It’s no secret that one of the main attractions of Sanibel Island is its incredible sunrises and sunsets. So, where are the best places to watch sunset & sunrise on Sanibel Island? There are plentiful spots to see both and, wherever you end up is bound to provide breathtaking views.

Where To Watch Sunrise & Sunset On Sanibel Island?

The colors of the sky, the reflection of the water, shells, foliage, wildlife and often comforting breeze provide the perfect ambiance for even the most strident beachcomber to embrace the beauty this distinctive destination has to offer.

Take a look at the diagrams below. They show the exact direction of the sunrise and sunset at different times of the year.

You will see that in mid-winter you can see the sunset and sunrise from many Sanibel beaches but as you go into summer you would need to be on the east end of Sanibel to see the sunrise and on the west end of Sanibel Island or Captiva Island to see the sunset.

The Best Place For Sunrise At Lighthouse Beach Park?

Lighthouse Beach Park is a glorious expanse of white, delicate sand buffered by a beautiful ocean view and a border of lush, green trees. If you are looking to soak in the sunrise, Lighthouse Beach Park is a truly fulfilling choice. Whether you are a morning walking wanderer, an energetic running warrior, or a peacefully sitting ponderer, Lighthouse Beach Park provides the idyllic setting and space. Situated at the far North end of Sanibel Island, all the views are expansive and beautiful.

Where To Park?

There are three parking lots. Two are located by the fishing pier and the largest one is on the Gulf of Mexico side of the Island. All are interconnected by pathways. At sunrise, parking is plentiful but at sunset, it can get busy. You have to pay $5 per hour for parking.

fishing pier parking at the lighthouse beach on Sanibel Island

The Best Place To Watch Sunrise At The Fishing Pier?

Lighthouse Beach Park is also host to the Sanibel City Fishing Pier. A hub of activity for fishermen and sun gazers alike, a host of fish can be caught including Snook, Redfish, and snapper just to name a few. For avid bird watchers, this is a prime spot to see the incredible bounty of unique birds the island has to offer. A wonderful spot to see the sunrise or set, the pier provides ample opportunity for entertainment for all.

Sanibel Island Lighhouse

What Is The Best Place To Watch The Sunset From The Causeway Bridge?

The Sanibel-Captiva Causeway Bridge is a glorious stretch to watch the sunset and the parking is free! The best spot to see the sunset would be on one of the causeway Islands, parking is free but you will have to pay the toll if coming from Fort Myers. If you want to avoid the Sanibel Toll, there is a popular grassy area under the causeway bridge (span A) where people congregate to watch the sunset . Shhh, don’t tell anyone!!!

Where Is The Best Spot To Watch The Sunset On Bowman’s Beach?

Like its peers, Bowman’s Beach offers a majestic stretch of magnificent sand and ocean where the sunset can be appreciated from any spot you may land. With clear and expansive views, there truly is no spot redundant to another however, there is always a local tip to be shared for those willing to go the extra mile.

Once parked and on the beach, a more adventurous roamer might chance a right turn and a solid walk. The further right (North West) you walk, the more stunning the backdrop of the beach becomes.

Decrepit trees ornamental in stature will begin to appear in abundance, small, hidden pockets that host small areas to sit will be found and monumental rocks pepper the ocean, glistening as the sunset idles upon them.  To truly get the most out of the Bowman’s Beach Sunset, a pilgrimage far to the right will offer an illuminating view of everything this environmental paradise has to offer.

sunrise Tarpon Bay Beach on Sanibel Island
decrepit trees at sunset on Bowman's Beach, Sanibel Island

The Best Spot To Watch Sunset At Blind Pass

Blind Pass Beach is a fantastic spot to watch the sunset. Either on the Sanibel Island side at Blind Pass Beach Park or on the Captiva Island side at Turner Beach Park. Whichever side you choose you are almost guaranteed an amazing show by Mother Nature.

Turner Beach (next to Blind Pass Beach) is a perfect place to fish, stay long enough and you may be rewarded with an amazing sunset. Whether a novice, expert or just a conversationalist, the variety of fish and ways people fish is fascinating. Due to having unique access to both the gulf side and the bayside, Blind Pass Beach fishing is a thing to be admired and you will be surrounded by crab fishing, surf fishing, kayak fishing, net fishing and more.

Sunset Captiva Island

The Mucky Duck
1156 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva, FL 33924
Visit the Mucky Duck Website

The Mucky Duck Restaurant is located right on Captiva Beach and offers traditional pub fare, fresh seafood and a variety of cold beer and wine. With an abundance of outdoor seating on the beach, The Mucky Duck might be the best place for sunset. Casual and welcoming, the laid-back environment coupled with friendly staff make this a wonderful relaxing end to another captivating island day. The Mucky Duck is also located at the end of Andy Rosse Lane which is the most vibrant street for Captiva nightlife housing fun art galleries, small boutiques and places to hear live music.

Mucky Duck for sunset on Captiva
Sunset view from Mucky Duck on Captiva Island

Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille
5951 Captiva Dr, Captiva, FL 33924
Crow’s Nest Menu

Casual and comfortable pub atmosphere with old Island flair serving traditional American classics with a popular Fish Fry Friday. Nightly entertainment ranging from live music, drag queen bingo to Crow’s Nest classic, live crab racing!

Tween Waters resort on Captiva 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.

Sunset Grill Restaurant on Sanibel Island

 Restaurants To Watch The Sunset On Sanibel Island

Traditions On The Beach (Located at the Island Inn)
3111 W Gulf Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit Traditions On The Beach Website

Longtime Italian-Med eatery with a seafood-centric menu and beautiful water views. A great place for live music & dancing.

Beachfront dining

Upper Deck Pool Bar (Located at the WestWind Inn)
3345 W Gulf Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit The Upper Deck Website

The Upper Deck Pool Bar at West Wind Inn has great views and good times. It is a very casual (and swimsuit-friendly) setting, you can settle in for appetizers, lunch, cold and colorful cocktails, local beers.

uppper deck bar outside on Sanibel Island

Restaurants To Visit After Sunrise On Sanibel Island

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

While there is no spot to see a sunrise as you fuel up for your day on breakfast, The Lighthouse Cafe is a stone's throw away from Lighthouse Beach Park and is a Sanibel Island staple. The Lighthouse Cafe has an expansive breakfast and lunch menu. It opens early so it's a great stop after watching the sunrise. Tell Bill we said Hi!

dining room at Lighthouse cafe Sanibel

The Sanibel Cafe (Located in Tahitian Gardens Plaza)
2007 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit Sanibel Cafe Website

The Sanibel Café is about 3.5 miles from the Lighthouse in the Tahitian Gardens Shopping Plaza. It was established in 1984, and over 30 years later it has become famous around the world for its delicious food and spectacular fossilized seashell tabletops! Tell Richard we said HI!

Cafe on Sanibel Island