What are the Best Beaches in Sanibel and Captiva, Florida

By Laurén Ettinger

Sanibel and Captiva are two barrier islands near Fort Myers, Florida that offer some of the best beaches for shelling in the world, water sports, and nice weather year-round. The beaches of Sanibel and Captiva Islands are spectacular and not to be missed. Check out these top picks for spending a day at the beach on Sanibel or Captiva Island.

What are the best beaches in Sanibel and Captiva Florida. Includes an infographic! Must Do Visitor Guides
Photo credit Debi Pittman Wilkey

Alison Hagerup Beach Park

Alison Hagerup Beach is also known as Captiva Beach, this romantic, wide, and sandy north Captiva public beach is recognized as one of the most romantic beaches in the United States. Its close proximity to several Captiva restaurants and cafes, make it an excellent choice for a long beach day. Alison Hagerup Beach is west facing so it is a perfect location to watch a colorful Florida sunset. Restrooms are available. Parking is limited and $5 for the first two hours. 

Alison Hagerup Beach Park, 4790 Captiva Drive, Captiva, Florida 33924.

Bowman’s Beach Park

Bowman’s Beach is an award-winning Sanibel, Florida beach that offers miles of white sandy beach to play, relax, or gather shells. After a 10-minute walk through a wooded area and sand dunes, you’ll be rewarded with several miles of secluded pristine beach. Beach amenities including parking for $5 an hour, free handicap parking (7 spaces), oversized (20 foot and over) vehicle parking, public telephone, nature and fitness trails, canoe and kayak launching, a shaded playground, BBQ grills, picnic tables, soda vending machine, drinking fountains, outdoor showers, and restroom facilities. Pets are allowed on leash.

Bowman’s Beach Park, 11700 Bowman’s Beach Road, Sanibel, Florida 33957.

Gulfside City Park (Algiers Beach)

Gulfside City Park is known as Algiers Beach to Sanibel locals because of a steamboat by the same name that once pulled ashore. Boardwalks offer comfortable access to the beach. Amenities include restrooms, outdoor showers, BBQ grills and picnic tables, drinking fountain, and parking for $5 an hour, free handicap parking (3 spaces), bike rack (no fee for bikes). Beach wheelchairs are provided with 24-hour notice to City of Sanibel Police Department Dispatch, 239-472-3111. Leashed pets are allowed.

Gulfside City Park / Algiers Beach, 2100 Algiers Lane, Sanibel, Florida 33957.

Sanibel Causeway Beaches

These family-friendly beaches are located just after the toll booth on the spoil islands that link Sanibel Island to the mainland. Pull your vehicle right up to the water for unparalleled access to San Carlos Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The beach at Causeway A is a bit smaller than Causeway B (the first and second island, respectively). Causeway B includes a few amenities including drinking fountains, restrooms, and picnic tables.  Free parking, pets allowed on leash. See a map and get directions to Sanibel Causeway Beaches.

Sanibel Causeway Beaches, 19931 Sanibel Causeway Road, Sanibel, Florida 33957.

Sanibel Lighthouse Beach and Fishing Pier

An abundance of small shells, historic working lighthouse, boardwalk, fishing pier, and nature trails make Sanibel Lighthouse Beach a Sanibel Island favorite among visitors and residents alike. For the best shelling, head about five minutes to the right of the lighthouse. Swimming is not recommended due to strong currents. The boardwalk and fishing pier offer an excellent place for anglers and wildlife enthusiast, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, flying fish, and more! Ample parking for $5 an hour, free handicap parking (4 spaces), bike rack (no fee for bikes), RV parking (2 spaces), 24-hour parking, fishing pier, lighthouse, boardwalk and nature trails, restrooms, picnic areas with BBQ grills, drinking fountain, and outdoor showers. Leashed pets welcome.

Sanibel Lighthouse Beach and Fishing Pier, 12 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida 33957.

Turner Beach

Turner Beach is a popular spot for shelling and fishing from the beach or the rock jetty and is located at the southern tip of Captiva right at the Blind Pass Bridge (near the “Welcome to Captiva” sign). Swimmers should exercise caution near the bridge where there is a strong undertow and the water gets deep quickly. Amenities include restrooms, outdoor shower, drinking fountain, and limited parking for $5 an hour, free handicap parking. Area restaurants and bars are close by.

Turner Beach, 17200 Captiva Drive, Captiva, Florida 33924.

Best Beaches in Sanibel and Captiva Florida infographic. Must Do Visitor Guides | MustDo.com

Written by: Laurén Ettinger | Author Website

Laurén Ettinger runs the travel and vanlife blog Flit Float Fly Away where she shares travel tips and stories from life on the road with her dog. She is the Assistant Editor at Siesta Publications for Must Do Visitor Guides where she manages social media, writes blog articles, and assists in editing print and online copy. Laurén also works as a freelance copy editor and proofreader. She holds a M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University's School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in Global Studies from Appalachian State University. Follow her adventures on instagram or her blog www.flitfloatflyaway.com