When you explore Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island, you will experience expansive white sands, turquoise water and in addition to its great natural beauty, Bowman’s Beach is a treasure trove for beachcombers searching for shells. Low or high tide, this beach has some of the best shelling Sanibel Island has to offer.

Explore Award-Winning Bowman’s Beach

Bowman’s Beach has received many accolades over the years. Here are just a few:

Bowman's Beach on Sanibel Island
a beach on Sanibel Island
Bpwmans Beach Playground on Sanibel Island

There is plenty to do when you explore Bowman’s beach. Firstly, Bowman’s boasts a picnic area, restrooms, charcoal grills, a fitness station and a playground, Bowman’s Beach has all the amenities for a fun day for the whole family. Secondly, for those craving adventures, there are numerous hiking trails.  Thirdly, this popular spot is excellent for shelling and is home is to wonderful wildlife.

Where to park at Bowman’s Beach

Address: 1700 Bowman’s Beach Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957

218 parking spaces. 3 RV spots and 2 spots for cars with trailers. There are 7 handicap spots that are free.

Parking is $5 per hour.

5 min (0.2 mile) walk from the parking lot to the beach.

For info on where to charge your electric car click HERE!

Access Tips & Facilities

Bowman’s Beach is a short walk (0.25 mile, depending on where you park, the far end of the parking lot is 0.36 mile to the beach) from the parking lot so bring a beach cart if you have lots to transport. Although Bowman’s beach is rarely crowded, if you crave solace, head northwest along the beach (turn right). If you walk far enough, Bowman’s Beach turns into Silver Key Beach. Walk a little further and you will end up coming out by The Lazy Flamingo restaurant, a fantastic raw bar restaurant with excellent seafood. There is also a small general store called The Santiva General Store, ideal for topping up with snacks and drinks. Make sure you take water with you as it is a 2-mile walk.

The amenities at Bowman’s Beach are awesome. They have restrooms, outdoor showers, bike racks, a fitness station, playground, picnic tables and charcoal grills, hiking trails, and a ramp to launch kayaks.

Beach Rules, for Bowman’s Beach

There are just a few simple rules to follow when you set foot on Sanibel Island sand, whether you’re exploring Bowman’s Beach or any other beach on Sanibel Island.

  1. No live shelling.

  2. A valid Florida fishing license is required to fish. Poles must be attended at all times.

  3. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet and cleaned up after.

  4. Stay off dune vegetation and avoid nesting shorebirds and sea turtles.

  5. Recycle and dispose of trash and fishing line properly.

  6. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

  7. Campfires must be permitted through the City Fire Control District

  8. Respect your neighbors and wildlife: Play music at a low volume; no nude sunbathing allowed.

  9. Leave nothing on the beach but your footprints.

What To Do On Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island


Swimming is relatively safe at Bowman’s beach, although there can be some steep drop offs when wading out.

Turner beach on Captiva


Shelling at Bowman’s is excellent especially after a westerly storm. There is a vast expanse of sand and fewer people than other shelling spots which may improve your chances. Please note there is ‘no live shelling’ law allowed on any of the island beaches. Check out our Complete Guide To Shelling.

Kids Shelling on Captiva Island

Wind & Kitesurfing

Although Bowman’s Beach would be good for windsurfing and kiteboarding, people rarely do, because of the walk from the parking lot. There are more accessible places on the islands like the Sanibel Island Lighthouse, the Sanibel Causeway or Blind Pass Beach or Turner Beach. Surfing is popular at Silver Key Beach (when the winds are right). Check out our Sanibel Captiva Beach Guide.

Kitesurfing on captiva

Watch The Sunset

Bowman’s is the perfect place to watch the sunset on Sanibel Island, providing an idyllic end to any beach day. Whether you’ve been kiteboarding, windsurfing, swimming, shelling or just relaxing, Bowman’s provides the most stunning sunsets Sanibel Island & Captiva Island have to offer. Check out our Guide To Sanibel Captiva Sunsets.

People watching sunset on Captiva Island

Fishing at Bowman’s Beach

Fishing on Turner Beach on Captiva Island
Blind Pass Cast Net fishing
Motorboat on Sanibel Island

If surf fishing is your thing then Bowman’s has you covered. You can expect snook, sheep’s head, shark, redfish (red drum). Tarpon can come close to shore during the summer months.

