My wife Elaine and I (Dave) had just about given up on Florida.
Oh, it had gorgeous, white sand beaches and warm weather, but the overbuilt, high rise developed coastline did not appeal to us. The beaches were crowded and there was not a tropical feel to the vacation spots we visited.
Then we had this business trip to Sanibel and Captiva in 1983.
We found that the highest “high rises” on Sanibel were only 45 feet and that over 40% (now 70%!) of the island was set aside for conservation and refuge purposes. The beaches were never crowded and stretched for twelve miles. We saw that these white sand beaches were covered with many, many seashells (Even the National Shell Museum is now here!) and that tropical sea birds roamed the shores. A huge wildlife refuge encompassed a third of the island with great birding possibilities. We were enchanted.
Within a few months, we found ourselves owners of a Gulf front condo (Gulf Beach, our first) on Sanibel Island. We later acquired Sand Pointe and Tarpon Beach condominiums. For years, we came to the island for vacations, but our time on the island was limited by the school year. We fixed that by moving to the island in 1998 and both of our daughters attended school here.
We still live on Sanibel Island and Elaine spends much of her time redecorating, restocking or doing whatever is necessary to maintain our condos in excellent condition.
When you arrive on Sanibel Island, we think you will be enchanted as well.