What are the best Sanibel beach essentials? When you are visiting the best beaches on the best Island in Florida – you need to have the best beach essentials on hand to have the best time! Here is a guide to getting the best out of your Sanibel beach day! 

Visit The Guide To Sanibel Island & Captiva Island Beaches 

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Sunscreen | Sunglasses | Sunhats | Cover-Up | Shoes | Umbrellas | Chairs | Water Bottles

  Coolers | Carts | Toys & Games | Bug Spray  | Shelling

Best Sunscreen

One of the most important best Sanibel beach essentials is Sunscreen! It should be applied every 2 hours to avoid the powerful sun rays damaging your skin. Dermatologists recommend an effective sunscreen has an SPF of 30 or higher and should be water-resistant. Whether you choose a lotion, spray or stick, make sure you diligently rub the sunscreen in so that you are truly protected, the average individual only uses one-third of the sunscreen they should so make sure you apply generously!


Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 55.

Get powerful sun protection without the heavy finish by using Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen. This lightweight sunscreen absorbs fast for a clean, light feel and non-shiny finish.


Coppertone UltraGuard SPF 70 Sunscreen.

Protect your skin from the sun with this broad-spectrum formula that delivers water-resistant (80 minutes) UVA/UVB protection. 


Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Lotion Sunscreen, Moisturizing Protection, SPF 50.

Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance sunscreen protects, softens, and leaves skin radiant and luminous. This luxurious formula contains mango fruit extract, Shea butter complex and Vitamin E.


Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen SPF 30.

This sunscreen provides UVA/UVB protection helps prevent sunburn and skin damage. The superior formula provides endurance against sweat and water for worry-free fun in the sun.

Best Sunglasses

Sunglasses are not only cool looking but provide vital protection to your eyes when you are out in the sun. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to a host of eye problems so break out those aviators!!

Aviator Glasses

Ray-Ban Rb3025 Classic Polarized Aviator.

These perfect Ray-Ban Aviators for women and men are a timeless model that combines great aviator styling with exceptional quality, performance, and comfort. Aviator sunglasses by Ray-Ban are offered in multiple frame- and lens-color options.

fashion glasses

SUNGAIT Vintage Round Sunglasses.

Polarized and non-polarized sunglasses for men and women with multiple colors to meet your personalized needs. The Retro sunglasses, for daily use, can provide all-round protection with outstanding style.

Turbine Glasses

Oakley Oo9263 Turbine Rectangular Sunglasses.

The Oakley Turbine features a lightweight, comfortable O Matter frame with rectangular lenses making them the perfect sunglasses for the active individual who values performance and style.

sports glasses

Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses with 3 Interchangeable Lenses.

Cool Rimless jacket frame design enables clear lower vision field. Lightweight design is ideal for motorcycle and cycling bicycle, driving, running, fishing, racing, skiing, climbing, trekking or other outdoor activities.

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Best Sun Hats

Another level of needed protection from the sun is a sun hat! There are so many variables to choose from such as material, style, size but the key thing to note is any hat you choose should provide UPF 50+ protection. Certainly one of the more fun best Sanibel beach essentials

sunhat for Sanibel Island

FURTALK Women’s Beach Sun Straw Hat UV UPF50.

This Beach Straw Hat offers high UV UPF sun protection with full brim, sun blocker function make the hat perfect to use as a beach hat for holidays or as a daily headwear, is very wearable with anything like dress, bikini or shorts.

Kids sunhat for Sanibel Island

Connectyle Kids UPF 50+ Bucket Sun Hat UV Sun Protection.

Connectyle kids mesh sun hat is made of Polyester material. Pure, comfortable, and breathing! Sweat band inside and adjustable chin straps. Fits most children ages 2-6.

sunhat for men on Sanibel Island

EINSKEY Sun hat for Men/Women UV UPF50.

Casual style suitable for men and women. Rear adjustable elastic drawstring design, one size fits most adult head circumference 22-24inch. Wide brim 3.7-3.9inch keeps your face and neck safe from harmful rays. Water repellent polyester material ideal for wearing outdoors.

Quicksilver Men’s Pierside Straw Hat.

Quiksilver Pierside Straw Lifeguard Hat with woven straw construction and adjustable chin strap.

