Best Public Walking Trails on Sanibel Island

Walking Trails on Sanibel IslandThere are about 25 miles of walking and biking trails on Sanibel, which gives you a great opportunity to create your own path and explore the island. Or, choose one of these popular public walking trails below. Each trail offers a unique experience.

Nature Center Trails 

Enter through the SCCF nature center. For a shorter half mile walk, go to the Sanibel River Tower and back, or explore all 4.5 miles in the heart of the island through the interior freshwater wetlands.

Periwinkle Preserve

A restored migratory bird trail with an informational kiosk. Parking is available at the corner of Casa Ybel and Periwinkle Road at Jerry’s or Mango Bay. From there, walk or bike west on the Periwinkle bike path to the trail head (about 1/10 mile).

Bob Wigley Preserve

Bike or walk to the trail head, or drive and park at the Community Bank at the corner of Casa Ybel and Periwinkle Road. From there, walk to Casa Ybel bike path (about .5 mile) to two short trails in this 27 acre preserve. One trail leads to a gazebo and the other to an overlook on the Sanibel River.

Bailey Homestead Preserve

The 28.3 acres includes the family home and The Shipley Trail, which connects Roadside City Park and Pond Apple Park. The trail runs parallel to SCCF's Native Landscapes & Garden Center and begins at the Chamber of Commerce. 

Sanibel Gardens

The preserve is located just north of the Bailey Tract. Park at the trailhead and enter across from Bailey’s General Store. The trail is accessible from Inn Island Road. 

Pond Apple Park

Access the trail from the back left of the Chamber of Commerce parking lot. The trail is about 2.5 miles and is home to alligators, raccoons, and many rare and endangered species of birds.

Bowman’s Beach

The trail runs parallel to the beach, which offers some of the best remote beach space and shelling on the island. 

Lighthouse Park

Park at Lighthouse Beach and take a moment to view the Lighthouse, which is not open to the public. Also has a fishing pier and picnic area. 

Indigo Trail

The trail is four miles roundtrip and easy to access from the J.N. Ding Darling visitors center. There’s a good chance you’ll spot some wildlife along the way.

Calusa Shell Mound Trail

A short .40 mile trail provides information about the ancient history of the island and the Calusa tribe. Wheelchair accessible.

Bailey Tract

Park at the trailhead and walk or bike along the trail on loops from .3 miles to 1.1 miles. This is one of the lesser known trails at Ding Darling and is separate from the other trails on Wildlife Drive.

If you're thinking about making a move to Sanibel Island, start your home search or contact Phaidra McDermott to learn about the local market.


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    Sanibel Island Sunset: Best Places for Viewing

    Sanibel Island SunsetSanibel Island boasts exceptional views of the sunset and here are a few of the spots that offer superior sunset views. Just keep in mind that the sun sets in different spots on the beautiful Southwest Florida horizon during different seasons. During winter months, the sun sets further to the south and in the summer it sets further to the north. 

    Blind Pass Beach

    This area is the farthest west on Sanibel Island and you can expect prime sunset viewing from this location any time of the year. Many visitors and locals go to this spot and it usually draws more of a crowd during peak season.

    Turner’s Beach

    Located to the north of Blind Pass, this beach faces semi-west and it’s a great place to watch the sunset and it’s also a popular spot for shelling. You’ll see some beautiful rock formations in the area but there is limited parking. 

    Causeway Islands Park

    Spend the day fishing, picnicking, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, shelling, sunbathing or relaxing in the shade. Then sit back and watch the beautiful sunset over the causeway for a one of a kind roadside experience.

    Bowman’s Beach

    Facing southwest, the sunsets from here are best viewed if you look to the north during the summer months. Another great place for shelling, swimming, picnicking, and a leisurely stroll along the beach.

    Sunset Cruises

    A sunset cruise on Sanibel and Captiva gives you the opportunity to go out on the shimmering waters and enjoy the sunset. You may even see some dolphins and other marine life. You’ll find a variety of cruises, charters, and boat rentals.

    For all of your Sanibel & Captiva real estate needs, contact Phaidra McDermott.


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      Where to Shop on Sanibel Island

      Shopping Sanibel IslandGet ready to enjoy some fun island shopping on Sanibel Island. You’ll find a variety of unique stores, specialty shops, and art galleries, and so much more. Many of the shopping areas offer plenty of parking and are convenient to restaurants in case you want to take a break and grab a bite to eat. Here are just a few of the popular places to shop.

      Periwinkle Place

      This shopping oasis is located on over 40,000 square feet and boasts 7 park like acres, 26 shops, and the Blue Giraffe Restaurant. The variety of shops offer something for everyone and include clothing, beachwear, jewelry, toys, gifts, island art, and much more.

