Sanibel and Captiva Islands: Near the Mainland But Out of This World

By Linde Hyder

Crossing the Sanibel Causeway is like entering another world. A world where sunsets are so spectacular they take your breath away. A world filled with 15 miles of pristine beaches and zero stop lights. Here—just a short drive from Fort Myers on Florida’s West Coast—are Sanibel and Captiva Islands, a tropical paradise unlike any other.

Positioned along the Gulf of Mexico, the pull of the islands is so strong that those who visit typically return to make Sanibel/Captiva their home. “My wife and I came here 30 years ago intending to stay one year,” explains Jim Hall, Owner and Managing Partner of VIP Realty Group, Inc. “Instead, we moved permanently and raised our four children here.”

Hailed as the ‘best shelling spot in the world,’ there is much more to do than what locals call the “Sanibel Stoop.” Explore the 330-acre wildlife preserve or cycle along 25 miles of scenic bike paths. Enjoy world-class fishing, boating and kayaking. Or, simply relax to the sound of gentle Gulf waves and the brush of island breezes.

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Anderson |

“No matter what you like to do, there’s something for everyone on Sanibel and Captiva Islands,” says Jim. That goes for housing types, as well. Architectural designs range from beachfront condos to bayfront estates and from Olde Florida to contemporary.

Jim welcomes the opportunity to help others find their dream home or vacation rental on Sanibel/Captiva. A real estate professional since 1989, he has earned the Certified Residential Broker (CRB) and Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designations. Since 1991, Jim has sold more than $800 million of residential real estate in Southwest Florida, making him one of the top Realtors® in all of Lee County.

Residents find there’s no reason to leave the island as medical facilities, cultural attractions, shopping, an extensive library and numerous dining options are located here. What you won’t find are high-rises or fast-food chains.

“You feel like you’re on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere, yet you’re a five-minute causeway ride to the mainland,” states Jim. It is little wonder that most people who visit Sanibel/Captiva Islands come back to live.

Jim Hall
VIP Realty, Inc.