With Sanibel’s iconic lighthouse, built in 1884, as a backdrop, the pretty sweep of sand at Lighthouse Beach Park is a favorite with both locals from Sanibel and Fort Myers as well as vacationing families. The beach is located at the eastern tip of Sanibel Island, an area that acts as a magnet for shells washing ashore and is therefore very popular with people doing the “Sanibel stoop” to fill their buckets with treasures from the Gulf. Bring your rod and reel to cast a line from the fishing pier when you’re done swimming, or pack supplies and enjoy lunch alfresco in one of the shaded picnic pavilions with grills. Have fun watching windsurfers slice across the surface of the sea when the breezes are favorable. Leashed pets are welcome at the beach, so you can bring your four-legged beachcombing friends too.

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