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Sanibel beaches Florida | Lighthouse beach

View of lighthouse from the beach at Sanibel Lighthouse beach park

Sanibel is a beautiful island in Florida where many come to enjoy the beaches, find amazing shells and go fishing. As a local of the Southwest Florida area for basically my entire life, I can say that I am so fortunate to live here and get to experience the paradise that is Sanibel all year long.

Although Sanibel is a small island there are many beautiful places to see and things to do and one of them is the Lighthouse beach. In my opinion, the Lighthouse beach park is a must do because you get to experience a great landmark in the area which is the 120 feet lighthouse that was built in 1884.

If you are planning a trip to Sanibel island, Florida and would like to include the Lighthouse beach in your plans, read this entire article as it has everything you must know so you can have a top of the line beach vacation

Lighthouse Beach, Sanibel Florida

Water view from a tree of the lighthouse beach in Sanibel

Must know's before you go

  • The beach is located on 110/153 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957 at the east end of the island and it is owned and maintained by the city of Sanibel. Parking cost $5.00 per hour and it is available 24 hours per day so that means if you want to catch a late sunset or do a moon walk, you will definitely be able to do it here.

  • There is a $6.00 toll fee to get into the Sanibel Island.

  • Handicap parking is available and is also free. Another great feature offered by the city of Sanibel is complimentary beach accessible wheelchairs which can be obtained by calling the City of Sanibel Police Department Dispatch at 239-472-3111 within at least 24 hours in advance of your trip.

  • RV and trailer parking is available but it is very limited so be sure to arrive early so you can guarantee a spot. The price for RV's is also $5 per hour.

  • There are bike racks provided at the beach in case you decide to bike to Sanibel Lighthouse beach instead of driving. Bikes are free to park so you if you choose this option you will be saving some cash. You can rent bikes on the island here.

  • Outside showers as well as clean bathrooms and drinking fountains are available at the beach park. The bathrooms are very clean and there is a family bathroom that includes a baby changing table for family with little kids and babies.

  • Planning a picnic at the beach? Then you are at the perfect place because the Sanibel Lighthouse beach park offers picnic tables as well as grills that you can use at no extra charge. First come, first serve.

  • To make matters even better, the park is also home to a fishing pier where you can enjoy the view of the gulf as well as neighboring city of Fort Myers as well as the Sanibel/Captiva Causeway. It is a great spot not just for fishing but also for sunset pictures.

  • The park is pet friendly so you are more than welcome to bring your dog just make sure they are on a leash and that you pick up after them.

  • The lighthouse is not open to public but it offers a beautiful backdrop for amazing pictures.

Also read: A local's guide to the best beaches in Sanibel Island

Things to do at Lighthouse beach

Walking trail - The park offers a small and short but yet pretty walking trail where you get to learn about the shells and wildlife that surrounds the beach. I highly recommend you wear shoes because the trail is made of shells and it can really hurt your feet if you don't. I would know it because I didn't wear any shoes and highly regretted afterwards.

Watch the sunset - Southwest Florida is known to have one of the most beautiful sunsets and it is with reason that many travelers come to this area just to experience it. The best way to explain it is that it looks like the sun is being swallowed by the gulf water but you'd really have to see it for yourself.

girl in a tree trunk pointing to sunset at beach

Photoshoot - The Lighthouse beach park has beautiful location to take pictures. From the lighthouse to gorgeous trees that surround the premises, this is a great place to have a photoshoot done.

girl sitting in tree trunks at the beach

Enjoy the wildlife - As mentioned earlier, the park is home to a wide array of wildlife including the gopher tortoise, snakes, birds such as snowy egret, ghost crab, black-bellied plower and many others.

Shelling - Shelling is a huge activity in Sanibel, Florida. Many shellers come from all over the world to search for shells that are available in the area. Here you will find over a 100 varieties of seashells. However, keep in mind that taking live shells is highly illegal so if you find one be sure to leave it at the beach as the environment depends on them to survive and thrive.

Windsurfing - When the conditions are right, the beach is a great spot for windsurfing.

Jet-Skiing - Feeling a bit adventurous? Then jet-skiing may be the perfect activity for you at the Lighthouse beach.

Picnic/Barbecue - The Lighthouse beach is the perfect place to plan a picnic and/or a barbecue as it offers picnic tables and barbecue grills so bring your food and cooler and enjoy.

Fish from pier - If you are into fishing the Lighthouse beach provides a great pier with small cutting tables that you can conduct all your fishing activities. Make sure to bring your own gear or rent them from a local merchant here. Even if you aren't into fishing, it is pretty fun to watch the different types of fishes the fisherman on the pier catch. The excitement is always certain.

View of the Lighthouse beach pier during sunset
Lighthouse beach during low tide season

Eating around Lighthouse Beach

Sanibel's Best Homemade Ice Cream

Lighthouse Cafe of Sanibel Island

Gramma Dot's Saloon

Sanibel Fresh

Tipsy Turtle

Matzaluna Restaurant

Cielo Sanibel

Also read : Beach vacation must have's

Places to stay that are close to Lighthouse beach

Sanibel Beach Club II

Colony Inn

Tarpon Tale Inn

Sea Horse Cottages

Seaside Inn

Sunshine Island Inn

Other fun things to in Sanibel Island

Sanibel Historical Museum and Village

The Botanical Gardens at Sanibel Moorings

SCCF (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation)

Sanibel Outlets

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Blind Pass Beach

Silver Key Preserve


I hope you enjoy your stay in Sanibel Island and please keep in mind to never litter our beaches, us locals and the environment thanks you.

Also, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me via Instagram and send me a DM, I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.