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Sanibel Island measures roughly 12 miles long and three miles across at its widest.
Sanibel & Captiva Islands are located off the coast of southwest Florida, just west of Fort Myers, Florida. Fort Myers is situated between Naples, FL and Tampa, Fl.
The Fort Myers Airport, Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW airport code), is located approximately 20 miles away from Sanibel Island.
Sanibel Island has two main roads that parallel each other. Periwinkle Way, located at the four-way stop immediately past the Visitor Center, is the main thoroughfare. West of the causeway, it leads to the island’s shopping and dining district. Follow it east and you’ll pass a quieter commercial section, ending up at the Sanibel Lighthouse and its beach. Gulf Drive, the other main route, roves past resorts, beaches, and homes at the water’s edge. It is segmented into East, Middle, and West Gulf Drive.
The toll to cross the Sanibel Island Causeway onto the island is $6 per car; there is no toll to return to the mainland. Frequent visitors may want to opt for the transponder program, which works on a debit account system and offers discounted tolls of $2 per trip (plus an upfront charge for the transponder).
Sanibel is one of the unique barrier islands of the world, having an east-west orientation when most islands are north-south. Hence, the island is gifted with great sandy beaches and an abundance of shells. Check out the Sanibel Shelling Center for information on the islands beaches and seashells.
There are a few rules that keep our beaches pristine. Pets on Sanibel Island must be leashed, and should be cleaned up after. Captiva beaches do not allow pets.* Alcoholic beverages are prohibited November through May. No open fires and no collecting of live shells please. Click Here to see the 5 reasons to leash your dog.
Basic restrooms are located at all public beach accesses. Some have picnic tables and showers, all have free handicap parking. Parking at Sanibel Island and Captiva Island public beaches costs $2.00 an hour, Cash and credit cards are accepted. Paid parking tickets are not interchangeable between Sanibel and Captiva.