For such a seemingly quaint and small island paradise, Sanibel Island has an absolutely captivating history. Since its natural creation as a rising sediment bed about 6,000 years ago, to its establishment as a major bastion for pirates, nothing about Sanibel Island’s history is normal.
When the Spanish “discovered” Sanibel around 1513, it was already populated by the Calusa Indians. The Spanish sought to control the land, but they found it much more difficult than they wanted, leaving a population vacuum when they eventually abandoned the area.
Pirates came in and helped develop Sanibel and the surrounding region to their very own “Buccaneer Coast.” When word carried that pirates were a little too well-acquainted with this desirable but fascinating region, the U.S Navy came in to control its top elites. One such force to be reckoned with, Jose Gaspar, wrapped himself in chains when confronted by the Navy, dove off his boat, and drowned, eluding capture forever.
The island history is enthralling, including epic searches for the Fountain of Youth and decades of battle from local Indian populations which kept fishing settlers from ever getting too comfortable throughout the mid-19th century.
You can explore the current listings of Sanibel Island real estate which captures a small part of the island’s mesmerizing history.
- Surround yourself with miles of biking trails
- Explore local nature preserves to experience the natural history for yourself
- Fall in love with the expansive and quiet beach escapes all over the island
- Live right along the Gulf of Mexico, taking your boat out for the day any time you please
- Enjoy a quaint and close-knit local community
Book Your Stay
You know the history, now you need to experience it for yourself! Check out our Sanibel and Captiva Island rentals, and see for yourself!
Review our Sanibel Island homes for sale. Find an idyllic waterside escape that keeps hold of its small-island charms. The island can’t get any bigger and the real estate is only getting more desirable.
Contact us today for more.