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Overview

Introduction to Sanibel, Florida

Sanibel, Florida is 9 miles SW of Cape Coral, Florida (center to center) and 107 miles S of Tampa, Florida. The city is in Lee county, and is part of the Fort Myers-Cape Coral metro area.

Sanibel History

The city of Sanibel is located on Sanibel Island. Around 6,000 years ago, Sanibel and Captiva formed as one island, and the Calusa Indians lived in the area until the arrival of the Europeans. In 1768, a Spanish map labeled the island "Puerto de S. Nibel" which is probably how the area received the name Sanibel. However, another tradition claims that the community was christened "Santa Isybella" by Juan Ponce de Leon, a famous explorer believed to have discovered the island and to have named it in honor of Queen Isabella. Though the Spanish failed in their efforts to set up an establishment, they left behind a host of diseases which nearly wiped out the Calusa population in the 1700s. The Sanibel Lighthouse was constructed in 1884, and gradually a settlement began to form around it. In the 1900s, Americans started visiting the island as tourists. In 1963, the Sanibel Causeway was completed, and in 1974, Sanibel was incorporated as a city.

Sanibel and Nearby Attractions

  • Museum of the Islands.
  • Thomas Edison Winter Estate.
  • Bailey Matthews Shell Museum.
  • Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Stump Pass Beach State Park.
  • Naples Zoo.

Things To Do In Sanibel

Bailey Matthews Shell Museum, and the Museum of the Islands showcase exhibits which reflect local history and nature. The Thomas Edison Winter Estate, the Henry Ford Estate and the Imaginarium Hands-On Museum and Aquarium are also close to Sanibel. Naples Zoo and Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge are two other popular attractions in the area. Because the city is on Sanibel Island, the parks offer facilities for various water sports. The Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Cayo Costa State Park and Gasparilla Island State Park provide amenities for swimming, fishing, boating, scuba diving, canoeing, camping and picnicking. In addition, the Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park offers visitors the opportunity to view wildlife like sea turtles, and manatees.

Sanibel Transportation

The closest major airport is Southwest Florida International Airport.

Sanibel Higher Education

Colleges near Sanibel include the Edison Community College, Florida Gulf Coast University and Manatee Community College.

People

Total Population 6,899
Male Share of the Population 46.7%
Female Share of the Population 53.3%
Senior Citizens 53.1%
Employed Population 16+ 2,287
Age of the Population 66

Families

% of people married 70.8%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 63.4%
Median Earnings25+ $41,917
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $2
Median Earnings With High School Degree $20,313

Wealth

Median Family Income $126,917
% Above Poverty Level 93.2%
% Below Poverty Level 6.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 19 minutes
% Working from Home 20%
% Walking and Biking to Work 5.7%
% Using Public Transportation %

Housing

People Living Alone 29.8%
Median Gross Rent $1,210
Median House Value $664,500

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 6.9%
US/American 0.3%
English 20.8%
Irish 16.6%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Sanibel Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 9 miles SW of Cape Coral, Florida (center to center)
Nearest Large City 107 miles S of Tampa, Florida
County Lee
Metro Area Fort Myers - Cape Coral
Standard Zip Codes 33957
Phone Area Codes 239
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 26.448
Longitude -82.022

Sanibel Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station FORT MYERS (PAGE AP)
Distance 13.4 miles
Jan Temp 55 to 75 F
Apr Temp 63 to 85 F
Jul Temp 74 to 92 F
Oct Temp 69 to 86 F
Annual Precip 54.1 inches
Station IMMOKALEE 3 NNW
Distance 36.5 miles
Jan Temp 50 to 75 F
Apr Temp 58 to 84 F
Jul Temp 71 to 91 F
Oct Temp 66 to 86 F
Annual Precip 50 inches
Station ARCADIA
Distance 54 miles
Jan Temp 48 to 73 F
Apr Temp 57 to 83 F
Jul Temp 71 to 91 F
Oct Temp 64 to 85 F
Annual Precip 49.3 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Bonita Springs 47,915 $66,186
Cape Coral 165,843 $55,103
Fort Myers 68,472 $49,428
Fort Myers Beach 6,668 $73,851
North Fort Myers 40,560 $51,307

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Sanibel Public Libraries

Library
Sanibel Public Library
770 DUNLOP ROAD
Sanibel, Florida
(239) 472-2483
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

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