      Olde Sanibel Shops

      A pet friendly shopping center with an assortment of boutiques like Island Paws, On Island, and JB Designs. It’s also home to the award winning Over Easy Cafe with outdoor dining. A favorite among locals and visitors alike.

      Tahitian Gardens

      From the whimsical to the elegant, this shopping mall features a variety of stores from clothing and jewelry to toys and unique gifts. Each store boasts a unique shopping experience and you’ll also find some delicious eateries.

      Bailey’s General Store

      A full service grocery and hardware store that also has a coffee bar and sushi to go, as well as a daily lunch and dinner menu. The store provides fresh produce, meats, seafood, gluten free products, and more. 

      Sanibel Farmers Market

      Open on Sunday’s from the first Sunday in October to the last Sunday in May. Features breads, honey, seafood, meats, flowers, cheeses, and local produce. Family friendly event. Dogs are not allowed in the vendor area. 

      Questions about Sanibel Island? Contact Phaidra McDermott


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        Downsizing Your Home for Retirement on Sanibel Island

        Retiring on Sanibel Island: Downsizing Your HomeAre you thinking about downsizing your home for retirement on Sanibel Island? Get ready to simplify your life, save a few bucks, and start a new adventure in Southwest Florida. 

        Deciding to relocate and downsize can be a difficult, exciting, and emotional process. No matter if you’re moving a few miles away or to the other side of the country, downsizing can help you improve your finances and your lifestyle. A smaller home gives you lots of ways to save money. You can cut back on the amount of maintenance and upkeep, property taxes, utility bills, and more with a smaller home. This will give you the opportunity to do some traveling and cross off some of the things on your bucket list, too. 

        It’s a great idea to start planning in advance. Here are some things you can do to make the downsizing process easier.

        Keep an open mind. Try to look at all the positive aspects of moving into a smaller home. Your new home will require less upkeep so you can spend more time with your grandchildren. You’ll also have more time and money for leisure activities.

        Plan ahead. Figure out how much downsizing you’ll really need to do. Imagine your new home and make sure it fits within your budget. Do you want to be on the beach? Close to town amenities? Is a condo or single family home best suited for your lifestyle and your budget?

        Give yourself plenty of time. Go through your current home room by room and decide what items you want to keep, give to family or friends, donate, sell, or throw away. Don’t try to declutter or get rid of things too quickly. 

        Start Your Home Search!


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          Getting Your Home Ready to Sell on Sanibel Island

          Home in FloridaHere are some tips to attract more buyers and increase your chances of selling your home faster and for a better price.

          Clean the exterior. Pressure wash the exterior of your home to really freshen it up. Remove any bird droppings, dirt, mold, and mildew. Don’t forget to clean the rain gutters, windows, and screens.

          Freshen up your lawn. Add a pop of seasonal color on your patio with some potted plants and flowers. Keep the yard mowed and edged and the bushes neatly trimmed. Add some fresh mulch, pull any weeds and remove dead plants.

          Enhance your entryway. An inviting doorway makes buyers want to come inside. Put a fresh coat of paint on the front door, replace outdated hardware and light fixtures, and add welcoming decor like a new doormat. 

          Scrub the inside. Clean everything in your home from the ceiling fans to the floors, including baseboards, windows, and windowsills. Pay extra attention to the bathrooms and kitchen and really make them shine. 

          Get rid of clutter. A home with less inside is going to be easier to sell because buyers are easily able to see themselves living in the home rather than surrounded by your stuff. Decluttering your home will also help make your future move easier.

          Depersonalize. Take down any family photos, school artwork, and other personal effects so these things don’t distract potential buyers. It’s important to neutralize your home decor so buyers can visualize your home as their own.

          Get organized. Clean up and organize your kitchen and bathroom drawers and cabinets. Straighten up all of the closets and the utility room. Potential buyers may want to take a peek inside.

          Stage your home. Make the rooms in your home appear larger by rearranging the furniture. Freshen up paint where needed. Keep clean towels displayed in the bathroom and fresh linens on the bed. Before each showing, turn on the lights and open up the blinds in every room to really brighten it up.

          If you have any questions about selling your home on Sanibel Island, contact Phaidra McDermott, your trusted local realtor and lifelong island resident.


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            7 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Cooling Costs in Florida this Summer

            House in Sanibel FloridaHere are some easy and inexpensive ways to lower your cooling bill this season. Stay cool in Southwest Florida!

            1. Caulking

            Caulk around the inside of your windows and check for any holes outside your home. 

            2. Weather Stripping

            Check the weather stripping around the doors. If you can see light or feel any heat coming in, it’s time to replace it.

            3. Ceiling Fans

            Use ceiling fans to disperse cooled air more efficiently and make the rooms more comfortable. You may even be able to raise your thermostat by up to four degrees without discomfort. You can also use oscillating fans.

