The Beaches

First Stop is Always the Beach!

Visitors head straight for the shoreline, knowing that the warm, gentle Gulf waves will wash away the stress and cares they should have left at home.

Our island beaches, with their entirely natural setting, transport you to an fantasy world where life is reduced to its basic components: sun, sand, sea, sky and sandpipers. Our beaches are very safe and full of fine white sand and “World Class Shelling”.

Most island accommodations have good views of the beach or offer nearby access. Public beach entrances include Lighthouse Beach at Periwinkle Way’s east end, Gulfside City Park off Casa Ybel Road, Tarpon Bay Beach at the intersection of West Gulf Drive and Tarpon Bay Road, Bowman’s Beach (my personal favorite) off SanCap Rd at Bowman’s Beach Rd. Turners Beach at Blind Pass between the islands, and Captiva Beach at the end of Captiva Drive.

Sanibel Island Beaches

Sanibel is one of the most unique barrier islands of the world, having an east-west orientation when most islands are north-south. Hence, the island is gifted with great sandy beaches and an abundance of shells, winning awards for being the best shelling beach and one of the best beaches in Florida.

There are a few rules that keep our beaches pristine. Pets on Sanibel Island must be leashed, and should be cleaned up after. Captiva beaches do not allow pets.* Alcoholic beverages are prohibited November through May. No open fires and no collecting of live shells please.

Basic restrooms are located at all public beach accesses. Some have picnic tables and showers, all have free handicap parking. Parking at Sanibel Island public beaches costs $3.00 an hour, and Captiva Island public beaches costs $2.00 an hour, Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Causeway Beaches

Great for swimming, fishing, windsurfing and picnicking. Pull your vehicle right to waters edge. There is no fee when you park on the causeway beach. Located along both sides of the road. Restrooms are available.

  • Free parking
  • Dogs allowed on leash only
  • Restrooms
  • Picnic tables

Causeway Ordinances PROHIBIT the following:

  • Launching of motorized vessels
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Open fires

Lighthouse Beach & Fishing Pier

This is the site of our historic functioning lighthouse. Located on the eastern tip of Sanibel, wrapping around to the bay side. This is where the t-dock-fishing pier is and a boardwalk nature trail winding through native wetlands. Turn left on Periwinkle Way from Causeway Road.

  • Restrooms and outdoor shower
  • Free handicap parking – 4 parking spaces
  • Fishing Pier, Lighthouse, Boardwalk and Nature Trails o RV Parking – 2 spaces
  • Bike rack – no fee for bikes
  • 24 Hour paid parking

Gulfside City Park

Picnic tables and seclusion welcome you, located mid-island on Algiers Lane off Casa Ybel Rd. Mid Island

  • Restrooms and outdoor shower
  • Free handicap parking – 3 handicap spaces
  • Picnic tables and BBQ Grills
  • Bike rack – no fee for bikes

Tarpon Bay Beach

Easy parking for recreational vehicles, and a short hike from the parking lot to the beach. Located mid island at the south end of Tarpon Bay Rd. at West Gulf Drive.

  • Restrooms and outdoor shower at beach entrance
  • Bike parking at beach entrance – no fee for bikes
  • Oversized (20 foot and over) vehicle parking – several
  • Free handicap parking – 3 handicap spaces at beach entrance

Bowman’s Beach

Pristine and quiet, you won’t find any hotels here. Park and walk over a bridge to secluded white beach. There is an outdoor shower located at this beach. This is the only beach with barbecue grills. Located off Sanibel-Captiva Rd., turn left on Bowman’s Beach Rd. Up Island

  • Restrooms, changing rooms and outdoor shower
  • Oversized (20 foot and over) vehicle parking – several Free handicap parking – 7 spaces
  • Picnic tables and Barbecue grills
  • Pubic telephone at restrooms
  • Nature and fitness trails
  • Canoe and kayak launching

Captiva Island Beaches

Turner Beach (Blind Pass)

Located on both the Sanibel and Captiva side of the Blind Pass Bridge, this beach is popular with shellers and fishermen. Signs warn against swimming because of the swift currents. Located on Sanibel-Captiva Rd. at Blind Pass Bridge. No restrooms on the Sanibel side.

  • Parking on both sides of Blind Pass bridge
  • NO restrooms on Sanibel side
  • Restrooms and outdoor shower on Captiva side
  • Free handicap parking – 1 space on Captiva and 1 space on Sanibel

Captiva Beach (Alison Hagerup Beach Park)

Captiva Island has been nominated for the Best Restored Beach. A great place to watch the sunset. There are no permanent restroom facilities here and parking is very limited. There are several Port-o-Lets. Located at the end of Captiva Dr.