Sanibel is a barrier island sanctuary, filled with stunning attractions and exciting things to do. What makes Sanibel so captivating is, of course, its isolated and epic beaches.
We look at the beaches of Sanibel, and its sister island Captiva, to find the best places to lounge out, the costs to getting there, and how far they are from our local Sanibel rentals.
Parking on Sanibel
Parking on Sanibel is quite easy. Almost all beach parking lots have general parking availability. While some have dedicated areas for local permit holders, you are likely to find a lot with some open space. Be sure to arrive early during holidays and plot a potential parking lot or two in case one fills up for the day.
Parking on the beaches of Sanibel is $5 per hour.
What are the most popular beaches to visit? We cover the top three for you to check out during your stay.
Bowman’s Beach is likely the biggest and most popular beach on the island. It has a variety of convenient amenities which makes it a great stop for families. You can take advantage of the shaded pavilion, the playground, clean restrooms, barbeque grills, showers and changing rooms, and more.
Water lovers can even utilize the kayak launch point. Escape off the beach for a few hours and traverse by kayak. The location boasts 218 parking spots, more than any other on the island. There are also seven free handicapped spots available.
In total, you have 50 acres of sandy beaches, dunes, and marshes to explore. Bowman’s is located at 1700 Bowman’s Beach Road, Sanibel, FL 33957.
Turner Beach is the quieter companion to Bowman’s Beach. It has many of the same features yet scaled down. It is a nice and cozy beach escape, good for families seeking a little relaxation. At Turner, you can find outside showers, restrooms, a drinking fountain, and spacious parking. Input 17200 Captiva Drive, Captiva, FL 33924 to your GPS to find this little beach escape on the west end of the island.
Blind Pass Beach
Blind Pass is small, partly isolated from the action, and stripped of many features common at larger beaches. While families may find the beach lacking a playground and showers, others may find this exact back-to-basics approach exactly what they want. There’s not a lot here to make the beachgoing experience anything more than a fun and relaxing afternoon trip. For many, this is perfect.
Blind Pass is at 6497 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel, FL 33957.
While some beach rules vary by location, there are some general things to consider. For one, pets are allowed on Sanibel beaches but they must be on a leash. Comparatively, no pets are allowed on Captiva beaches.
Beyond that, overnight parking is not allowed on either island nor is fire and alcohol (Sanibel does lift the alcohol ban from May 15th to Dec 15th).
There are so many lovely beaches to cover, from the stunning Tarpon Bay to the family-friendly Gulfside City Park. Lighthouse Beach is another favorite for its accents. You can wander up by the lighthouse or adventure down the boardwalk and weaving nature trails.
Looking for a place to stay? We have a comprehensive vacation complex for you and your family. Walk right on over to the local beach or stay by the pool. Enjoy numerous complex amenities, like tennis and a fitness room. Our Gopher Island Sanibel rentals give you the ideal introduction to one of the gulf coast’s most mesmerizing vacation destinations. Schedule your time at the beach and have a great time.