Why Sanibel and Captiva Island is the Best Place to Retire

Is retirement on the horizon? Congrats! After working hard for decades, it’s finally time to relax and take back your valuable time. Now, where are you going to spend your retirement? How about on the beautiful shorelines of Sanibel Island, which was recently named the #1 place to retire by travel blogger Arthur Frommer? 

Retiring to Sanibel Island has never been more appealing. As our world gets crazier and crazier, Sanibel Island remains one place where you can always relax and unwind.

Here are a few of the biggest reasons why you should start looking at Sanibel real estate

Retiring in Sanibel Island

There are all kinds of reasons why you should consider retiring in Sanibel Island. Many people who want to retire to Florida consider crowded spots like Panama City Beach or Orlando. While these areas are certainly appealing to some, they tend to get overwhelming and expensive. Sanibel Island (and its neighbor Captiva Island), on the other hand, allows you to do what you want, when you want, without worrying about everyone else getting in your way. Enjoy outdoor activities all year long and have the perfect getaway to explore the rest of the Sunshine State. 


Many people are drawn to Florida because of the year-round warm weather, and Sanibel Island is the perfect example. The coldest it ever gets when it comes to Sanibel Island weather is the mid-50s, particularly around December and January, so you could even take a stroll along the beach on Christmas if you wanted! The highs throughout the year range from the 70s to the 90s, so you can pack away the snow boots for good. It’s hard to resist Sanibel Island real estate when you know you can head outside in short sleeves any time of the year! 

Small Town Feel

As we briefly mentioned, Sanibel Island offers a much more laid-back feeling than other more populated areas of Florida. Yes, Sanibel does get its crowds in the summertime, but throughout the rest of the year, conditions here are usually quite quiet. That means that you’ll truly get to know your neighbors and will make fast friends with the locals. Even when it’s the peak of tourist season, things never get too crowded, allowing you to enjoy all your favorite activities without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. That small town feeling is simply irreplaceable and can be incredibly appealing when you retire. 

Beautiful Beaches

Retirees searching for a breathtaking beach to spend their days on will find exactly what they’re looking for when they buy condos for sale in Sanibel Island. The beaches here are full of gorgeous seashells (more on that in a minute), are kept pristine and spotless for all guests, and are ideal for relaxing outside any time of year. You can enjoy the Causeway Beaches, Lighthouse Beach, Gulfside City Park, Tarpon Beach, Bowman’s Beach, and plenty of others. Some beaches are more relaxed while others are close to the island’s best activities, so there’s a little something for every mood.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities

Speaking of the beaches of Sanibel Island, visiting these stretches of shoreline is just one way for you to enjoy the outdoors. Sanibel and Captiva Islands offer plenty of opportunity for you to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, stay active, and see all the beautiful plant and animal life that lives here. Plus, getting outdoors is a cheap or even free way to spend your days! 

First, Sanibel Island is a great place for biking. There are convenient sidewalks and trails all over the island, allowing you to get from place to place quickly without ever needing a car. The roads on Sanibel are safe to bike near, since the speed limits are so low. You can also head to a nearby park or nature preserve to ride the trails there. Areas like the eastern side of the island (near the lighthouse) and the Sanibel Causeway are popular for bikers. Bring your own bike when you move or purchase one from one of the island’s bike rental and repair facilities. 

We mentioned shelling a bit earlier, but we wanted to dedicate some specific time to this activity. Sanibel Island is particularly great for finding unique seashells, and tons of them! Most islands are oriented north to south, but Sanibel Island is actually situated east to west. This unique feature means that shells get scooped up onto our shores for your taking! You’ll have plenty of time to perfect your “Sanibel stoop” during your time here. The great shelling opportunities are part of the reason that Sanibel beaches are consistently ranked among the best in the United States!

If you like spending time at the beach, you don’t have to just stick to the shoreline. You can get in the water by boating! Whether you have your own boat that you want to use regularly, or you’d rather just rent a boat for an afternoon of fun, this hobby is one of the best ways to explore the local waters. You can spend the day sailing around and observing the wildlife, trying to catch a fish for that night’s dinner, or simply floating along and enjoying the breeze from the waves. 

Walking is one of the best ways to stay active, especially if you’ve been working a desk job all your life and haven’t had much time for working out. This low-impact activity not only keeps you fit, but it can also be an excellent way to see the sites of the island! Sanibel Island is small enough that you can walk between your condo and the shops and restaurants nearby. However, you’ll also want to take the time to walk through the local nature preserves! J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is just moments away, and it’s a breathtaking destination with convenient trails for you to experience. 

Another activity that you can take advantage of, either in the wildlife refuge or on Sanibel in general, is bird watching. There are all kinds of beautiful species that call Sanibel home, and now, you can spend your time trying to log them all! Some of the most common birds you’re likely to find here include egrets, ibis, herons, roseate spoonbills, wood storks, and others. You can head into a nature preserve to spot these beauties or you can simply wait for them to show up on the beach!  

When You Are Ready to Move, Contact David

Do you think you’re ready to start looking for real estate in Sanibel Island? This area is an absolutely breathtaking place to move to and is the perfect place to spend your retirement. When you’re ready to take the leap, contact David Schuldenfrei. David has decades of years in the Sanibel real estate industry, and he is dedicated to providing personalized service to each and every client. No matter what your real estate requests are, David and his team can handle it! Contact David Schuldenfrei today to learn more about how he can help you find the best Sanibel Island condos for sale!