Broker Says Sanibel Tops Best Beach Towns In Florida to Live

Posted by Kurt Schultheis on Monday, May 17th, 2021 at 2:54pm

Finding the best beach in Florida to live is like trying to pick your favorite kind of ice cream. It can be an impossible task when you are constantly confronted with warm weather, sunny skies and turquoise water at your fingertips. Fortunately, we found a real estate broker that has the answer to your question.

Sanibel Island outranks the rest when you are researching the best beach towns in Florida to live, according to Royal Shell Real Estate President and Managing Broker Michael Polly. Polly said as a whole the island wins based on its white sandy beaches and perfect harmony between quaint island residential living and wildlife refuges. 

Read on to learn the other reasons Sanibel Island tops the rankings among best coastal towns in Florida to live.

Is Sanibel Island a Good Place to Live?

Sanibel Island is a great place to live and a wonderful place to vacation. Why not make it official and have the best of both worlds? Come live where you like to vacation. 

Polly says Sanibel Island offers the perfect mix of residents and island living in the perfect nature setting. 

“The 12-mile island stretch of land known as Sanibel Island is the jewel of southwest Florida,” Polly said. “The amount of nature mixed with sand and warm Gulf waters is the perfect vacation spot or permanent residence. But the best part is there are no traffic lights on the island and if you want more of an island escape, cross the Blind Pass Bridge at the end of Sanibel and explore Captiva Island where the land ends at Redfish Pass. Sanibel is simply paradise.” 

Need more convincing? Southern Living recently labeled Sanibel Island as one of the South’s Best Beach Towns 2021

Let’s take a look at the competition so you can make sure you are making the right decision. 

Best Small Beach Towns in Florida to Live

There are a lot of small beach towns in Florida to choose from. A list of small beach towns includes: 

  • St. Pete Beach

  • Sanibel Island

  • Longboat Key

  • Sarasota

  • Siesta Key

  • Pensacola Beach

  • Cocoa Beach

  • Holmes Beach

  • Key West

  • Bradenton Beach

  • Anna Maria Island

  • Clearwater Beach

Best Affordable Beach Towns to Live in Florida

Finding an affordable beach town to live in and keep your budget intact is an even more difficult task. 

According to, the 10 most affordable beach towns in Florida are: 

  1. Titusville

  2. Sebastian

  3. Port Charlotte

  4. Fort Pierce

  5. Daytona Beach

  6. Venice

  7. Palm Bay

  8. Melbourne

  9. Port Orange

  10. Tarpon Springs

These affordable beach town labels, however, are based on median home prices and does not reflect, as a whole, how an overall affordable beach town experience in Florida works for your needs. 

Best Beach Towns in Florida for Families to Live

There are so many beach towns in Florida but you have to do your research to find out which beach towns are a great place to raise a family. 

As a general rule, when looking for beach towns for families, you should be researching: 

  • School districts

  • Nearby Amenities

  • Nearby recreational and outdoor facilities

  • Family friendly neighborhoods

  • Crime

  • Walkability

  • Climate

  • The housing market

  • Homeowner associations

  • Taxing districts

Here’s a list of beach towns for families that many people consider:


Pass-a-Grille is a small community on the southern tip of St. Pete Beach. It is known for its historic downtown, family-friendly restaurants and the popular Don CeSar Hotel. High-rise condominiums are banned here, making it a perfect beach spot for families to enjoy wide open beach space. 

Amelia Island

Amelia Island is a laid-back barrier island on Florida’s Atlantic Coast that offers historic views, nature, beaches and outdoor activities. The island has more than 30 miles of bike trails and even offers a skateboarding tour for kids. 

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach is a surfer’s town an hour-and-a-half to the east of Orlando. It’s also right next to Cape Canaveral, so get ready for great views of rocket launches. Cruising the I-95 corridor and heading to the beach is a great place to spend a Florida day!

Sanibel Island

Speaking of bike trails and outdoor adventures, Sanibel Island is a great place for families to enjoy the day at the beach, enjoy 25 miles of biking trails throughout the island and explore a nature preserve wonderland at J.N. “Ding Darling” National Wildlife Refuge. You can also head to famous Algiers Beach for shelling and enjoy shopping on Periwinkle Way. There are so many Sanibel Island things to do while you are here.

Delray Beach

Just north of Boca Raton, Delray Beach is a small town where people shop on Atlantic Avenue, which is a pedestrian friendly area with cafes, art galleries, shopping and dining options. 

What Is It Like Living on Sanibel Island?

Let’s circle back to the top choice now. As you can see above, Sanibel Island is your top choice and meets all the requirements listed above. We think you can feel comfortable knowing Sanibel Island is the top choice when you are investigating the best beach towns in Florida to live. 

When you want to know what it’s like living on Sanibel Island, think coastal community combined with walking, nearby golf courses and biking trails. Also enjoy quaint shops, waterfront dining and opportunities for walking among a protected wildlife refuge.

“The largest wildlife refuge is J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, where there are more than 245 different species of birds, not to mention countless other creatures,” Polly said.

Is Sanibel Island Safe?

You can rest easy knowing that Sanibel Island is one of the safest small towns in America. As a whole, the City of Sanibel itself has been named as the seventh safest city in Florida in the National Council for Home Safety and Security’s Safest Cities in Florida Report. 

What is the Prettiest Beach in Florida? 

Without a doubt, the prettiest beach in Florida is Sanibel Island, according to Polly.  It’s the best beach for collecting shells among its fine white powdery sand. 

“Known as the best beach for shelling in North America, Sanibel Island has over half of the 33 square miles devoted to amazing beaches and wildlife refuges,” Polly said. 

Find Your Sanibel Island Dream Home With Royal Shell Today

Royal Shell is a leader in the Southwest Florida real estate market and has agents who know the communities of Sanibel Island, Naples, Fort Myers and other areas.

We can help you find the perfect Florida home, whether it’s your forever home or you are buying a home as an investment. Take a look at everything we have to offer, when you are reviewing the best beach towns in Florida to live, which includes Sanibel Island beach houses

Use Royal Shell’s home finder today and contact Royal Shell today at 1-855-242-9926 to find your perfect island home paradise today!

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