Beach Cover-Ups

The best Sanibel beach essentials don’t have to be boring. A fun and fashionable way to protect yourself from the sun is to invest in some beachwear. Regardless of style, it is recommended that bright colors such as red and darker colors such as black are more protective. There are so many options to choose from functional long sleeve shirts to hip, boho kaftans.

sun dress for Sanibel Island

Ekouaer Women’s Swimsuit Beach Cover Up Beach Dress.

This cover up is made of soft and breathable material and lightweight, keeps you cool on hot days. Features a Button Deep V-neck and side split on asymmetrical hem, roll-up cuffed sleeves, loose design can perfectly protect your skin.

beach attire Sanibel Island

Willit Women’s UPF 50+ Cover Up Long Sleeve Shirt Dress.

UPF50 fabric blocks harmful UV rays, provides excellent protection against sunburn. Recommended for traveling, hiking, relaxing by the oceanside, everyday wear or other outdoor activities.

Hanes shirt for Sanibel Island

Hanes Men’s Cool Dri T-Shirt UPF 50+.

Cool DRI T-Shirts carry an excellent Ultraviolet Protection Factor rating of 50+. Rapid-dry interlock jersey knit wicks away moisture to keep you cool50+ UPF rating for excellent UV protection. More tailored contemporary fit.Tag-free neckline.Double-needle stitching in neck sleeves and bottom hem for added durability.

kids sun shirt for Sanibel Island

Opna Youth UPF 50+ UV Sun Protection Long or Short Sleeve Boys & Girls T-Shirt.

Designed with comfortable stretch fabric and set in sleeves that let your young athlete move comfortably in any sport. Moisture wicking fabric keeps them cool and relaxed even on the hottest days.

Best Beach Shoes

Protecting your feet at the beach is advisable especially for the little people in the group and for those shelling. Both in and out of the water, little rocks and bits of shells can be spiky and potentially painful to step on!

FitKick Water Shoe

FitKicks Sporty Water Shoes

The FitKick Sporty Water Shoe lets you go anywhere, wet or dry, and rest easy knowing that your feet won’t stay wet for long. The thicker rubber sole allows you to comfortably traverse any terrain.

shoes for water on Sanibel Island

FitFlop Lizard Print Sandal.

Make your mark in the minimal styling that made the Lulu a legend, and live life on a layer of constant cush, courtesy of FitFlop’s amazing Micro wobble board midsoles.

kids shoes for Sanibel Island

Native Shoes Unisex-Child Jefferson Water Shoe

Classic silhouettes reimagined with futuristic materials. Look amazing, feel great, super practical, fun and fantastic. You cannot go wrong with these native shoes.

mens water shoes for Sanibel Island

KEEN Women’s Whisper Sandal.

Tough and durable with a thick rubber sole, these shoes can take on any terrain including the beach and ocean. Comfortable and versatile they are a great choice for anyone who loves the outdoors.

Best Beach Umbrellas

Umbrellas are an absolute must for a relaxing day at the beach. It is advisable to get one that is adjustable so as the sun shifts throughout the day you can remain safely shaded. You may also consider a pop-up tent, there are some very compact models that are easy to carry and throw into your beach bag.

beach umbrella for Sanibel Island

AMMSUN 7ft Sand Anchor Beach Umbrella, Adjustable Height with Tilt Pole.

The umbrella is supported by 8 strong fiberglass ribs and sturdy Aluminum pole. Fiberglass ribs provide enhanced durability and extended protection making our beach umbrella windproof even in windy conditions.

sun tent for Sanibel Island

SUN NINJA Pop Up Tent Sunshelter UPF50+

All purpose pop up beach tent with advanced water-resistant fabric and offering UPF 50+ sun coverage. Comes with stability poles and anchors and a travel bag to keep it all safe and organized.

beach umbrella for Sanibel

AMMSUN Beach Umbrella 6.5ft air vented with Tilt steel Pole, Portable UV 50+ Protection

This classic umbrella is durably constructed with fiberglass ribs, and the steel pole offering lasting longevity and incredible sturdiness.

sun umbrella

MOVTOTOP Beach Umbrella with Tilt Mechanism, Portable UV 50+.

