Sanibel Island and Captiva Island have long been known for stunning, unspoiled beaches that stretch for an impressive 15 miles. Between Sanibel Island and Captiva Island, there are 7 unique beaches to visit, each one as spectacular as the next and rich in natural beauty.

Famous for being the home to over 250 types of shells and a bounty of local, fresh fish, these famed beaches are a shellers and fishers paradise. If being out on the water is your passion, there are numerous spots perfect for Kayaks, Paddle Boards, Windsurfers, Parasailing, and more with plenty of equipment rental opportunities available but, the undeniable “must-see” when visiting is the sunset. Sunsets at any of the beaches on Sanibel Island or Captiva Island are truly breathtaking and will be guaranteed to create incredible memories for all who experience them. For more information on the incredible sunsets check out our Best Places to See The Sunset Guide.

Turner beach on Captiva
Vanderbilt Beach - sanibel island
People watching sunset on Captiva Island

Sanibel Island Beaches


Bowmans Sanibel

Bowman’s Beach

Address: 1700 Bowmans Beach Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957

Bowman’s Beach is one of the most popular beaches boasting great amenities such as picnic tables, playground, restrooms, outdoor showers, bike racks, charcoal grills and 218 parking spots, handicap accessible with free handicap parking. Known for stunning sunsets, expansive sands, clear water and great for shelling!

Blind Pass Beach sanibel island

Blind Pass Beach

Address: 6491-6499 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957

Blind Pass Beach, is an amazing beach for fishing, watersports and shelling. It is the strait that separates Sanibel Island from Captiva Island and has the unique advantage of both the Gulf side and the Bayside. Parking is limited with only 26 spots available, free handicap parking is available.

Sanibel Island Lighhouse

Lighthouse Beach Park

Address: 110 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957

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 all in the shadow of the historic lighthouse. Great for fishing and sunsets, Lighthouse Beach Park boasts a fishing pier, picnic tables, Charcoal Grills, restrooms and outdoor showers. It is handicap accessible, with free handicap parking and 170 general parking spots.

Sanibel island beach

Tarpon Bay Beach

Address: 111 Tarpon Bay Rd, Sanibel, FL 33957

Tarpon Bay beach is one of the better beaches for shelling but is also great for swimming, fishing, relaxing, Kayaks and paddleboarding. Boasting generous amenities such as restrooms, outdoor showers and changing stations. It is handicap accessible, with free handicap parking and 76 general parking spots. Parking is on Tarpon Bay Road, approximately 3-5 minute walk away from the beach entrance (with the exception of the handicap parking).

Bowman's Beach Sanibel Island

Gulfside City Park (Algiers)

Address: 2001 Algiers Ln, Sanibel, FL 33957

Gulfside Island Beach, located at 2001 Algiers Lane, Sanibel, is one of the only beaches that provide a little shade as well as picnic tables, charcoal grills, restrooms, outdoor showers, bike racks and drinking fountains. It is handicap accessible, with free handicap parking and 46 general parking spots. A great beach to picnic at!

Bowman's Beach Sanibel Island

Bailey’s Beach Park

Address: 985 Bay Shore Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957

Bailey’s Beach Park is located at the end of Bailey Road.  When you drive over the Sanibel Causeway, take a left on Periwinkle and then a right on Bailey Road.  There is no public parking if you want to park you have to obtain a sticker from the Sanibel Recreation Center called a B-Sticker or, you can hike or ride your bike the half-mile to the beach.


Captiva Island Beaches


Sanibel Island beach

Alison Hagerup Beach Park

Address: 14790 Captiva Dr, Captiva, FL 33924

Alison Hagerup Beach is at the north end of Captiva, this popular beach features paid parking and a row of port-o-lets. It is open from dawn to dusk. The lot fills quickly on weekends and high season. There is also a matted path entrance to this beach for handicapped accessibility.

Captiva Island Beach - Turner beach

Turner Beach

Address: 17200 Captiva Dr, Captiva, FL 33924

On the opposite side of the Blind Pass bridge, Turner Beach welcomes visitors to Captiva where $5 per hour parking is available in a small lot that fills quickly. One handicapped parking spot is free. The area includes toilet and outdoor shower facilities on the Captiva side. This beach is popular for shelling, fishing and watching the sunset. A rock jetty attracts fish to the area and many anglers try their luck on the bridge.


