Sanibel-Captiva Island Beaches


Fort Myers

Sanibel-Captiva

Pine Island

Shelling

Top Ten

Gasparilla

José Gaspar


Sanibel Island Beaches and Captiva Island Beaches are world-renowned for shelling, relaxation, exotic wildlife and beautiful beaches.

Sanibel Island Beaches are some 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, 

Sanibel-Captiva-Webcams

Sanibel Island via a causeway

Yes, “you have to pay $6 to get there” via a causeway.

But once you reach this upscale Gulf Coast barrier island, you’ll find the country’s “No. 1 shelling area,” no stoplights, and strict building codes that limit new structures to two stories in height.

Escape to Captiva Island

Types of Shells on Sanibel Island & Captiva

Rules that keep beaches pristine

There are a few rules that keep beaches pristine.

  • Pets on Sanibel Island beaches 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.

Amenities

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 $4.00 an hour, and Captiva Island public beaches costs $4.00 an hour,

Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Shelling Law & Florida Seashell Preservation

Because seashells are important to the islands’ chain of life, and because Sanibel and Captiva are refuge islands where all life is considered precious, the State of Florida has outlawed the collecting of live shells on the island.

The Sanibel “Stoop”

Visit the beaches on this Gulf Coast barrier island, and you're likely to see people doing the “Sanibel Stoop.”

That's the term for the bent-at-the-waist posture used to collect seashells on Sanibel Island, which bills itself as one of the best shelling locations in the world.


Where are Sanibel Island Beaches and Captiva Island Beaches?


Causeway Beach - Sanibel Island

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, Sanibel Island

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, Sanibel Island

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 Beach, Sanibel Island

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

  • 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, Sanibel Island

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
  • Public telephone at restrooms
  • Nature and fitness trails
  • Canoe and kayak launching

Blind Pass Beach, Sanibel Island

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 Island Beaches

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, Captiva Island

Captiva Island has been nominated for the Best Restored Beach in three different categories.

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.

Alison Hagerup Beach – Captiva North End (Lee County)

Captiva Island has been nominated for the Best Restored Beach in three different categories.

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.

Alison Hagerup Beach – Captiva North End (Lee County)


Southwest Florida Shuffle

"From the first of May until the end of October every year is Stingray season on the beaches of Southwest Florida.

The first thing most locals will tell you is to ' The Naples Shuffle' your feet as you walk in the surf. By shuffling your feet, you will scare off any stingrays before you have a chance to step on them.

It doesn't matter how big or small they are, if you step on them they will nail you with the barb in their tail out of defense." alt="Southwest Florida Shuffle"

  • From the First of May until the end of October every year is Stingray season on the beaches of Southwest Florida.  
  • The first thing most locals will tell you is to your feet as you walk in the surf. 
  • By shuffling your feet, you will scare off any stingrays before you have a chance to step on them.
  • It doesn't matter how big or small they are, if you step on them they will nail you with the barb in their tail out of defense. 

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