Features a silver UV coating on the inside of this beach umbrella for extra UV protection. Easy push button tilt adjustment allows it to track the sun and maximize your shade all times of the day. Lightweight and portable with a carrying case included.

Best Beach Chairs

One of the great things and a major component of the beach is sand, however, sand everywhere can be annoying to deal with. Enter the beach chair! The beach chair is lightweight, easy to carry, and helps to curb the amount of sand that sticks to you.

beach chair for Sanibel Island

Rio Beach Wave Beach Folding Sand Chair.

Comfortable beach chair made of rugged 600 denier polyester with a powder-coated steel frame, light and simple, a great, affordable option.

Sanibel Island beach chair

GCI Outdoor Waterside Reclining Portable Backpack Beach Chair with Sunshade.

Folding beach chair with backpack carry straps, 4-position reclining ventilated mesh backrest, and collapsible sun shade. Features Backpack straps for hands-free carrying and a large storage pocket.

Quik Shade Adjustable Canopy Folding Camp Chair.

Portable chair with canopy and 2 fabric and mesh cup holders.  Durable steel frame supports weight up to 225 lbs. The sun shade can raise, lower, and tilt to either side to block the sun from any angle.

Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair with 4 can Cooler.

Combines a cozy design with a convenient armrest cooler. Features a fully cushioned seat and back, providing support and comfort. Collapsible design.

Best Beach Water Bottles

Staying hydrated at the beach is very important. Bringing a good quality bottle that will keep your water cold is highly recommended. Stainless steel and insulated sports bottles will keep your liquids cold for a long time and come in a variety of sizes, take a big one with you!!

water bottle for Sanibel Island beach

Iron Flasks Sports Water Bottle Hydro Metal Canteen.

Sweat free and premium stainless steel, this bottle comes with three different lids (Spout Lid, Flip Lid with a Handle, and a Stainless Steel Lid) with double wall insulation which can handle boiling water or a pack of ice.

coldest water bottle Sanibel Island

The Coldest Water Bottle Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Hydro Travel Mug.

Ice Cold for Up to 36 Hours or More! Built with True Stainless Steel, Double Wall, Vacuum Sealed. No mess around your work areas. Built for athletes and high performers, Outdoors, Cyclists, Runners, Hiking, Camping,Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, Office.

Takeya Black Originals Vacuum – Insulated Stainless-Steel Water Bottle, 24oz.

Takeya originals stainless steel water bottle keeps beverages ice-cold for 24 hrs, and hot for up to 12 hrs with double-wall insulation. This BPA-free, food-grade water bottle won’t transfer flavors and does not sweat.

Sanibel Island water bottle for beach

Hydro Flask Water Bottles- Flex lid – Multiple Size & Colors.

Reusable bottle which is BPA-free, phthalate-free, and made of stainless steel, fits car cup holders, dishwasher safe and slip free.

Best Beach Coolers

Not to be missed when collecting your best Sanibel beach essentials, the mighty cooler! Keep food and drinks fresh and cool all day. There are many sizes and styles to choose from including convenient backpacks, shoulder bags to the larger size block coolers with wheels, definitely worth the investment to ensure your perfect picnic, or, a couple of cold beers!

SEEHONOR Insulated Cooler Lightweight Backpack.

Spacious enough to pack meals, beers, tall beverages, snacks and all your other necessities. Perfect insulated cooler backpack for lunch, work, hiking, camping, beach, road trip, outdoors etc.

Coleman 62-Quart Xtreme 5- Day Heavy Duty Cooler with Wheels.

Xtreme technology uses an insulated lid and extra insulation in the walls to keep your items cold for up to 5 days. Large enough to hold 95 cans, you’ll have plenty of space for refreshments for a whole group of people.

CleverMade Collapsible Soft Cooler Bag Insulated Leak proof.

Large capacity SnapBasket Tahoe Coolers can hold up to 50 cans of your favorite drinks plus ice; perfect for use at the beach, while camping or to load up full of snacks for youth sports games outdoors.

Coleman Rolling Cooler 50 Quart Extreme 5 Day Cooler with Wheels.

