Sanibel Lighthouse Beach And Shelling Spot

Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park is a truly beautiful beach to visit. You’ll enjoy stunning views of the Gulf as you stroll the ample beaches looking for the perfect shell (and there are many of them!), all in the shadow of the historic lighthouse, a stately reminder of the rich history of Sanibel. To learn more about the rich history of the lighthouse, purchase “The Sanibel Lighthouse, A Complete History – By Charles LeBuff.

Because it’s a wonderful spot for so many things – fishing, shelling, wading in the warm water, kayaking, and more  – it’s popular and can get crowded. Come early because even though there’s a lot of parking spaces, the lot fills up quickly. The currents can be strong right at the point so it’s best to move further down the beach to swim.

lighhouse pier on Sanibel island
Lighthouse beach on Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island Lighhouse

Directions To Lighthouse Beach Park

Address: 10 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida 33957

The Sanibel Lighthouse is at the eastern end of Periwinkle Way (and the eastern tip of Sanibel Island) – just follow Periwinkle to its end, and you’ll be in the parking lot for the lighthouse.  Take a left immediately before entering the parking lot, to get to the fishing pier.

Parking And Facilities

There are three pay-and-display parking lots. Periwinkle Way dead ends into one of the lots and there are two by the fishing pier. One main parking lot is closest to the fishing pier, the smaller of the two is an overflow lot.

There are 170 parking spaces, two dedicated RV spots and 5 handicap spots. Parking is $5 per hour payable by credit card or cash at a kiosk.

There are picnic tables, charcoal grills, drinking fountains, restrooms and outdoor showers, bike racks, and an amazing fishing pier! Not to mention the historic lighthouse itself!

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

Beach Rules

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

  1. No live shelling. Keep scrolling to find out more information on that.

  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 allowed.

  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 Lighthouse Beach?


You are allowed to go in the water at Lighthouse Beach, but currents in the gulf converge together at the tip of the island so swimming is not recommended. If you’re looking to wade in and just enjoy cooling off in the water, it’s a great spot or move down the beach away from the tip of the island to swim. If you want to take a serious swim, try another beach to be safe. For swimming, try Tarpon Bay Beach. For snorkeling in clearer waters, try Gulfside City Beach Park.

girls on the beach on Sanibel Island


This is a great beach for shelling and, if you want to know more about the shells you find, you can stop at the shell kiosk on the beach by the lighthouse. It has all kinds of different information about the various shells you’ll find in that area.

Shelling on Sanibel Captiva Island

Windsurfing and Kiteboarding

You are allowed to windsurf and kiteboard on Lighthouse Beach. However, if you want to rent equipment to do either of those sports or hire a professional for a lesson, you’ll need to look off the island. Ace Performer is located in nearby Ft. Myers and will deliver your rented equipment for no additional charge.

wind surfer on sanibel island

Fishing Pier

The fishing pier on Sanibel attracts a crowd of fishermen just about every day. Frequently caught fish at the pier include snapper, snook, redfish, and more. If you just want to sit on one of the benches on the pier (there are several) and watch the gulf, you might catch a glimpse of pelicans, other birds, dolphins, and stingrays that frequent the air and water at that part of the island.

Check here for the latest fishing regulations so you know you’re meeting state guidelines.

lighhouse pier on Sanibel island

Kayak Fishing

You can fish directly from your kayak on Sanibel. If you need to rent fishing equipment, try Whitney’s Bait and Tackle. You can also take free lessons from them and purchase your Florida fishing license. Kayaks can be rented from Finnimore’s Bike and Beach Rentals.

You are permitted to fish in the surf on Lighthouse Beach. Again, make sure you have a license.

kayaks on the beach on Sanibel Island

Lighthouse Beach Park Watersports & Rentals

Below are some rental places to cater to your every watersports, bike, and beach needs but, you can also walk all over Lighthouse Beach Park. There are interpretive signs and shaded boardwalks. If you want to eventually hook up with other trails, here’s a map of all walking trails on Sanibel Island.

Whitneys Bait and Tackle Store Sanibel Island

Whitney’s Bait and Tackle rents fishing equipment. They are located at 1554 Periwinkle Way.

Finnemore's Bike Rental, Sanibel Island

Finnimore’s Bike and Beach Rentals offers a variety of stand up paddleboards or SUP’s. They also rent kayaks. They are located at 2353 Periwinkle Way.

Billy’s Rentals, Sanibel island

Billy’s Bike Shop does paddle board and skim board rentals at their west-end location by Bailey’s Grocery Store. They are located at 2437 Periwinkle Way.

Which Beach Restaurants Are Close?

breakfast cafe on Sanibel Island

Lighthouse Cafe
362 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit The Lighthouse Cafe Website

This cozy eatery is known for specialty pancakes and breakfast.

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

ice cream cakes on Sanibel Island

Sanibel’s Best Homemade Ice Cream
362 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit Sanibel’s Best Website

This popular ice cream shop & bakery on Sanibel’s East End, focuses on handcrafted products, ice cream, gelato, sorbeto & sherbet, plus pastries, artisanal sandwiches, quiches & cakes.

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

Where To Stay at Lighthouse Beach?

Colony Inn Sanibel Island

Colony Inn
419 E Gulf Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit The Colony Inn Website
Open in Google Maps

The Inn has 36 one-bedroom condos that can sleep up to six people. All have free Wi-Fi, screened-in lanais, and fully equipped kitchens. All units also have access to a heated pool, a shell-washing station, bike rentals, and coin-operated laundry.

Accommodation Guide

Lighthouse Resort & Club Road Sign

Lighthouse Resort & Club
210 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit The Resorts Website
Open in Google Maps

Units go up to 1800 sq. ft. in size and come fully furnished. They can sleep up to six people and have a washer and dryer in each unit in addition to a screened-in porch. They only rent by the week at this resort.

Accommodation Guide

Shell Island Beach Club Road Sign

Shell Island Beach Club
255 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit The Beach Club Website
Open in Google Maps

These two-bedroom, two-bath units each have a fully equipped kitchen and a washer and dryer. The facility has two swimming pools and a jacuzzi as well as beautiful grounds to explore.

Accommodation Guide