Public and Free Parking on Sanibel Island

If you are navigating around a new area, one of the more frustrating concerns may be parking. Is it free? If you have to pay, how? Where can you park? Where can’t you park?

It may be hard to find quick answers to these questions when you are trying to hit all the attractions, compete with traffic, and get to the next event in time on vacation. Fortunately, parking is pretty easy on Sanibel Island. We look at parking fees, free parking available, and how you can get around this little tropical escape.

public parking at the beach
Photo From: Shutterstock

Beach Parking Permits

Firstly, the island has many different parking lots. Some lots are private or permit-required while others are open to the public.

In general, you may want a permit, especially if you plan to stay for an extended period of time. The City of Sanibel has a parking permit application available, which you can print and send to the city for review. Depending on the type of permit you are applying for, you can get access to numerous lots on the island.

Parking permits and decals are issued pertaining to your status. Permits are only available for Sanibel Island property owners/taxpayers. Permit B can be issued to non-residents for a fee of $124. Permit C is similar, but it is also available to residents. It is only $90, but it opens permit holders but it comes with fewer parking locations.

There are combination permits available depending on your overall situation, such as seasonal non-residents or seasonal residents. Transfers and reissues are also provided for a $3 fee.

In summary, a beach parking lot, A, B, or C, can open you up to more parking options. Some lots are restricted to permit parking exclusively, while some lots have dedicated permit areas.

Permit Lots

Island visitors with A or B permits can utilize almost every lot on the island. But there are some specifics and exceptions which could help you navigate the island’s parking. We list a few lots for your convenience. All of the listed lots below have general parking availability.

  • The Boat Ramp Parking Lot is C permit only (but does have general public parking access).
  • The Gulfside City Park in Algiers is also C Permit only.
  • The Trost Parking Lot is only for A and B and excludes permit C.
  • Bowman’s Beach Parking Lot is only for A or B Parking permits, though it is unique in allowing for parking with a Lee County Parking Permit (typically reserved for commercial purposes).
  • The Blind Pass Beach Parking Lot is also only open for A or B parking permits.
  • The Turner Beach Parking Lot is exclusively available for Lee County Parking Permit holders (and general parking).

Overall, there are more permit parking lots available for A and B, with C reserved for special locations. The lots are named after the location of the beach. Search the beach location closest to your 1-4 bedroom Sanibel rentals and find a lot that works for you!

Public Parking Lots

You can go to any of the lots listed above to find general parking. It is first-come, first-serve, so be sure to arrive early. Be aware of special events and holidays which could backlog the lots.

All parking is $5 per hour.

Other Parking Details

Street parking is not widely available. Furthermore, there is no free parking by the beaches. All lots require a fee. You can avoid this concern by biking or parking at a local business with permission.

Vacation Rentals

Our Sanibel rentals have numerous convenient amenities available for you and your group. You won’t have to worry about parking. Our rentals have on-site parking right by the property, so you can park when you want and at your leisure. Many of our Sanibel rentals are located right by the beach and the popular attractions, so you may not even have to worry about getting to and from a location by vehicle (and navigating traffic and parking). Our complex of 1-4 bedroom Sanibel rentals has various accommodations, such as tennis courts, heated pools, and luscious gardens.

Get a rental right in the heart of Sanibel. Stay local and enjoy the top attractions for all. Contact us for more information.