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Times of the Islands Magazine

Sanibel & Captiva Islands' Best Beaches for Fishing, Watersports & Family Activities

Jun 05, 2017 04:23PM ● By Kevin

Lighthouse Beach & Fishing Pier, Sanibel Island. Photo courtesy of

Toting some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Sanibel and Captiva are all unique in their own way. Some may be good for simply exploring the scenery and historic views, while others provide a sense of adventure, leisure or a mixture of both. We decided to rank the top beaches for three categories: family fun, watersports and fishing. 

Best Beach for Family Fun - Lighthouse Beach & Fishing Pier, Sanibel Island

Image courtesy of
Yelp's Kristin C.

With beautiful sand and lots of seashells, this calm and spacious beach is a must-see for families. Water shoes may be a good idea for some, as the beach has plenty of shells. The best spot to find them, according to, is a five-minute walk to the right of the beach's historic lighthouse.

Speaking of the lighthouse, it is more than 120 years old and was last renovated in 2013. In 2016, the lighthouse's dwellings were added to the City of Sanibel’s Register of Historic Sites and Structures, as told by

According to a recent TripAdvisor review, "the waves are very minimal and the shore line is totally natural so there will be seaweed, shells, driftwood etc but it is beautiful."

On top of all of that, this beach is great for bird watching and has a boardwalk nature trail weaving through the native wetlands; not to mention its fishing pier.

Location: the eastern tip of Sanibel, 112 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Parking: 24 hours a day - 194 vehicles, $4 per hour (4 free handicapped spaces; 2 RV spaces)
Foot traffic: can become crowded during the day
Ammenities: public restrooms, picnic areas/grills, outdoor showers, bike rack (no fee)
Pet policy: Leashed pets are welcome (just pick up after them)
Contact: 239-472-3700

Best Beach for Watersports - Causeway Beaches

Causeway Beaches. Courtesy of

Convenience is key here, as there's free parking, and you can pull your vehicle right up to the water's edge. This is great for those who enjoy activities like fishing, wading/swimming, picnicking, canoeing/kayaking, wind surfing, kite boarding, shelling and sun bathing.

It's a fact: Causeway B is much larger than Causeway A. According to additional amenities at Causeway B include "drinking fountains on both sides of the road, restroom facilities, and a few picnic tables ... There is also more shade available under the large Australian Pines on Causeway B than on Causeway A." 

Finally, many people report the Causeway Beaches are also a great place to watch dolphins.

Location: 19500 Sanibel Causeway Road, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Parking: free
Pet policy: Dogs allowed on leash only (please pick up after them)
Rules: Causeway Ordinances PROHIBIT the following:
  • Launching of motorized vessels
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Open fires
Contact: 239-765-6794

Best Beach for Fishing - Turner Beach at Blind Pass, Captiva Island

Image courtesy of Yelp's Rachel L.


Practically a guaranteed catch, fishing at Blind Pass is a popular activity, especially in the warmest of months.

"Some fishermen can’t resist wading in so their cast reaches that perfect spot," says The Florida Living Magazine. "They need to be cautious. The current can be vicious and the sand bottom unstable."

This beach is also popular for shellers, but it's not the best for those looking to go for a swim.
Location: Both the Sanibel and Captiva side of the Blind Pass Bridge, 17200 Captiva Drive, Southern tip of Captiva Island, FL 33957
Parking: located on both sides of the Blind Pass bridge (handicapped is free, 1 space on Captiva and 1 space on Sanibel). Regular parking is limited to 30 spots and costs $4 per hour. Lee County Annual Parking Stickers accepted.
Pet Policy: No pets allowed
Ammenities: There are no restrooms on the Sanibel side. Restrooms and outdoor shower are on the Captiva side
Rules: A Saltwater Fishing License is required to fish from shore. No fee for Florida residents.
No open fires or collecting of live shells. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited from November through May.
Contact: 239-472-6397

Let us know if you agree with our rankings by commenting below!