Sanibel Island is home to many lovers of the environment. From individuals to citizen groups to elected city officials, many decisions are made based on the goals of preserving nature, helping wildlife thrive and keeping Sanibel unique. The island's big draw, besides its ritzy reputation, is the beach. The public beaches have paid parking. The cost for general parking is $2.00 hour. Shell collectors like to comb the beaches but now are prohibited from taking live shells. There is a $6.00 bridge toll to get to Sanibel.
Sanibel Island has 6,016 permanent residents and 12,000 part-time
residents. Landmarks are, the historic Sanibel Lighthouse,
Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, Marina Habitat
Foundation, Care and Rehabilitation of Wildlife (C.R.O.W.) and the Sanibel Historical
A) Lighthouse Park Beach: The beach is long, but not much width. Medium sand quality, good shelling, large shade trees by parking area. Directions: Left on Periwinkle Way. Look for signs.
B) Gulfside City Park / Algiers Beach: This beach is a wonderful place for picnics, it has tables in a shaded
expanse along with restrooms. Many say this is a well-kept secret, hard to find but worth
it.Directions: Right on Periwinkle Way, left on to Casa Ybel Road to West
Gulf Road. Turn left on Algiers Lane.
C) Tarpon Bay Road Beach: This beach has lots of parking even for large vehicles It has high sand quality, good shelling and nice clean bathrooms. Directions: Right on Periwinkle Way, left on Tarpon Bay Road.
D) Bowman's Beach: This beach is probably one of the most popular beaches on the island. Medium sand quality; but great shelling. There is a bit of a hike to the beach from your car. It's kind of isolated, but that's what's great about it. Amenities include picnic tables, pay phone, bathrooms and bike racks. Directions: Right on Periwinkle Way, left on Tarpon Bay Road. Turn right, head north to Sanibel-Captiva Road. From this road turn left to Bowman Beach Road.
E) Turner Beach, Captiva: This beach is just past the bridge to Captiva. A great place for sunsets and romantics. This area has great fishing form the beach and the rock jetty. Swimmers should stay away from the bridge area. The water gets deep quickly and there can be a strong undertow. So stay away from the strong currents and move farther down the beach. The sand quality is good. There are bars and restaurants nearby across the street. Directions: Right on Periwinkle Way, left on Sanibel-Captiva road to Blind Pass.
F) Sanibel Causeway Beaches: This is a very long, thin stretch of beach starts just before the toll gate and continues along the causeway. It's fun to watch the windsurfers, boats and dolphins, but don't expect a nice, soft beach to sit on. Take A chair. Water's shallow. Fishing's good. Bathrooms are available. The best part is the free parking. Park wherever you want. A no-hassles beach not under Sanbel jurisdiction.