Sanibel Made Two Reader's Digest Lists Last Month

Sanibel Made Two Reader's Digest Lists Last MonthIn our opinion, Sanibel Island is the best location in Florida and the entire planet. OK, I may be a little bit biased because I live here but it really is a special place. This is why it constantly makes best-of lists in several different categories for several different reasons. Many of them have to do with the weather and the beaches but who can disagree with Sanibel having a paradise-like atmosphere that makes you never want to leave? This is why so many people quickly fall in love with Sanibel and either choose to live here or purchase a vacation home to make it their favorite place that they can always come back to. Recently Sanibel Island made two best-of lists published by the publication Readers Digest. You've probably heard of it before it is one of America's most-read magazines.

Sanibel Island Makes Two Reader's Digest Best-of Lists

Readers Digest Labels Sanibel Florida's Most Charming Small Town

On February 1, 2024, Readers Digest published their list of the best small towns in each state across the country. Sanibel won the title for Florida's best town. Readers digest notes that Florida is full of fantastic beaches but Sanibel is a quiet island in the Gulf of Mexico known for its beaches, especially the seashell-strewn shores. They note that the entire island was once a nature preserve and they suggest visiting the SCCF Nature Center.

They also make a note of the Sanibel Historical Museum Village with its nine beautifully restored buildings that give a picture of the first days of Sanibel between the 1880s and the 1920s. Sanibel actually started as an island that required a 30-minute boat ride to access and then the causeway was built allowing for much easier access to the island via car by anybody who wanted to visit. Residents who lived on the island were more cautious of the island being overdeveloped and overcrowded with its new easy access. For this reason, the island of Sanibel petitioned to become an official city with its own government to help create laws that would inhibit the over-development of the island. Today the island holds stricter building standards to help preserve a majority of the island in its natural state and this is one of the reasons Sanibel island is so special.

But Sanabel is not only natural preserve land, there is also plenty to do on the island with its nicely balanced ratio of natural areas and modern amenities. There are golf courses, bike trails, the most amazing pristine beaches, boat tours, fishing, amazing restaurants, great shopping, and so much more. The more time you spend here the more you will discover how awesome the balance between natural and developed is.

Readers Digest List of Best-kept Secret Beaches in Florida

In another article posted on February 15, 2024, Reader's Digest created a list of the best-hidden gem beaches in Florida, and of course, Sanibel was on the list. The article notes that Florida is a state full of amazing beaches, but to get the best beach experience in Florida they suggest following locals to the hidden gems. 

Florida does have one of the largest coastlines in the country. It is second only to Alaska making it the largest coastline of a sunshine-filled state (tropical climate). It is not hard to see why so many people want to be in or visit Florida. But with all these beaches not all of them are amazing to visit. Some are highly popular but perhaps too popular for some and quickly become crowded. This is why Reader's Digest set out to find Florida's Best Kept Secret Beaches or beaches that seem to be hidden gems. 

Sanibel Beaches That Made the List

Bowman's Beach: Readers Digest recognized Bowman's Beach as the best destination for shelling and watching the sunset. It is no secret that Sanibel Island is the shelling capital of the world. Bowman's Beach is located on the west end of Sanibel. If you are visiting the island for the first time it is good to know that paying to park is required to access Bowmans Beach. This is often a favorite spot for family photos for those who frequently visit and live here year-round.

Lee County Beaches That Made the List

Since Sanibel Island is located in Lee County off the coast of Fort Meyers we thought we would note these beaches in the county that are not far from Sanibel as well. 

Lovers Key State Park: Lovers Key State Park makes up a small handful of tiny barrier islands off the shore of Fort Myers Beach and Estero Island. This area has been preserved and protected from development and encompasses over 2 miles of secluded beaches. It is in a fantastic spot to watch whales or spot a manatee. It is highly popular for the 5 miles of biking trails that wind through and around it. It is a great place to observe local wildlife.

Turner Beach on Captiva Island: Captiva Island is the sister island of Sanibel and is easily accessed on the west end of Sanibel by a bridge not far from Bowman's Beach across the pass. Turner Beach is recognized on the Readers Digest list as the best for saltwater fishing. Turner Beach is located on the south side of Captiva shortly after crossing the pass from Sanibel. Readers Digest notes that Turner Beach is crowd-free and great for a picnic or having plenty of room for kids to play. It is a highly popular spot for saltwater fishermen. It is good to know that this area can have a strong under-toe so you need to be especially careful near the bridge as the water gets deep quickly. This is not the safest area to swim. If you like to fish and you live in Florida you can utilize this amazing spot with a free fishing license.

Boca Grande Beach on Gasparilla Island: Boca Grande Beach is noted to be best for tarpon fishing on the Reader's Digest list. This beach is located between Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico on a very quiet barrier island. It is within the county but it does take about an hour to get to from Fort Myers. Of course, it is closer to Sanibel Island. People love the island because it is easygoing and once you are there there's little use for getting around by car. Check out the two-story lighthouse on the south end of the beach built in 1890. If you are a tarpon fisherman you will definitely want to come for the world's largest tarpon tournament which is a catch-and-release tournament celebrating Boca Grande's rich fishing culture.

There are so many reasons to love Sanibel Island and these are just two of them. We truly agree that Sanabel is Florida's most charming small town and it has the best beaches in Florida. When you come here you won't want to leave. If you are looking for real estate on Sanibel Island I am here to help. Contact me anytime with any Sanibel real estate needs both buying and selling homes either as a primary home, a vacation home, or an investment property.

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