Sanibel Island History

Sanibel is a paradise island that had its beginning over a thousand years ago. It has survived much in that time – the exploration by the early Spaniards, the derring-do of pirates (who are said to have buried treasure here), the conflict the early settlers had with the Calusa Indians and the difficulties encountered as an early farming community (there was a disconnect between farming and salt water).

But Sanibel did survive – and evolved into the wonderful place it is today. The evolution started with fishing which attracted a lot of people from the north. They enjoyed the fishing but they also enjoyed the beauty of the island and invited their friends. Today, Sanibel is a city with its own government and support services. It has local police, fire, water, and electricity. It is a unique and special community that is a surprise to many who come here for the first time – an island community in Florida with no theme parks, no hi-rises, no big signs, no big chain stores and no traffic lights. Just pretty blue waters, lovely tropical foliage and beautiful homes and cottages along quiet two-lane roads.

Sanibel Island Schools and Education

sanibel island schools

Sanibel is an established community with a year-round population of about 6,000. It has a public education system (K-12) that is highly rated by the state. You can move your family here knowing that your children will join schools that are among the top 5% of schools in the country with a range of classes that focus on both physical and artistic growth. There is also a unique emphasis on nature and wildlife conservation that comes from the community’s strong attachment to the island’s natural beauty and close proximity to so many nature preserves and wildlife habitats.

Sanibel Island Weather

sanibel island weather

You can’t ask for a better place to live or retire. The winters are warm and the gulf breezes keep the summers from being too uncomfortable. The average temperature high in between May – September is 89 and the average low is 74. But the high season is when most people like to be outside because the average high is 76 and the average low is 59 from January – April. Don’t forget that the island is sub-tropical, which means a fair amount of rain and thunderstorms, but who doesn’t love a good book and a view of rain over the ocean? It also helps keep our island wildlife areas green and thriving, so we don’t complain about the quick, summer showers.

Nature and Conservation

The real value in owning real estate on Sanibel is the quiet charm of the island and the wide variety of things to do that give you the relaxation and pleasure that comes with island living. There are the widely admired natural treasures – The Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation which cover about half the island and give insight into the creatures we share the island with. The natural beauty and abundance of wildlife create an environment where people and animals must closely share their habitats. That is why conservation is so important to the residents of Sanibel Island and Captiva Island.

Sanibel and Captiva Beaches

There are miles of beautiful white sand beaches, world-renowned shelling, art venues – theatres, museums, music – bike paths, golf and, of course, shopping for any need and restaurants for any taste. There is something almost magical about sitting in one of the beachfront restaurants, after a busy day, and watching the sun sink slowly into the night. It’s Special!

Sanibel Economy and Jobs

The island has a strong focus on the tourism industry, but there is more to the islands than just a beach town that attracts visitors. It has a thriving commercial life and a vibrant economy. It is an ideal place to become an entrepreneur and own property.

Florida Economic Council

Florida Economic Council making Florida's waterways usable again.

The Florida Economic Council is a business organization formed to be the voice for the segment of Florida’s tourism industry which is most negatively impacted when Florida’s beaches and waterways are unusable. They are striving to be the voice of thousands of businesses that suffer when beaches are closed and waterways are polluted. One of their main goals is to inform and educate the business community of projects that help reduce toxic algae discharges, red tide, and other water contaminants.

Special Community Events

We live in a tight-knit community typical of the “Old Florida” ways. There are many vacation rentals and condo rentals on the island, but that doesn’t stop Sanibel and Captiva neighbors from growing close. We see the same faces year after year and it only helps build a group that is dedicated to the natural environment and community events. You can find a variety of things to do throughout the year including parades, music festival and food tastings.

What We Can Offer You

The real estate market on Sanibel offers a wide range of opportunities. There are condominiums that are right on the beach and some that are further back in the inland areas. There are homes on the water or homes away from the water in quiet neighborhoods or on a golf course. Homes and condominiums range in size from 1 Bedroom Homes & Condos to homes with 3+ Bedrooms. Whatever your plans call for Sanibel can deliver. If your interest is in condominiums there is the luxury of Wedgwood or the more moderate living offered by Loggerhead Cay. If you are interested in a home, there is a magnificent living in the Sanctuary or the more modest living in Sanibel Gardens or Gumbo Limbo. No matter what you need it can be found on Sanibel and David can help you find it.

David Schuldenfrei is Your Sanibel Island Guide

The secret to a great real estate find is a great real estate guide. That is David Schuldenfrei. He is professionally trained and earned the designations of CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and GRI (Graduate of The Realtor Institute) and SCIS (Sanibel & Captiva Island Specialist). His effectiveness and skill has been recognized by his clients and customers and, importantly, by his colleagues. They have honored David by electing him to be president of the Sanibel-Captiva Real Estate Association 3 times and Realtor of the Year 4 times. He is a leading real estate producer on the island and has been for over 30 years. There is nobody who knows the island better than David. Let him guide you. Pick up the phone and call him. Discover the difference a Dave makes!

Market Reports & Graphs