Sanibel Island, Florida has some of the most pristine white sand beaches in all of the Sunshine State. The picturesque contrast of white sands, blue waters and green vegetation allow for stunning photography and the calm, warm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico makes these beaches very romantic getaways.
Don’t be surprised to find many couples walking along the water’s edge during sunset. In fact you would be hard pressed not to find a wedding party on the beach during wedding season.
The beaches of Sanibel are famous world wide for the many colorful shells that wash up onto the sand. The island itself is a part of a plateau, and the waters of Gulf push the shells onto the beaches. Throughout the year, many people come to the beaches of Sanibel to gather up these beautiful shells to add to their collection. The best time to go shelling on Sanibel’s beaches is during low tide when the water recedes the most in a 24 hour period. That being said, during a new moon or a full moon the water recedes even more revealing the ocean’s treasures. Beach combers can walk far out into ocean during these times and find some very beautiful seashells.
Each beach on Sanibel has its own character. The Causeway Beaches are great for windsurfing and fishing.
You may drive your vehicle right up to the waters edge and parking is free! For a little taste of history there is the Lighthouse Beach and Fishing Pier, located on the eastern tip of Sanibel, it is the site of the historic functioning lighthouse. Bowman’s Beach is my favorite simply because you won’t find a hotel in sight. It is beautiful, pristine and very chill. Bowman’s Beach is the only beach where you can grill outdoors on Sanibel.
Before hitting the beaches on Sanibel be mindful of the four different types of beach access points:
A Permit: This permit is limited to residents of Sanibel only.
B Permit: This permit may be purchased at the Sanibel Police Station and allows for free parking on all public beach access points (with the excepetion of a couple of access points and a boat ramp) and also allows for parking on lots specially reserved for A/B permit holders.
C Permit: C Permit holders may use all the access points that B permit holders can use (including the ramp and two access points which B permits are restricted from) and may be purchased for $80.
Public Beach Access: Public beach access charges $2 an hour for parking.
Free Breach Parking: The only free parking is on the causeway going towards Sanibel. So if you want to save money this is your best shot.
By Sebastien Tobler Of CollidingContinents.com