No matter how old you are, there is nothing like the sound of waves crashing on the beach. The sunshine warming your skin and the refreshing salt water washing over your feet. There is something about a good day at the beach that can bring out joy in anyone!
But where to go? With so many options, it’s hard to choose which one will be best for you and your family. Here are 16 Best Sanibel Island Florida Beaches where we think everyone will have a great time!
- Here are the 16 Best Sanibel Island Florida Beaches:
- 1. Little Hickory Island Beach Park
- 2. Captiva Beach / Alison Hagerup Beach
- 3. Blind Pass Beach
- 4. Bowditch Point Park
- 5. Lovers Key State Park
- 6. Cayo Costa State Park
- 7. Sanibel Lighthouse Beach
- 8. Fort Myers Beach
- 9. Tarpon Bay Beach
- 10. Gulfside City Park Beach (Algiers)
- 11. Causeway Islands’ Park Beaches
- 12. Bowman’s Beach
- 13. North End Beach
- 14. Silver Key Beach
- 15. Bonita Beach Dog Park
- 16. Turner Beach
Here are the 16 Best Sanibel Island Florida Beaches:
This area has restrooms and changing facilities, as well as picnic tables and grills. It also provides a volleyball net, but no water sports rentals or showers are available:
There is a fee to enter Little Hickory Island Beach Park unless you have resident or handicap tags. Restrooms are located next to the parking lot at this central location in Big Hickory Cove. No changing rooms are provided; however, benches are available for your comfort while viewing this small beach where fishing is allowed at your own risk.
Alison Hagerup Beach is located at the end of Sanibel-Captiva Road, which can be found on the west end of Captiva Island. In fact, this beach used to be known as Captiva Beach until Alison Hagerup donated her property to the city of Sanibel in 1960 with its stipulation that it remain open for public use forever.
The beach has gained a reputation for being one of 16 Best Sanibel Island Florida Beaches, but it does not offer any facilities beyond picnic tables and grills.
Alison Hagerup Beach features free parking, picnic areas and grills. There are no restrooms available here; however, restrooms are available in the nearby pavilion.
Blind Pass Beach is located on the southern end of Sanibel Island. There are no lifeguards here at this beach, but there are free public restrooms and picnic shelters available for those who choose to spend some time relaxing in the sun or swimming in the Gulf of Mexico.
Blind Pass Beach is a popular, secluded stretch of sand near the southern end of Sanibel Island that attracts both locals and tourists to its shores. This beach features basic facilities including restrooms and free parking. There are no lifeguards on duty at this facility; use caution when swimming in this area: riptides and jellyfish can be dangerous.
Bowditch Point Park provides all basic amenities, including restrooms and changing rooms. Fees are required unless you have a resident or handicap tag. A leash is required for dogs at Bowditch Point Dog Park.
No water sports rentals can be found here, but there are no large waves due to its protected location; therefore, this makes it an ideal location for beginning swimmers to learn in calm waters before braving the rougher surf along other beaches on Sanibel Island.
The Lovers Key State Park is located across the causeway from Captiva Island and offers all amenities for a safe, fun day at the beach. With lifeguards on duty in designated areas, visitors can enjoy swimming or snorkeling with no worries about their safety:
No dogs are allowed here except service animals.
Cayo Costa State Park is located on a barrier island to the west of Charlotte Harbor. The park offers great opportunities for fishing and picnicking, as well as swimming and scuba diving.
There are no lifeguards at this beach; therefore, visitors must be aware of riptides and jellyfish that can appear here.
Cayo Costa State Park offers a full park experience with both beach and camping facilities. Public restrooms are available in the parking lot, while changing rooms can be found at both the Beach Pavilion and near the entrance at Clark Road. Restrooms are also available for campers in both picnic pavilions.
This beautiful beach is located at the north end of Fort McCoy Road on Sanibel Island. There are no public facilities at this beach, so be prepared to leave all the amenities you bring with you when you head for home. The Lee County Parks maintains a parking lot here that features free parking and access to the Gulf of Mexico. It is popular among families that want to spend an afternoon enjoying this beautiful stretch of sand.
Positioned near the northern end of Fort Myers Beach, Lighthouse Park is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The large park features many amenities in addition to access to an expansive stretch of beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Facilities at this Lee County Parks facility include BBQ grills, picnic tables, restrooms, showers, covered pavilions with more than 50 picnic tables, playgrounds and concession stands.
Be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty at any of these beaches so swimming is done at your own risk!
Positioned along the southern end of Fort Myers Beach is Lighthouse Park. This waterfront park offers great amenities with easy access to both the Gulf of Mexico and Pine Island Sound; however there are no lifeguards on duty at this beach so be prepared to swim in waters that may have rip currents or jellyfish present.
