Getting To Know Sanibel

We’ve gotten to know Sanibel pretty well having lived here for more than a decade now. There’s so much to say about our 16 square-mile barrier island, as you can tell by the 280+ blogs we’ve written so far!

But for those unfamiliar with Sanibel, we thought you’d enjoy this Quick Start to Sanibel, an overview of the island. So let’s start with the basic stats. 

Sanibel Basic Stats

Sanibel Population: 7,363 (2017 Census)
Land Area: 16.12 square miles
Water & Land Total Area: 33.25 square miles
County: Lee County
City Incorporation: 1974

How dense are we on Sanibel Island compared to other Florida beach towns? You might be surprised to learn that St. Augustine, Marco, Naples, and Venice are 3x more densely populated than Sanibel! Click here to read our full blog “How Dense Are We On Sanibel.” 

Note: Each link highlighted in blue throughout this article will take you to other articles we’ve written about that topic. 

Preserving Our Island

Did you know Sanibel is more than 60% conservation land? You’ve likely heard about the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, which is a great place to see unique migratory birds, alligators, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. But there’s also the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), which owns 1,800 acres of land on the islands, preserving it in its natural state.

The founding fathers of Sanibel we’re a huge part in establishing this conservation effort that has kept the island free from high-rise condos and over-development. The building restrictions and regulations around vacation rentals have preserved both the land and the small town appeal of Sanibel, which most people describe as “simple, natural, and friendly.”

Island Community

The Sanibel community is what drew us to live on island and raise our family of four kids. It’s also what’s helped our family-owned real estate practice to be successful, with an abundance of support and collaborations between the businesses on island. 

Annual events such as the 4th of July parade, Sanibel Luminary Night, and events at the Sanibel Community House paint a good picture of the community spirit. The numerous non-profit organizations such as CROW, BIG ARTS, the churches on island are a big part in what makes the community special, and how island residents get involved in the community and meet one another. 

Sanibel 4th of July Parade

More on Sanibel

As I said, I could talk about Sanibel for days. This is just skimming the surface! Below are a few other articles I think you’ll like. If you have questions about a topic I didn’t mention, feel free to reach out! Email or call 239-472-1950. 

Click here to read more about shelling on Sanibel and the National Shell Museum.
Click here to read more about the Sanibel School, a National Blue Ribbon grade school.
Click here to read more about the 22 miles of Shared Use Path, popular for biking.
Click here to read why Sanibel is Our Kind of Boring…Yup, I said it.

Susan McCallion About Susan McCallion

Meet "Your Favorite Redhead." Susan was exposed to real estate while young with her parent's 8 Re/MAX offices in Connecticut! In 2008, Susan and Jim became permanent Sanibel residents, starting McCallion & McCallion to bring a fresh approach to real estate.