            4. Curtains, Blinds & Shades

            Keep your curtains, blinds, and shades closed when you’re not at home and during the hottest parts of the day. At a minimum, try to block the western afternoon sun from heating up your home.

            5. Air Conditioner

            Change your filter monthly during the warm summer season. Dirty filters block air flow and make your cooling system work harder than it has to. Check registers to make sure they are clean and get a seasonal system checkup.

            6. Thermostat

            Get a programmable thermostat so you can keep temperatures warmer when the house is empty and cooler when it’s occupied.

            7. Heat Production

            Try to minimize the amount of extra heat you produce in your home by using the stove, dishwasher, and clothes dryer after dark or in the early morning hours. Be sure to use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to help remove excess heat and humidity.

            Contact Phaidra McDermott for all of your home buying and selling needs on Southwest Florida’s Sanibel & Captiva Islands!


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              4 Cool Ways to Make Your Summer Move Easier

              Getting Ready for a Summer MoveSummer is the most popular time of year for people to move and about 70% of moves happen between Memorial Day & Labor Day. Moving is always stressful, so here are a few tips to make your summer move easier, especially if you are moving to a sunny and warm climate like Sanibel & Captiva, Florida.

              1. Do Research & Plan Ahead

              Movers are busiest during the summer months, so it’s important to plan ahead. Their schedules fill up quickly, so it’s best to schedule your move 6 to 8 weeks in advance. Try to schedule an early morning move so you don’t have to move during the hottest part of the day. Do your homework and compare rates, reviews, and quality of service to find the movers that best meet your needs.

              2. Have a Yard Sale

              The summer months are a great time to have a yard sale. The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and the days are longer. Why not try to make some extra cash by selling the items you don’t plan to take with you or things you no longer need? A yard sale creates a good opportunity to say goodbye to all of your neighbors and visit with them for a little while. If you have anything left over from the yard sale, donate to charity, toss, or give to friends or family. This will help lessen your load when it comes time to pack.

              3. Pack Your Car

              Some things just don’t mix well with heat, so it’s better to bring these heat sensitive items in your own car. You’ll have the air conditioner running and you’ll be able to park in shaded areas if you need to take a break. These are the items that can melt, warp, or get damaged in hot temperatures, like candles, artwork, and electronics. If there isn’t enough room for these things in your car, try to leave them in your old air conditioned home and put them on the moving truck last. Also, label the boxes so you’ll know to unload these items first and get them inside your new air conditioned home quickly to help minimize their exposure to the heat.

              Make sure you bring summer essentials like plenty of bottled water and extra sunscreen. Include anything you might need in case of any travel delays, like a cooler with ice and cold towels. Summer is a popular time for vacation goers and weekend travelers, so traffic could be heavier in some areas.

              4. Dress for the Heat

              It’s important to stay cool (and hydrated!) during your move. Wear clothing that’s lightweight and fits loosely. Think breathable fabrics like cotton, and stay away from synthetic fabrics like polyester. Light colors will keep you cooler than dark colors. Also, cover yourself with SPF 30+ sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours. Bring sunglasses and a hat to protect your head and face from the sun.

              Contact Phaidra McDermott with any questions about buying or selling a home on Southwest Florida’s Sanibel & Captiva Islands.


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                Sanibel & Captiva Islands: The Facts

                Southwest Florida BeachesIf you’re interested in learning some quick facts about the Sanibel & Captiva Islands, you’ve come to the right place! These beautiful sister islands in Southwest Florida are a wonderful place for people who like to enjoy the great outdoors.

                • 15 miles of unspoiled beaches.
                • 25 miles of bike paths.
                • 50 species of fish.
                • 230 species of birds.
                • 250 species of shells.
                • 0 stop lights.
                • Over 65% of Sanibel’s land area is a nature reserve.
                • Sanibel & Captiva Islands are also known as “The Shell Capital of the World”.
                • Sanibel has around 6,500 year round residents and 30,000 during season.
                • Captiva has around 600 year round residents and 4,000 during season.
                • Sanibel & Captiva winters are mild and dry with average daytime temperatures ranging from the upper 70s to the low 80s.
                • Sanibel & Captiva summers are tempered by the cooling sea breezes and range from the high 80s to low 90s.
                • Sanibel Island is the same size as Manhattan.
                • Sanibel Island is about 12 miles long and less than 3 miles across at its widest point.
                • Captiva Island is under 5 miles long and under half a mile across at its widest point.
                • Sanibel has 2 main roads: Periwinkle Way and Gulf Road.
                • The average annual water temperature is 78 degrees.
                • The tallest structure on Sanibel Island is the Sanibel Island Light, which is 98 feet high.

                Contact Phaidra McDermott for all of your home buying and selling needs or start your home search today!