Saltwater fly fishing is also great along Bowman’s Beach. As fly fishing is more of a visual experience, you can cover long distances walking along the beach whilst casting. Snook are the main attraction for fly fishermen and women. Fly rodding for snook is good all year but the best time to find them along the shoreline is between May through October just as long as the water is warm. You may also be lucky enough to land a tarpon, sea trout or redfish.

Check out Norm Zeigler’s Fly Shop located at 2242 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957. They have a very knowledgeable staff and offer lessons.

Saltwater Fishing from the shore or from a boat requires a license.

Florida residents click here for more information.

FAQ about Recreational Licenses. To apply for a fishing license Click Here!

Water Sports And Rentals

Water sports at Bowman’s Beach include kayaking, SUP (stand up paddle boarding), surfing, canoeing and kite boarding. There are no equipment rentals at Bowman’s Beach, however, places like Billy’s Rentals and Finnimore’s Bike and Beach Rentals have paddle boards, kayaks and canoes for rent.

Billy’s Rentals, Sanibel island

Billy’s Rentals

1470 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
Billy’s Rentals Website

Standard Bike Rentals, Specialty Bikes & Physically Challenged, Beach Equipment, Segway Tour and Paddle Boards Rentals.


Finnemore's Bike Rental, Sanibel Island

Finnimore’s Cycle Shop

2353 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
Finnimore’s Website

Rents Beach Equipment, Bikes, Trikes & Tandems, Canopy Group Bikes, Paddleboards & Kayaks.

Which Restaurants Are Close To Bowman’s Beach?

Lazy Flamingo restaurant near Captiva Island

Lazy Flamingo 2
1036 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

Down-home sports pub and an island favorite offering beer-steamed seafood, a raw bar & ice-cold brews! You must try the garlic bread!

Guide to Sanibel Restaurants
Guide to Captiva Restaurants
Guide To Waterfront Dining

Sunset Grill Restaurant on Sanibel Island

Sunset Grill
6536 Pine Ave, Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit The Sunset Grill Website

An intimate cottage atmosphere with great views of the sunset, serving upscale seafood-focused American fare. The Sunset Grill is open breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Guide to Sanibel Restaurants
Guide to Captiva Restaurants
Guide To Waterfront Dining

Mad Hatter Restaurant on Sanibel Island

The Mad Hatter
6467 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit The Mad Hatter Website

A fun and eclectic restaurant perfect for a romantic evening or a special occasion. Reservations are definitely needed and the restaurant is highly recommended.

Guide to Sanibel Restaurants
Guide to Captiva Restaurants
Guide To Waterfront Dining

Where To Stay At Bowman’s Beach?

Blind Pass Condos on Sanibel Island

Blind Pass Condominiums
5117 Sea Bell Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit Blind Pass Condo’s Website
Open in Google Maps

Blind Pass Condos provide free kayaks and canoes for their guests. The compound is made up of seven buildings, a swimming pool and a tennis court.

Guide To Captiva Resorts
Guide To Waterfront Accommodation

Sign Tween waters

‘Tween Waters Resort & Spa
15951 Captiva Dr, Captive, FL 33924
Visit ‘Tween Waters Website
Open in Google Maps

Old-Florida style resort with many amenities in bay to beach location. Offers boat dockage at a small marina. Popular venue for weddings!

Guide To Captiva Resorts
Guide To Waterfront Accommodation

jensen's marina

Jensen’s Twin Palms Cottages & Marina Resort
15107 Captiva Dr, Captiva, FL 33924
Visit The Jensen’s Website
Open in Google Maps

Old-Florida cottages, great for fishing enthusiasts with full marina services and boat accommodation for guests.

Guide To Captiva Resorts
Guide To Waterfront Accommodation

front of castaways on Sanibel iSLAND

Castaways Beach & Bay Cottages
6460 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Fl 33957
Visit Castaways Website
Open in Google Maps

These “old Florida” charming one-, two- and three-bedroom cottages, efficiencies and guest rooms are either on the back bay with a private marina or directly on the beach.

Guide To Captiva Resorts
Guide To Waterfront Accommodation