DON RICHTER of Danville, Illinois, writes in praise of Sanibel Island in his local newspaper, The Commercial-News.
His observations of Sanibel’s charms match those of almost everyone who visits here. We hear the comments regularly from guests at Sanibel’s West Wind Inn beach resort. They regard West Wind Inn as the “jewel” in the jewel.
Don’s story starts in a local shopping plaza. He doesn’t say which one and we have several. Periwinkle Place, the largest and most popular among shoppers, is the likely venue.
Don describes a conversation with another male. Both are consigned to a waiting bench while their ladies finish up their searches for island treasure.
After the customary comments on seasonal traffic on Periwinkle Way, he swings into a list of what makes Sanibel special. One of those things is the politeness of drivers on Sanibel, who tend to be willing to wait and leave an opening for cars crossing or entering traffic.
He then comments on our “elaborate system of bicycle trails” that make it possible to avoid the daily traffic jams.
Eventually, he moves on to the island’s preoccupation with nature, from its controls of outdoor lighting, “in deference to the sea turtles that nest there” , to acres and acres of land devoted to habitat for wildlife. The latter include renowned J. N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, a resource that West Wind Inn proudly claims to have as its close neighbor.
Then there is the beach that many consider Sanibel’s ultimate attraction, known throughout the world for its abundant seashells.
Strangely, or not so strangely for the male of our species, Don stops short of drilling further into another strong attraction for visitors: the shopping, with which he opened his article. By tradition and City regulations controlling the growth “chains”, Sanibel shops present a fascinating array of merchandise a shopper would have a hard time finding in a mall at home.
These are the pleasures and treasures that await you as you are drawn to this jewel on the Southwest Florida Gulf coast.