Directions To Sanibel And Captiva Island Beaches


To access Sanibel and Captiva Island beaches, you must follow Summerlin Road from Fort Myers to the Sanibel Causeway. Once across the causeway, all beaches can be accessed with ease. Lighthouse Beach Park is the only beach to the left of the causeway.


Sanibel Island Beach Rules


There are just a few simple rules to follow when you set foot on Sanibel Island sand. Sanibel Beach rules and Captiva Beach rules do differ.

  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 shore birds and sea turtles.

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

  6. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

  7. Camp fires 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.


Captiva Beach Rules


There are just a few simple rules to follow when you set foot on Captiva sand. Captiva Beach rules and Sanibel Beach rules do differ.

  1. No live shelling.

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

  3. Dogs are not allowed on Captiva beaches.

  4. Stay off dune vegetation and avoid nesting shore birds and sea turtles.

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

  6. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

  7. No open fires.

  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 at Sanibel Island & Captiva Island Beaches?


Swimming

You are allowed to go in the water at all the beaches, but currents on certain beaches can converge and be strong so swimming, if you are at the Lighthouse Beach Park or at Blind Pass Beach, should be approached with caution. For serious swimming, try Bowman’s Beach, Tarpon Bay Beach. For snorkeling in clearer waters, try Gulfside City Beach Park.

kids running on sanibel island beach

Shelling

If you want to know more about the Sanibel shells you do find and keep, you can stop at the shell kiosk on the beach by the lighthouse at Lighthouse Beach Park. It has all kinds of different information about the various shells you’ll find in that area.

The most popular beaches for shelling are Bowman’s Beach, Tarpon Bay Beach, Blind Pass Beach and Turner Beach. Check out more info on shelling HERE.

Woman shelling on sanibel island beach

Watersports

Watersports are permitted on all the beaches though some lend themselves to this better than others. Turner Beach and Alison Hagerup Beaches are particularly good and have equipment rentals close by and on the Sanibel side Blind Pass Beach, Bowman’s Beach and Tarpon Bay Beach are watersports favorites.

wind surfer on sanibel island

Fishing


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

Sanibel Island and Captiva Island are known for great fishing, whether from the beach or boat.

Do I need a fishing license?

A license is required to fish both from shore or on a boat. There is no charge for a shore fishing license for Florida residents. Non-residents can purchase a 3-day, 7-day or annual license. Information is available by visiting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website.

Visit the Fish & Wildlife Website

More About Fishing On Sanibel Captiva!


Sanibel Island & Captiva Island Watersports & Rentals


You can participate in just about any watersport at the beaches. Paddleboarding, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and kayaking are just a few of the choices. Both Sanibel Island and Captiva Island have several rental options.


Sanibel Island Rentals


Whitney's Bait and Tackle, Sanibel Island

Whitney’s Bait & Tackle
1554 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
239-579-0399
Visit Whitney’s Website

Rents fishing equipment and offers fishing instruction.

Finnimore’s Cycle Shop Sanibel island

Finnimore’s Cycle Shop
2352 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
239-472-5577
Visit Finnimore’s Website

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

Billy’s Rentals, Sanibel island

Billy’s Rentals
1470 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
239-472-5248
Visit Billy’s Website

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


Captiva Island Rentals


Sunny Island Adventures, Captiva Island

Sunny Adventures
5400 Plantation Rd, Captiva, FL 33924
239-312-4094
Visit Sunny’s Website

Bike rental, boat rental, golf cart rental, RV rental. Adventure tours.

YOLO Water Sports and rentals, Captiva Island

YOLO Watersports, Inc.
11534 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva, FL 33924
239-472-9656
Visit YOLO’s Website

Bikes, Beach Chairs, Beach Umbrellas, Golf Carts, Parasailing, Hobie Wave, Scooters, Paddle Boards, Surfboards, Wagons, Wave-runners, Flyboarding.