Are Sanibel Island beaches open to the public too? Where are they located, and what all they have to offer?
Get all your questions answered as we guide you through some stunning Sanibel Island beaches.
Sanibel Island is a captivating place in Florida and houses some of the best beaches along Captiva Island that one can never forget. However, not all beaches are open for the public to visit. Several Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches are reserved for guests of resorts and are privately owned.
If you would be staying at a vacation home, you will have access to one of the beautiful beaches attached to it. But it is still better to be able to access more beaches that are open to everyone.
Sanibel Island has various public beaches that can be accessed all day long for free by the public.
8 Awesome Sanibel Island Beaches
1. Lighthouse Beach Park
Lighthouse Beach Park is one of the most popular among Sanibel Island beaches. Apart from a lovely beach, it houses fishing piers and nature trails. It also has a lighthouse (built-in 1884) that has a great history to tell.
The beach also has a separate picnic area for you to enjoy with family and friends. At the corner of Lighthouse Beach Park is another beach that gives a direct view of Sanibel Causeway.
The beach park has various other facilities like outdoor showers and restrooms. There are around 150+ parking lots that are chargeable. The charge per hour comes down to $5.
But if you are looking to save money and do not have many things to carry, biking to the beach could be the other option. It would not just save your money but a lot of time too.
2. Causeway Beach Park
On your way to gorgeous Sanibel Island beaches, this is the first one that you will encounter. The specialty of this beach park is that it is man-built.
Causeway Beach Park was built as a support of Causeway that acts as a connecting link between the mainland and Sanibel Island. This narrow beach is not preferred a lot for resting or relaxing on the sand. However, it is popular for fishing, picnic tables as well as swimming.
The facility of free parking at this beach is another plus point for the visitors. It is dog-friendly, too (till they are kept on a leash). It is suggested not to bury pet waste in the sand as children enjoy digging in the sand. The beach does not permit the consumption of alcohol.
Apart from its marvelous beaches, Florida is also known for skydiving. Click here to know more if you are a skydiving enthusiast.
3. Gulfside City Park
It is situated on Algiers Lane and is known as Algiers Beach by the locals because it earlier had a steamboat of the same name. The beach is not busy, unlike other Sanibel Island beaches. The park spans an area of 27.5 acres and offers a lot to spend a memorable time. The park is well equipped with bike racks and also has outside showers along with restrooms.
The beach at Gulfside City Park is quite peaceful. It is also considered the best among the Sanibel Island beaches to relax and lie under the sun as it is not busy. There are nature trails at a distance that you can explore if you are not fond of resting at the beach.
The park also houses Loggerhead Turtles, which are an added attraction for the visitors. However, it would help if you kept vigilant of volunteer turtle patrols that stake off areas occupying the turtles’ nests.
4. Bowman’s Beach
Located on the west of Sanibel Island, Bowman’s beach is counted among the largest beaches among Sanibel Island beaches. It was also called the most remote beach for a long time but has gained popularity in the last few years.
Bowman’s beach occupies an area of 50 acres and has sufficient parking space. You will probably have to walk a little too, to get to the beach. It is worth the walk as you will find special and live shells that will make you dig deeper into the sand in search of more.
Visitors generally love lounging in the sand on the beach. But do not worry if you are not into it. There are many other things to explore, like walking through the long and beautiful nature trail above the beach. Another interesting fact is that it is the only beach on Sanibel island that has barbeque grills.
5. Turner Beach
Another famous destination among the Sanibel Island beaches is home to beautiful seashells, big fishing grounds, and captivating sunsets. Turner Beach is situated on both sides of Blind Pass Bridge.
It is suggested not to swim at this beach due to its strong currents, but you can go for shelling. The beach has a limited parking area, which is open from 7 AM to 7 PM, and it charges $30 for an hour.
The park has other facilities like a drinking fountain, outside showers, restrooms, and free parking for disabled people. The beach is open to the public all day long.
6. Blind Pass Beach
Blind Pass Beach is located on the Sanibel Island side of the Blind Pass strait. If you love watching sunsets, you will love this beach too! Like many Sanibel Island beaches, it is famous for its beautiful shell collection and captivating scenery. It is also a good place for spotting a variety of fish and other wildlife.
Like Turner beach, this beach is prone to strong currents, too, so visitors do not try swimming here. However, the beach is free for you to explore.
The parking on the beach is tricky, and visitors are warned about it beforehand. Also, Blind Pass beach has average facilities and is only equipped with showers and restrooms.
7. Tarpon Bay Beach
This beach is situated on Tarpon Bay Road (on the southern coast of Sanibel Island) and is special in its way compared to other Sanibel Island beaches. It is an amazing place for people who enjoy windsurfing or swimming because of its clear and calm water.
If you are lucky enough, you might spot an ice-cream truck that is present occasionally at Tarpon Bay Beach. The beach has other facilities, including new restrooms, parking, and beach wheelchairs.
The parking costs $5 per hour, and beach wheelchairs are only provided upon request, which should be made a day prior.
8. Captiva Beach
Captiva Beach is just the right place for visitors who prefer solitude over anything else with magnificent white sands and the soothing sound of waves overlapping with each other.
The beach is rightly called one of the most romantic beaches out of all Sanibel Island beaches. Captiva beach is rarely busy, which is why it is famous for relaxing and sunbathing.
There are not a lot of facilities available at this beach. The parking space is limited, but it is easy to find a spot for your vehicle anytime you visit the beach. There are restrooms available, including one for disabled people.
What Makes Sanibel Island Beaches Stand Out?
There are a plethora of beaches in Florida, United States where you walk along the shore and enjoy the scenic beauty; until you come to a point where there is trash around you or a wrecked part where you stop.
Thankfully, this has never been experienced by visitors of Sanibel Island beaches. Sanibel is an amazing place to explore nature and wildlife too.
Apart from that, there are numerous things that you can go for when visiting Sanibel Island, including:
- Visit J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and witness some marvelous wildlife. The interactive education center present there will help you know more about wildlife. You could also take four-mile wildlife to drive around the place on a bike.
- Spend some time at the aviary, which is located on Periwinkle Trailer Park. The aviary houses macaws, parrots, ducks, raucous and other birds. A few visitors volunteer to share about all types of birds at the park in the bird show held for free.
- Renta kayak and spend a beautiful day on the water. Get closer to dolphins who hunt fish in the bay or watch birds perch in the mangroves. If you wish to get your kayak, it might be difficult to switch routes. The fees range from $7 to $35, depending on the beach you are at.
- Explore the seven historic buildings of Sanibel Historical Village. The historic buildings were moved from the original island and then restored.
- Bring a bike and ride it on the paved trails, which are of high quality. The trails stretch up to 25 miles, and riding a bike will let you explore parts on the island where parking spaces for cars are not constructed.
This was our list of 8 awesome Sanibel island beaches that you would want to visit at least once in your lifetime. Whether it be walking at the beach and adding beautiful shells to your collection, surfing on the waves, or swim around, watch sunsets or relax and read a good book, Sanibel Island beaches offer it all.