Photo taken by Elly Rundqwist at Captiva Island. 

Photo taken by Elly Rundqwist at Captiva Island. 

A guest post by Elly Rundqwist, one of our summer camp CITs. Thanks Elly!

When searching for the perfect place to spend the day on Sanibel Island, the right beach is always just around the corner!  Whether you’re looking for a crowd of colorful beach umbrellas or a sliver of paradise left peaceful and undisturbed, there’s something for everyone here.  Here are five local beaches and why we love them:

 1. Beach Access #7

Grab your bike and head to the west end of the island, because Beach Access #7 on West Gulf Drive is the perfect stretch of beach to spend an afternoon. Fringed by leaning palm trees, you’re sure to find plenty of shells to fill your bag to the brim here, and it’s a great spot for sunset viewing.  If you’re a water bug, try looking for large horse conchs in the shallows! Check out the other West Gulf beach accesses as well!

 2. Lighthouse Beach

The Sanibel lighthouse was built in 1884 and is still functioning. People come from all around to picnic, fish, and float in the water at this beach. Since it’s located at the easternmost tip of the island, you can see gulf transition to bay. As you loop around, look for a distinct change in water color. It’s also a great beach for shelling and observing live shells on the sandbars at low tide.

3.  Blind Pass Beaches

Also known as Turner Beach – it’s the area around Blind Pass, which is located between Sanibel and Captiva.  You can island hop as much as you please, listen to cars echo as they drive over the bridge, or cast a line off the seawall.  Due to fast currents, there are many shells, and during storms it’s a popular spot for surfers.

4.  Bunche Beach

Located on the mainland just a mile or so before the causeway, Bunche Beach is one of the best natural mudflats in our area.  With mangrove forests, long beaches, and salt flats, the area is a great place to see wildlife at it’s finest – birds, fiddler crabs, and King’s Crown conchs abound.  Be sure to bring water shoes and a camera, for you never really know what you’ll wander upon.  

5.    Bailey Beach

Bailey Beach has one of the best views of the causeway Sanibel has to offer! Perfect for spotting dolphins and fishing, there is always an adventure in store here. Being one of the only beaches on the bay side of the island, it offers unique sand and shells.  Keep an eye out for the resident gopher tortoises while you’re here!