and take pictures of every room. This will protect against liability from damage claims -- it is best to know the exact state of the home you arrived in.

Find Out the Housekeeping Situation
Before you arrive at the vacation rental, find out exactly what the housekeeping situation is like. Some hosts will have cleaners come every day, every few days, or only after you've left. It is best to know exactly what the accommodations are and be able to negotiate a better arrangement earlier on.

Utilize the Kitchen
One of the best things about having a vacation rental is having a full kitchen at your disposal. Since this is your vacation, by no means will you be doing much cooking or meal prep -- but sometimes, it is more relaxing to nosh on fresh provisions (requiring no preparation) from the comfort of your own home-base instead of braving the crowds at a restaurant for every single meal. Not to mention, having snacks on hand for in-between times and on-the-go meals can be a real life, and money, saver.

And most importantly...

Remember to Rest
More than half (53%) of employed U.S. adults come back from vacation feeling refreshed, but what about the other 47%? It's easy to get caught up in the logistics of a trip, and to feel like you have to take advantage of your time off to do all the available activities. Schedule a couple of "dates" with yourself to do absolutely nothing in your vacation rental -- make it your new home away from home where you don't have to worry about cleaning or maintenance. Even if you need to sleep for 12 hours straight, use your vacation time to get rested and relaxed.

Fun Facts About the Sunshine State


How much do you know about the Sunshine State? Known for its warm weather, vacation condos, popular theme parks, and dangerous reptiles, Florida has always been a great destination for retirees and vacationers alike.

Fun Facts About Florida

  • Key West has the highest average temperature in the U.S.

  • The moonstone is the official state gem of Florida. However, moonstone is not native to Florida, nor was it found on the moon.

  • For Lauderdale has 185 miles of local waterways, earning it the nickname "Venice of America."

  • Florida is home to two rivers both with the same name: The Withlacoochee in north central Florida and the Withlacoochee in central Florida.

  • The state of Florida is 15,409 square miles larger than England, though most is made up of swampland.

  • Both alligators and crocodiles live in south Florida, making it the only place on earth where the two animals coexist in the wild.

  • The Florida Keys seceded from the United States in 1982, declaring themselves the Conch Republic. Prime Minister Dennis Wardlow declared war against the U.S., but within two minutes, he surrendered and requested $1 million in foreign aid.

  • Sarasota is home to the only Amish beach resort in the world. Busloads of Amish and Mennonite vacationers flock to the neighborhood known as Pinecraft between December and April.

  • The annual Interstate Mullet Toss is an event during which participants throw dead fish over the state line into Alabama.

  • Only four states have lower taxes than Florida.

  • With 87.3 million visitors in 2011, Florida is the number one travel destination in the world. The tourism industry has an impact of $67 billion on Florida’s economy.

  • There are more than 1,300 golf courses in the state of Florida.

  • As many as 1,000 new people move to Florida every day.

  • Wherever you are in Florida you are never more than 60 miles from the ocean.

  • Florida has 663 miles of beaches.

  • In Florida it is illegal to sing in public while wearing a swimsuit.

  • It is illegal for an unmarried woman to go parachuting on Sundays.

  • Walt Disney World Resort is approximately the same size as the city of San Francisco.

  • Key West has more bars per capita than any other place in the United States.

For your next vacation, check out beachfront condos for rent on the beautiful shorelines of the country's southernmost continental state. See for yourself why Florida is the top travel destination in the world.

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