Whether you’re strolling to the beach or going to a ball game, the heavy-duty wheels handle almost any terrain with little effort. Your high-capacity cooler holds up to 84 cans, which means you’ll have plenty of room for refreshments for a whole group of friends and family.

Best Beach Carts

Beach carts can be a great investment and can help you get all your beach day needs from your car to the beach with ease. The popular canvas carts are collapsable so don’t take up much storage space and are easy to clean. Some Carts unfold and turn into beach chairs!

cart for Sanibel beaches

Mac Sports Mac Wagon.

This lightweight durable design has a 150 lb. capacity and is a must have to transport heavy bulky loads. The accordion style floor makes set up and break down a breeze.

cart chair for beach on Sanibel

Mac Sports 2-in-1 Beach Day Folding Lounge Chair & Cargo Cart with All Terrain Wheels.

A unique beach day Lounger doubles as a pull cart Wagon with comfortable grip and adjustable telescoping handle for easy transport. Folds flat for convenient storage in your vehicle, garage or closet.

Tommy Bahama All Terrain Beach Cart.

Holds up to 4 beach chairs. Full Size 48 Quart Cooler plus a lot of Beach Gear. Removable insulated cargo bag with zippered side pouches. Umbrella Holder. Storage Compartment of 15 cubic feet.

beach cart

S2 Lifestyle Collapsible Folding Wagon with Wheels.

Heavy-duty collapsible wagon allows you to load items up to 150lbs, 360-degree swivel front wheels for easy transportation and easy to transport.

Best Toys For The Beach

If you truly want to relax, read a book and soak in the sun then bringing ample entertainment for the kids is prudent and a vital part of your best Sanibel beach essentials collection! Given the right tools, kids can endlessly entertain themselves – this is where sand becomes your friend! From the classic bucket and spade to paddle sets and frisbees, beach toys are a must!

toys for the beach

10 Piece Bucket & Spade set with shovel, rake and animal molds.

10 Piece Beach Toys Sand Toys Set, Bucket with Sifter, Shovel, Rake, Watering Can, Animal and Castle Sand Molds that will provide hours of entertainment at the beach.

bat and ball for beach

Jazzminton Paddle Ball Game with Shuttlecocks, Racquets, Ball & Carry Bag.

2 fluorescent wooden paddles, 1 ball and 4 birdies; 2 red birdies for slow play, 2 yellow for fast and a durable carry bag. Jazzminton paddle game is an exciting, fast paced outdoor game for kids and adults. Get outdoors with Jazzminton and have a blast!

The Big Dig Sandbox Digger Excavator Crane with 360 Rotation.

Great for the beach! Pretend that you’re on a big construction site with this backyard sandbox excavator. The big dig is the perfect sandbox digger with 360° swivel action and two-handed digging and dumping action.

frisbees for beach

Activ Life Kid’s Flying Rings – 2 pack.

Very lightweight at just 33g, these best-selling flying toys are 80% lighter than standard flying discs, which means safe, comfortable catches. They even float in water, making them great for the beach!

Best Bug Spray

Unfortunately on Sanibel and Captiva the no-see-ums can be quite aggressive and extremely irritating. They tend to show up at dawn and dusk right around the time you should be taking in the beautiful sunrise or sunset! They really enjoy biting your feet and ankles and can be quite overwhelming if you are not prepared so it is advisable to make sure you have ample bug spray on hand!

beach bug spray for Sanibel Island

Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion.

Safe for use on the whole family, long-lasting insect and tick repellent lotion deters a wide variety of pests — up to 14 hours against mosquitoes and ticks and up to 8 hours against flies, gnats, and chiggers

skin so soft Sanibel Island

Avon Skin So Soft Insect Repellent Moisturizing Lotion.

4 Fl oz bottle insect repellent and sunscreen lotion in one. Provides repellent to insects outdoors with protecting your skin from the sun.

No No-See-Um Natural Insect Repellent.

This all-natural insect repellent protects against noseeums, mosquitoes and biting gnats. Non-toxic and safe for the entire family so you can feel comfortable reapplying as often as necessary.

Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard with Picaridin.

Soft Skin Bug Guard plus Picaridin Pump Spray Protects against Mosquitoes, Deer Ticks, Gnats, No-Seeums, Sand Flies and biting Midges with DEET-free formula.

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