Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park is a great beach option for everyone who wants to avoid the long traffic jams on Periwinkle Way during the busy months of December till April.
No matter what you and your family love to do – Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park offers it all. So let’s take a look at what you need to know before spending a beautiful day on this Eastend Sanibel Beach.
What is Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Famous For?
This beach is mostly known for its historic site – The Sanibel Lighthouse. “It was one of the first lighthouses on Florida’s Gulf coast north of Key West and the Dry Tortugas. The light, 98-foot above sea level, on an iron skeleton tower was first lit on August 20, 1884 and has a central spiral staircase beginning about 10 feet above the ground. It was built to mark the entrance to San Carlos Bay for ships calling at the port of Punta Rassa, across San Carlos Bay from Sanibel Island. At that time ships regularly brought goods to the port of Punta Rassa and departed loaded with cattle destined for Cuba. The building of the lighthouse did not go easily as the ship carrying the ironwork construction sank about two miles offshore. Hard-hat divers were called in from Key West and they managed to recover most of the pieces.
Please note that the grounds are open to the public, but the lighthouse itself is not.
It is also known for its nearby fishing pier! It is tucked around on the north facing tip of Point Ybel. The parking lot is accessible from Dunlop Road and is open from 8 a.m. to sunset daily. Check here for more parking information.
Books About the Sanibel Island Beach Park
To learn more about the history of the lighthouse, get “The Sanibel Lighthouse”, A Complete History – By Charles LeBuff and bring it to the beach!
Directions To Lighthouse Beach Park
Most people going to the Lighthouse Beach take the causeway to Sanibel Island. We recommend reading our “Toll to Sanibel Island Guide” to see if you can save some money on toll!
After crossing the bridge to Sanibel instead of turning right down Periwinkle Way heading for the other beaches, Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, Bailey Matthews Shell Museum or shops, turn left on Periwinkle Way and you will reach the beach in a few minutes!
Address: 10 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, Florida 33957
Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park Parking
After following Periwinkle to its end, you’ll be in the parking lot for the lighthouse. Take a left immediately before entering the parking lot, to get to the fishing pier.
It is Handicapped Accessible (Free Handicapped Parking) and has 152 Parking Spaces with Limited RV parking spaces. Please be aware that the 152 Lighthouse parking spaces fill up very quickly – especially in season. Make sure you come early or by bike!
Sanibel Island Lighthouse Beach Amenities
There are picnic tables, charcoal grills, drinking fountains, restrooms, outdoor showers, bike racks, a shade pavilion and an information kiosk to make sure you have an enjoyable day on the beach.
Dogs at Sanibel Island Lighthouse Beach
Dogs are allowed on Lighthouse beach. Unfortunately, they must be on a leash no longer than 8 feet and cleaned up after. Please check the local dog rules here.
Video of Lighthouse Beach Park
Water Quality at Lighthouse Beach
“The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.” They regularly monitor the quality of water of the beaches. Please check here for details!
If you like running, there is a 5.3km run that includes Lighthouse Beach. For further information, please click here.
Swimming at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park
Many people enjoy swimming at Lighthouse Beach. But currents in the gulf of Mexico can be very strong. So you might want to just wade in and enjoy cooling off or walk further to the side to swim. For serious swimming, we recommend one of the other beaches like Tarpon Bay for example.
Shelling at Lighthouse Beach
Some call Sanibel the capital of shelling. It is definitely one of Florida’s top shelling beaches. So now surprise that lighthouse beach is another great Sanibel beach for shelling. The kiosk on the beach by the lighthouse can give you some more information. It has all kinds of different information about the various shells you’ll find in that area. Try to search for famous sand dollars. Please note that there is a rule that prohibits the harvest and possession of live shellfish. Sand dollars, sea stars (starfish), and sea urchins are also protected. Check here how to best prepare yourself!
Windsurfing, Kiteboarding, Winging, Paddle Boarding at Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park
Watersports are popular on Lighthouse Beach. Unfortunately, there is no rental place for this type of equipment on Sanibel Island. But Ace Performer in Fort Myers is close to the causeway. They also offer lessons which most of the time take place on causeway beaches.
Fishing at Lighthouse Beach
Most fishermen will head to the fishing pier to try their luck. Popular fish at the pier include snapper, snook, redfish, and more. Make sure to get a local fishing license.
Breakfast near the Beach
For all early birds like fishermen, please check here for our Sanibel breakfast guide.
Restaurants Near Sanibel Lighthouse Beach Park?
If you want to get a bite to eat, here are your options.
Lighthouse Cafe – great for lunch and breakfast
362 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
Gramma Dot’s Seaside Saloon
Great for lunch and dinner. Located at the Sanibel Marina.
634 N Yachtsman Dr, Sanibel, FL 33957
Sanibel’s Best Homemade Ice Cream
Great local ice cream that also offers lovely baking products.
362 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957
A Word from healthylifestyleflorida.com
Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel Island is a great option for everyone who stays off island and does not want to stay on one of the causeway beaches. You will get the nice Sanibel Island price but need to be prepared to pay for expensive parking.