Sanibel-Captiva : Florida


What It Is Like to Retire in Sanibel-Captiva

The well-to-do have been flocking to Sanibel and Captiva Islands for years – and for good reason. These islands off the southwest coast of Florida are a warm and scenic tropical paradise, filled with every amenity an active adult with money to spend could want. The 15 miles of white coral beaches are famous for shelling, the beautiful homes and apartments sing “buy me”, and the weather is just about perfect from October through May (it gets hot and humid in the summer). Sanibel-Captiva is a very desirable vacation spot and a place to live for anyone, but particularly for active adults who have the time and inclination to live a slower lifestyle. Sanibel-Captiva is located in Lee County. Ft. Myers is 11 miles away. The average age on the island is one of the highest in the country - 60+.

The down-side of paradise in America is that it generally comes with both a high price tag and big crowds. Real estate is very expensive and mid-winter traffic to and from the mainland (Ft. Myers) is often at a standstill. However for those willing to tough it out in their beautiful beachside homes, this can be a great way to pass the time.

Sanibel is the larger island and is closer to the mainland. It has a few golf courses, much tennis, great beaches, and fabulous shopping. The Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge is vast and worth a visit. Captiva, a much smaller island at the end of Sanibel, was devastated in the 2004-5 hurricane seasons.

For a list of more communities go to: community reviews


Where to Retire in Sanibel-Captiva and Home Prices

There are many small apartment, condo, and townhome complexes here.
As homes get further from the water they become a bit more affordable. Prices can swing tremendously depending on where and how far away from the water they are. Median prices were $1,099,880 in Sanibel in early 2022, according to Zillow.


What Is Special about Sanibel-Captiva

Beautiful white coral beaches. Living on an island. Warm weather all winter. average Jan temperature is in the mid-60s. Many upscale housing opportunities for retirees, including many condos and apartments. Great shops. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge


What Is Not Special about Sanibel-Captiva

Sanibel-Captiva is so desirable that is has become extremely expensive; Crowds; Island fever; Hurricane season


Who Will Like Retirement in Sanibel-Captiva

People like living in Sanibel or Captiva because of its resort atmosphere. It helps if you don't mind lots of tourists or living on an island. They also tend to be wealthy. The wonderful murder mysteries of Randy Wayne White are set here.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism, retail, real estate.

Find Florida retirement communities like Fort Myers and Key West

Climate and Physical Environment

Sanibel-Captiva is just off the coast of Ft. Myers, FL. The Gulf of Mexico is on one side and bays and small mangrove islands on the other. Captiva is at the end. Find Sanibel on Google Maps. The average January temp is in the 60's and the average July temp in the low 80's.  It is very flat and susceptible to hurricanes.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Sanibel-Captiva has many galleries and artists in residence. The Sanibel Public Library is well funded and has more than 60,000 volumes. Nearby Ft. Myers has a number of theatres and performing arts facilities. As a popular tourist destination there is no shortage of good restaurants, either here of just off the island in Fort Myers Beach.



Crime here is very low.

Medical Facilities

There are at least 4 hospitals nearby: -  Healthpark Hospital (10 miles)  Cape Coral Hospital (14 miles) - Lee Memorial Hospital (19 miles) - Gulf Coast Hospital (18 miles)



Ft. Myers Airport is 19 miles away

Valuable Links

Welcome to Sanibel Island

The Islands of Sanibel and Captiva

Sanibel on Wikipedia
Captiva on Wikipedia


What people are saying about Sanibel-Captiva

a great area for boating
It is a very special location, one with a lifestyle that only living on an island in southwest florida can bring. The main reason we move here was due to the boating. Captiva, Sanibel, and Pine Island all nestled together provides so much joy for boats. The sanibel photos help tell the story, a mixture of an active lifestyle perfect for those that enjoy the water.
Posted by stuart888 on August 19, 2007

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