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Best Beaches in Fort Myers and Sanibel

Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers and Sanibel offer a paradise for beach lovers and sun seekers. With their soft white sands, abundant wildlife, and picturesque sunsets, these coastal gems provide the perfect backdrop for a serene getaway or an adventurous day out. Whether you're looking to unwind by the gentle waves or explore the natural beauty of Southwest Florida, the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel are sure to leave a lasting impression. The region's unique barrier islands and their diverse ecosystems make every beach visit a new discovery, inviting travelers to return time and again.

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01 Bowman's Beach

bowmans island

Bowman's Beach is the quintessential Sanibel experience, renowned for its pristine conditions and excellent shelling opportunities. As you stroll along the shore, the rhythmic sound of the waves creates a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for relaxation. The beach is also equipped with amenities such as picnic tables and barbecue grills, making it an ideal spot for a family outing. Remote and less developed than other beaches, Bowman's Beach offers a sense of seclusion and a chance to connect with nature, with ample parking and facilities that make it accessible for all.

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02 Lighthouse Beach Park

lighthouse

Lighthouse Beach Park is a historical landmark where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Gulf and bask in the presence of the iconic Sanibel Lighthouse. The beach's calm waters are suitable for swimming and fishing, while the surrounding nature trails offer a glimpse into the local flora and fauna. This beach is also a favorite spot for wildlife enthusiasts, as dolphins and a variety of birds are often spotted here. The lighthouse itself, while not open to the public, serves as a picturesque backdrop for photos and a reminder of the island's maritime history.

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03 Tarpon Bay Beach

tarpon beach

Tarpon Bay Beach, also known as Turner Beach, is a haven for anglers and shell collectors. The strong currents here make for some of the best fishing on the island, while the abundance of seashells will delight beachcombers of all ages. It's a great spot to witness the stunning Sanibel sunset. Visitors should exercise caution when swimming due to the currents, but the beach remains a favorite for those looking to enjoy the natural beauty and excellent fishing conditions.

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04 Causeway Islands

Sanibel Causeway bridge view from the island beach, Fort Myers Florida

The Causeway Islands provide a unique beach experience with their roadside accessibility and free parking. These small islands are perfect for a quick dip, windsurfing, or simply enjoying a picnic with a view of the Sanibel Causeway. The shallow waters here are also ideal for families with young children. The islands are a popular stop for travelers driving to and from Sanibel, offering a convenient and picturesque spot to stretch one's legs and take in the coastal scenery.

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05 Lynn Hall Memorial Park

Lynn Hall Memorial Park is a lively beachfront destination in Fort Myers Beach with amenities that cater to every visitor. The park features a fishing pier, playground, and shops, making it a bustling hub of activity. The gentle waves and wide sandy beach are perfect for a day of sunbathing or building sandcastles. Located near Times Square, the park's proximity to downtown Fort Myers Beach means that visitors can easily combine a beach day with shopping and dining experiences.

06 Blind Pass Beach

Entrance walkway to Blind Pass Beach on Manasota Key on the Gulf of Mexico in Englewood FLorida

Blind Pass Beach is a secluded spot that separates Sanibel from Captiva Island. Known for its strong currents and excellent fishing, it's also a prime location for shelling. The natural beauty of the area is preserved, offering a more rustic beach experience. The pass itself is a dynamic environment where the water flow between the islands changes with the tides, creating a unique landscape for visitors to explore.

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07 Fort Myers Beach

View of the beach from the fishing pier in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

Fort Myers Beach is famous for its lively atmosphere and soft, sugar-white sands. Stretching for miles, this beach is lined with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Water sports enthusiasts will find plenty of activities, from parasailing to jet skiing. The beach's Times Square area is the heart of the action, with street performers and sunset celebrations that add to the festive atmosphere.

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08 Sanibel Island Beach

pelicans on rock

Sanibel Island Beach is a serene destination known for its shell-covered shores and wildlife sightings. The beach's orientation to the east-west tidal currents gifts it with an extraordinary variety of shells. It's also a great spot for bird watching and enjoying the peaceful environment. The island's dedication to conservation means that the beaches are kept natural and unspoiled, providing a perfect habitat for local wildlife and a pristine setting for visitors.

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09 Bunche Beach

bunche beach

Bunche Beach is a natural, undeveloped beachfront that offers a tranquil escape. With its mangrove forests and tidal flats, it's an excellent location for kayaking and observing the diverse marine life. The beach is also a popular spot for watching the sunset over San Carlos Bay. As a county-owned preserve, Bunche Beach is a testament to the area's commitment to preserving its natural landscapes, offering educational opportunities and a respite from commercial development.

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10 Alison Hagerup Beach Park

Alison Hagerup Beach Park, located at the northern tip of Captiva Island, is a picturesque beach known for its calm waters and soft sand. It's a favorite for those looking to relax in a less crowded setting. The clear waters make it a delightful spot for swimming and sunbathing. The beach's remote location adds to its charm, providing a sense of exclusivity and an escape from the more frequented tourist spots.

11 Gulfside City Park Beach

Gulfside City Park Beach, also known as Algiers Beach, is a quiet retreat on Sanibel Island. With its picnic areas and barbecue grills, it's a perfect spot for a beachside meal. The beach is also dog-friendly, so visitors can enjoy the company of their furry friends. The park's amenities and convenient parking make it a stress-free destination for both locals and tourists looking to enjoy a day by the sea.

12 Cayo Costa State Park

cayo costa state park

Cayo Costa State Park is accessible only by boat, offering an untouched beach experience. The island's remote beaches are ideal for shelling, fishing, and hiking. With its pristine natural state, Cayo Costa is a true escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The park also offers cabins and camping facilities for those wishing to extend their stay and truly disconnect in this tranquil setting.

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13 Lovers Key State Park

lovers keys state park

Lovers Key State Park is a romantic destination with its secluded beach and wildlife-rich surroundings. The park offers kayak and paddleboard rentals, allowing visitors to explore the tranquil waters and mangrove forests. The beach is also a popular wedding location due to its stunning scenery. Once accessible only by boat, Lovers Key has become a cherished spot for its unspoiled beaches and the chance to spot manatees and dolphins in their natural habitat.

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14 Sanibel Causeway Beaches

Sunset over Southwest Florida

The Sanibel Causeway Beaches are a series of small beaches that offer spectacular views of the Gulf and Sanibel Island. These beaches are great for a quick stop to enjoy the water or for windsurfing enthusiasts. The causeway is also a popular fishing spot, with no fishing license required. The ease of access and ample parking along the causeway make these beaches a convenient choice for those who want to experience Sanibel's beauty without venturing too far from the road.

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15 Estero Island Beaches

Restaurant in Old San Carlos Boulevard in Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island at the west coast of Florida TasfotoNL / Shutterstock.com

Estero Island's beaches are known for their family-friendly atmosphere and variety of beachfront parks. With multiple access points, visitors can easily find a spot to enjoy the island's beauty. The beaches here are perfect for those looking to engage in beach volleyball or simply soak up the Florida sun. The island's extensive shoreline ensures that there's a beach to suit every preference, from bustling spots with beachfront bars to quiet stretches ideal for contemplation and relaxation.

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