Lighthouse beach is located at the eastern tip of Sanibel Island. This is one of the most scenic beaches in the island, not only is it home to the Sanibel Lighthouse but it also offers sweeping views of the San Carlos Bay and Fort Myers beach skyline as well as beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico. The views of the beach with the lighthouse and the San Carlos bay are some of the most beautiful beach scenes in the island.
Check out the lighthouse: Dating back to 1884 the Sanibel lighthouse stands 102 feet high and it’s one of the most photographed and recognized landmarks in island. The lighthouse itself is not open to the public, but you can take a stroll on the beach and a closer look at the historic lighthouse while you snap some nice photos.
Do some shelling: Lighthouse Beach’s south facing orientation makes this is one of the best shelling beaches on Sanibel Island. The beach is wide and flat, and the water is shallow and perfect for wading. You will often see live shells, hermit crabs scurrying about and even the occasional seahorse. Just remember that live shelling is not permitted and make sure that all the shells you pick don’t have any critters in them.
Fishing: A small fishing piers extends into the San Carlos Bay and has its own parking and direct access. We love to watch the pelicans diving for fish right next to the fishermen. Anglers also enjoy saltwater fly fishing on Sanibel’s Lighthouse Beach area every month of the year because of the abundance of fish and the unsurpassed sight casting opportunities. There is a great abundance and variety of species including: redfish, seatrout, snook, tarpon, ladyfish, Spanish mackerel, pompano, flounder, snappers, sharks and many others. Most residents and visitors fishing from land or a pier must purchase licenses for fishing in salt or fresh water. You can purchase a license at The Bait Box on Periwinkle Way, Bailey’ Center at the corner of Tarpon Bay Road and Periwinkle Way, Tarpon Bay Recreation, Jensen’s Marina, Adventures in Paradise, Norm Zeigler’s Fly Shop, Whitney’s Bait & Tackle and at all the marinas.You do not need a license if you are: under 16; over age 65 and a Florida resident.
Enjoy the wildlife: Because the beach is a natural preserve there are lots of marine birds and wildlife from egrets and royal blue herons to sea turtle nests. It is quite common to see dolphins playing along the shore and close to the pier. Visitors can also explore nature trails that meander through the mangrove forest above the beach.
Windsurfing: The strong causeway currents at Lighthouse Beach do not make it the best place for swimming but it is a popular beach for windsurfers.
Watch the sunset: After strolling for a while and picking up some shells we usually head on to the north side of the beach to watch the sunset while we enjoy a picnic dinner.