Tarpon Bay Beach is located near the intersection of Sanibel-Captiva Road and Pine Street. This beach offers a beautiful view of both Sanibel Island as well as the Gulf of Mexico, but there are no facilities at this site. The entrance to the beach area is reached by turning onto Tarpon Bay Drive, which can be found just off Pine Street.
It would be best to visit this facility during low tide if you are not familiar with boating or swimming in open waters since it does have some shallow spots that may appear dangerous unless you are aware of how deep they are. While Sanibel Island Florida beaches feature restrooms on all its public beaches, those who wish to use them will need to make their way back to the city itself.
Located on the Gulf side of Sanibel, this public beach is actually part of a city park. While it does not offer camping or boat docking at its facilities, you will find picnic tables and grills located within the park itself.
There are no restrooms available here; however, free parking with no time limit is provided as well as docks for those who arrive by boat. The sand here offers a beautiful view of the Gulf, but there are no facilities for restrooms or changing rooms.
There are several wonderful beaches on Sanibel Island that can be accessed by car or boat, but there are additional beaches located off the island that only those who have access to a boat will find. One of 16 Best Sanibel Island Florida Beaches is Causeway Islands’ Park Beach. This small park features two sandy stretches of beach and parking for those with boats as well as kayaks.
Offering both a secluded stretch of sand and views of the Gulf from its observation deck, Causeway Islands Park Beach provides access to two lovely beaches. This area also allows those who arrive by boat or kayaks to park and relax on its sandy shores. There are no facilities offered here, but Adirondack-style picnic shelters can be taken out by groups for use during their time at this facility.
12. Bowman’s Beach
Bowman’s Beach Park features a lovely beach, but it’s the boardwalk that leads to a secluded stretch of sand that makes this one of 16 Best Sanibel Island Florida Beaches. This is a clothing-optional beach so you may want to check with your family before visiting. The park does provide restrooms and a concession stand, but no lifeguards are on duty at this public facility.
Bowman’s Beach is a lovely stretch of sand located near the middle of Sanibel Island. This beach features a boardwalk that leads to a secluded stretch of sand where the only ones in sight will be those looking for a place to sunbathe, swim, fish or just disappear for a while to find some peace. There are several facilities in the park including restrooms, picnic shelters with grills and free parking.
Be respectful of those who have elected to go nude at this beach; do not stare and make sure your children understand this is a place where people can be comfortable without clothing on. Lifeguards are not on duty, so be aware of the potential dangers of swimming.
13. North End Beach
Located in the northernmost part of Sanibel Island, North End Beach features a lovely stretch of sand and views of both Fort Myers to its south as well as Captiva Island to its north. As this is one 16 Best Sanibel Island Florida Beaches, restrooms are available here but there are no showers or changing rooms located within the facility itself.
North End Beach is a lovely stretch of sand located in the northernmost part of Sanibel Island. A small facility, it features restrooms but no showers or changing rooms. This area is perfect for those who want to explore both Fort Myers and Captiva Islands from one location as well as soaking up some sun on its sandy shores.
14. Silver Key Beach
Originally named Hogan’s Beach after the man who had donated it to the city, Silver Key Beach was renamed in honor of a local not-for-profit organization that had helped restore this facility.
Silver Key Beach offers a stunning view of the Gulf of Mexico from its observation deck. This facility also features restrooms, picnic shelters and parking for those who want to relax on the sand or explore this area by kayak. No lifeguards are present here so swimmers should be aware of potential dangers.
This facility is located at the end of Bonita Road, which can be found off County Road 867. Bonita Dog Park offers two fenced areas, one for big dogs and one for small dogs.
There are no restrooms or changing facilities available here; however, its location near the water makes it easy to use the restroom in nearby restaurants or convenience stores. No fees are required unless your dog gets loose since this area does not have any waterfront views other than small beaches that may not provide enough space for swimming.
16. Turner Beach
Sanibel Lighthouse Beach and Bowman’s Beach are both lovely beaches, but one of the most popular beaches on Sanibel Island is Turner Beach. Here you can find restrooms, picnic shelters with grills and a concession stand that sells food and beverages. Look for an observation deck where you will have a beautiful view of the Gulf and Sanibel Island. When you are ready to head for home, enjoy free parking at this facility.
The sandy beach itself provides facilities including restrooms, picnic shelters with grills and a concession stand that sells food and beverages for those who choose to cool off with a bite or a cold drink. In addition, you will find an observation deck that provides visitors with a beautiful view of the Gulf as well as Sanibel Island.
Turner Beach is very popular with those who live nearby as well as those from out of town since it features a large parking lot with free parking, restrooms and picnic shelters with grills. The concession stand sells food items as well.
When you are ready to leave, just follow the road back to Sanibel-Captiva Road for a short drive home.