If you are planning a trip to Sanibel Island then beaching is probably part of your plan. After all Southwest Florida has one of the most beautiful beaches in the United States and not to mention Sanibel is a great place for shelling and many other water activities.
The island is filled with beaches you can enjoy and each one of them is unique and beautiful in its own way.
Blind Pass beach park , for example, is one of them. The beach is located both in Sanibel and Captiva Island right before the small bridge where Sanibel Island Dr turns into Captiva Dr.
Although there are two parking lots to access the beach, parking is very limited. The parking at the bridge does not have access to the beach but it is perfect for anyone who is looking to go fishing.
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Just like any other beach in Sanibel and Captiva island the parking fees are also pretty hefty here; $5 per hour, per car with a minimum of $5. The fines for parking in "decal only" areas or not paying for parking have now gone up to $200 plus subject to towing.
About 4 years ago the fine was $50, I would know, I received one (lol) for parking in an area where only locals were allowed to park ( decal only) and let's just say it was well worth it because the beach in that location was the most spectacular of the area.
There is, however, one free handicap parking space available on both Sanibel and Captiva parking lot. Also, keep in mind that there are no bathrooms or showers on the Sanibel side, they are located on the Captiva side, so park according to your needs.
Now, after the reopening of the beaches due to the Covid pandemic, the city of Sanibel and Captiva Island have not only implemented social distancing measures by placing signs up that advises people to maintain 6 feet distance but they have also prohibited the consumption of alcohol beverages on the beaches of both islands. Violation fines can be up to $500.
However, there are still many ways you can enjoy your trip to Blind pass beach park, here are some ideas:
Fishing (license needed for adults, minors can fish without)
Trailing to Silver Key Beach
Beach Scavenger hunt
Although Florida's waves may not be as big as other areas of the world, make no mistake as the currents can be just as strong, so beware of swimming signs as this area is known for its swift currents.
Now, after finding a spot to camp and setting up our umbrella, we trailed to Silver Key Beach for our usual beach walk. It was about a 10 minute walk, fairly quick compared to the walk from Bowman's beach, which was about 45 minutes, you can read more about it here.
However, on the path from Blind pass, there were tons of turtle nests, it is really nice to see and think that many turtles will be coming back to this very area from all over the world to lay their eggs. The nests are highly protected and should not be dealt with or touched.
Another great phenomenon that also happens around this time of the year; summer time, is the low tide phenomenon. This specific time of the year, the tide is very low and it makes the perfect time to go shelling - we easily found a sand dollar just laying by the shore - as well as fishing and watching the sunset on the sandbars created in the middle of the gulf.
Unfortunately, the city of Sanibel and Captiva are currently experiencing beach erosion and many of the areas that you have seen in the past may look completely different today. Hence, enjoy the nature, take several pictures, have fun but keep in mind to take back with you everything that you brought in, do not litter the beaches, do not feed the animals and most importantly never take a live species home, the survival of our environment and natural resources depends on everyone doing their part.
Finally, if you are staying in Sanibel Island for a few days and would like to check out other beaches in the area, here's a list of a few of them: