When you’re considering one of our Sanibel vacation rentals, you’re probably wanting a place near the beach. Luckily, there are tons of convenient Sanibel Island beaches to choose from, so you’ll never be far away from the sand!
Here are a few of the top beaches in the area and all the information you’ll need before you go.
Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park
One of the most popular (and often one of the most crowded) beaches in the area is Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park. This beach is located at the island’s eastern tip and is the first one you’ll come to when you cross the causeway from mainland Florida. Here, you’ll be able to go shelling, which is one of the most popular hobbies on Sanibel Island. You can also experience nature at the nearby nature trail and boardwalk, or you can learn about local history at the namesake Sanibel Lighthouse.
Parking is abundant at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park. If you plan to visit the pier, you’ll want to park in the northern lot. The southern lot is more convenient for spending time on the beach. Either way, you’ll find free wheelchair-access parking spaces and a free bicycle rack, as well as amenities like picnic tables, restrooms, and showers.
If you want a beach that’s a bit more secluded but still quite popular, Bowman’s Beach achieves the perfect balance. This beach is located at 1700 Bowmans Beach Road; visitors will have to head across the bridge from the parking lot and make their way over the dunes to reach the beach itself. Although it might be a bit of a trek to get there, the abundant amenities and the breathtaking views at the beach make the journey more than worth it.
While Bowman’s Beach doesn’t have any food vendors, it does stand out as the only beach on Sanibel Island with barbecues available. Visitors can bring their lunch to enjoy at the shaded picnic tables, then when they’re done eating, they can take to the sand for some of the best shelling opportunities on the island. Guests will also find a nature travel as well as kayak and canoe launches.
Blind Pass Beach
Blind Pass Beach is unique in its location since it provides excellent proximity to both Sanibel and Captiva Islands. You can find this beach situated at the western tip of Sanibel Island, right along the channel between the two islands. When you come to this beach, don’t expect to swim; the strong currents make the conditions unsafe. However, visitors still enjoy coming to this area to check out the incredible and unique seashells that are deposited on the shores. Once you are done hunting for seashells, you can head back down and take a tour of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates!
Blind Pass Beach is also popular for sunbathing and fishing. There is a convenient bait shop just down the road if you need to pick up any supplies. Additionally, this area is full of unique shops and local restaurants that allow you to truly immerse yourself in the local culture. You will find plentiful parking but no other amenities. If you’re simply looking to spend some time out in the sunshine without necessarily wanting to get in the water, Blind Pass Beach is a great option.
Turner Beach at Blind Pass
One of the most underrated beaches at Sanibel Island is Turner Beach, which sits just across the water from Blind Pass Beach. This beach offers paid parking, as well as restrooms and outdoor showers. Since this beach is so close to Blind Pass, it also experiences strong currents and is not the best place to go for a swim. However, there are all kinds of unique shells that wash up on the shores. With incredible beaches like this, the only left to decide is which Sanibel or Captiva Island vacation renal is right for you!
In addition to shelling, visitors can come to this area to fish on the jetty. Many people simply visit Turner Beach to take some beautiful photographs of the sunset on the Gulf shore or enjoy the view. If you want a beach that’s a bit secluded but still offers some stunning views and a few amenities, Turner Beach truly offers the best of both worlds.
Causeway Islands’ Park Beaches
When you head along the Sanibel Causeway from Fort Myers to Sanibel Island, you’ll find two narrow islands, simply called “A” and “B.” These islands combine for a total of around 10 acres of beach, wonderful for enjoying the best views of Sanibel, Florida. There is plenty of parking all along the road, and there is no parking fee. On Island A, you’ll find no amenities besides parking, but on Island B, there are restrooms, drinking fountains, and picnic tables.
Both of these beaches are excellent for enjoying a number of water sports such as kayaking, kitesurfing, and paddleboarding. Fishing is permitted and is a popular pastime, and you can even bring your own grill to cook up your catch! Other great activities to enjoy on these beaches include shelling, wading, and swimming. If you’re traveling with your furry friend, you can bring them along as long as they stay on a leash.
Gulfside City Park
If you travel halfway up the island on the Gulf side, you’ll find Gulfside City Park nestled between resorts. You would think that this area would be quite crowded, but it’s actually quite calm! You’ll find all kinds of amenities such as a bicycle rack, picnic tables, barbecue grills, restrooms, an outdoor shower, and tons of parking.
Those who simply want to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach will be able to experience exactly that at Gulfside City Park. This destination is ideal for enjoying some time on the sand or relaxing on the nearby grassy area. You can wade in the water or simply walk along the shoreline for a relaxing day in the sunshine.
Tarpon Bay Beach
Of all the fun things to do on Sanibel, a trip to Tarpon Bay Beach should definitely be on your list. This beach can be found toward the middle of the island facing the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors will find plenty of parking, and there are even spots for RVs longer than 20 feet. Other convenient amenities include showers, restrooms, and a bike rack.
Once you leave the parking lot, you’ll make your way down the brick-paved walkway to make it to the shore. On the beach, there’s plenty of room to spread out your blanket and set up your umbrella. Take a dip in the water to cool off on a hot summer day, or stroll along the shoreline to try to find some unique seashells.
Captiva Island Beaches
Last but not least on our list is the Captiva Island beaches, located just minutes away from our vacation rentals on Sanibel Island. There are multiple public access points along the beach, each of which offers different amounts of parking and different amenities. In general, you can expect to find restrooms, outdoor showers, and concessions.
Your trip to the beaches of Captiva Island can be as relaxing or exciting as you please. You might choose to spend your day relaxing on the shoreline or wading in the water, or you might choose to play a fun game of beach volleyball or get in the water by kayaking or paddleboarding. You can’t go wrong no matter what you choose!
Plan Your Stay
Now that you know what beach you are visiting, you just have to find a place to stay! Choose the right Sanibel Island vacation rental and book your dates today!
Where to Stay
Our Sanibel Island rentals are conveniently located just a short drive away from all the beaches on this list. Gopher is proud to be one of the most trusted resources for Sanibel and Captiva vacation rentals, so your group is sure to find the ideal rental for your needs. No matter which of our many rental properties you choose to stay in, you’ll have our dedicated local staff by your side. So, are you ready to plan your trip to the shores of Sanibel Island? Contact us today to learn more!