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This was a day trip to Sanibel-Captiva Island to check out the beaches and do a little 'shelling' and explore the area. Not a 'beach' person to linger in one place and thought all the beaches could be visited in a day.....not possible!
We actually started from Lehigh Acres Resort located inland from Ft. Meyers. Drive took us about 35 min. or 20 miles to the causeway.
From Ft Meyers, follow signs/directions to Sanibel, Captiva beaches which will take you over the Sanibel Causeway to Sanibel Island. One-way toll of $6.00. The information center is located at the end of the causeway. It was here that we learned about beach parking requirements. All public beach have paid parking @ $2.00/hour and kiosks will accept cash, coins and credit cards. Extra time left over from one beach can be used at another beach parking area until the expiration time.
The left at the first intersection takes you to Lighthouse Beach at one end of the island.
We went right to start our tour from the furthest point, which was Captiva Beach, then catch the beaches as we drove south from Captiva to Sanibel Island.
On our way to Captiva, we stopped and drove through the refuge since the entrance way on the same side of the road in the direction we were going. Spent about an hour going through the refuge before contining to Captiva.
Only one main road running north-south on the island. Can drive end to end in about 20 min. depending on the amount of traffic.
This is the furthest beach at the end of Captiva Drive on the island. Parking is very limited with no restroom facilities. We stayed an hour, explored and enjoyed the beach.
See the reviews of this restaurant to form your opinion. When you're hungry anything is appetizing and besides it was in a good location. The restaurant has its own beach front with parking area only for its customers and convenient to the beach. Otherwise public access to the beach area on the island is about a .3 mile walk from the town area.
Continuing our drive south down the island, we stopped at Turner Beach which stretches between the two islands at Blind Pass to wash the beach sand off our feet.
A cute narrow bridge connects Captiva - Sanibel.
We continued south across Blind Pass bridge connecting Captiva and Sanibel to Bowman's Beach. Maximum speed in 45 mph...so enjoy the palms and views along the way.
While shells can be found at all the beaches, Bowman's Beach stretches for 7 miles with loads of shells for all without getting into each others way. Of the beaches we visited this area had two large parking areas, a playground area, hiking trail, large restroom/change facilities. It was about a 5 min walk from the parking area to the beach after crossing over a bridge to get there.
We spent the most time here and would come back here to do serious shelling on another trip. Remember the best time is at low tide and fullest phases of the moon cycle.
This was not meant to be a marathon, but thought we had enough time to check out all the beaches since these were small islands. The day ended before we could complete our visit to the remaining 3 beaches on Sanibel.
Take your time to enjoy the area and relax. No two beach were the same.
Visiting all the beaches in a day could be done, if you did not stop to do other sightseeing along the way as we did. Will have to check out the missed beaches for another time/visit.