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                  2019 Summer Events & Activities on Sanibel Island

                  Summertime on Sanibel Beaches

                  The Sunshine State is the best place to be this summer, and Sanibel Island is the best place to be in Florida. It’s a great time to explore the beaches and wildlife refuges and go biking, boating,  swimming, or kayaking. Sanibel Island has many fun family friendly events and activities going on this summer, too! Click on the links below to learn more about these local happenings.

                  National Seashell Day
                  Friday, June 21st

                  Sanibel Island is the perfect place to celebrate this national holiday! You’ll find hundreds of species of shells on our beautiful beaches.

                  Showtime for Kids
                  Tuesday, June 25th
                  3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
                  Sanibel Public Library

                  Features a mix of comedy, magic, balloon making, and audience participation. All ages welcome. No fee to participate.

                  Annual Independence Day Parade
                  Thursday, July 4th
                  9:30 am
                  Periwinkle Way (from Tarpon Bay Road to Donax Street)

                  Many of the local businesses, organizations, and community members participate in the parade. Fun for the whole family. Be sure to get to your preferred location early!

                  40th Annual Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club Road Rally
                  Thursday, July 4th
                  12:00 pm
                  Timbers Restaurant

                  The Sanibel-Captiva Optimist Club Road Rally begins at noon with starting times every 2 minutes from the Timbers Restaurant parking lot at 703 Tarpon Bay Road in Sanibel.

                  Fireworks Cruise
                  Thursday, July 4th
                  7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
                  Port Sanibel Marina

                  Listen to tropical music while cruising on San Carlos Bay and watching the sunset and fireworks. $65 per passenger includes soft drinks, bottled water, and snacks.

                  Family Beach Walk
                  Fridays through August 2nd
                  9:00 am - 10:00 am
                  Gulfside City Park

                  Enjoy a guided exploration of J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s Perry Tract and learn about this vital beach ecosystem. Free program for all ages.

                  Wildlife Wonders
                  Saturdays through August 3rd
                  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
                  J.N. Ding Darling’s Visitor & Education Center

                  Learn about the wildlife refuge’s unique ecosystem through a variety of subjects presented every Saturday. Free program for all ages. Parking fees apply.

                  Reading in the Refuge
                  Wednesdays through July 31st
                  10:00 am - 11:00 am
                  J.N. Ding Darling’s Visitor & Education Center’s Classroom

                  Hear an entertaining wildlife story from a naturalist and craft an animal from our estuarine ecosystem. Free program for all ages.

                  All Inclusive Unlimited Watersports
                  Saturdays through September 21st
                  9:00 am - 4:00 pm
                  South Seas Island Resort, Captiva

                  All inclusive watersports include parasailing, wave runners, kayaks, paddleboards, and more. Discount for kids.

                  Family Friendly Movie
                  Mondays through July 22nd
                  1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
                  Sanibel Public Library

                  Bring the whole family for a family friendly movie at the Sanibel Public Library. No pre-registration required. No fee to participate.

                  If you’re thinking about buying or selling real estate on Sanibel Island,
                  or if you have any questions about the local area:

                  Contact Phaidra McDermott


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                    5 Reasons to Buy a Condo on Sanibel Island

                    Sanibel Island Condos in Southwest FloridaSanibel Island is the perfect place to own a condo whether you’re looking for a seasonal home, investment property, or a permanent residence. Here are just five reasons to buy a condo on Sanibel Island in beautiful Southwest Florida.

                    1. Condos are low maintenance, so you’ll have more time to enjoy everything Sanibel Island has to offer. From strolling or relaxing on the beach to fishing and boating on the water to golfing, playing tennis, and dining at some fabulous restaurants, you’ll have plenty to experience. You don’t have to worry about spending time maintaining the exterior of the property or the common areas because the association fees cover those items.
                    2. Sanibel Island is a popular travel destination, so you can have fun living in your condo year round or earn income from your renters and use it as a vacation home. There’s something for everyone to enjoy year round. Think relaxation, beaches, shelling, and exciting water adventures.
                    3. Condos on Sanibel Island offer a variety of great amenities including pools, hot tubs, fitness centers, clubhouses, golf, tennis courts, private balconies, and water views. Some of these amenities are not practical with a single-family home. So, you’ll be able to enjoy some extra luxuries by owning a condo.
                    4. Condos are located in convenient areas, whether you want to be close to the beach, golf, or restaurants. Condos on Sanibel Island offer easy access to these areas.
                    5. You can enjoy the lifestyle you want at a more affordable price than a single-family home. Condos are less expensive than homes, so you can enjoy spending your money doing all of the things you love to do.

                    Thinking about Buying a Condo on Sanibel Island?

                    Start Your Search

                    Contact Phaidra McDermott


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