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Bowman's Beach, Sanibel Island

Fort Myers, FL, USA


Bowman's Beach is a popular spot on Sanibel Island. It's a wild windswept beach. You walk past an estuary and some pretty jungle until you come to a wild, flat desert area of sea oats and other native plants. Then the wide beach stretches out with ultra-fine whitish-grey sand, the kind that you find on the intracoastal waterway. There are piles of white shells along the shore, of all varieties, including clams, tulip shells, lightning whelks, and occasional sand dollars and nine-armed starfish. The shells are not glossy but are more rugged-looking. Pretty sea birds walk along the shore in groups, their heads facing the wind. When we were there the water was an unappealing brown color up close but this may have been the result of recent storms.
There is no shade at this beach.
It's fun to drive over the causeway to Sanibel Island enjoying sweeping views of San Carlos Bay. Once on the island, notice the lush vegetation along the road. Two thirds of the island is protected from development, set aside as parks and preserves, making it lovely compared to condo jungles you see elsewhere.
While in the Fort Myers area, make sure you visit the Edison and Ford Winter Estates, for gorgeous gardens with stunning trees on the river and an interesting museum.

Photo Gallery

Nine-armed starfish in the sand.

Driving over the causeway.

Lush vegetation on Sanibel-Captiva Rd.

Jungle you walk through to get to the beach.

Wooden walkway over the estuary to the beach.

Estuary between the parking lot and the beach.

Wide expanse of open space before you get to the sand.

The water was not very inviting the day we were there.

Collection of shells we found at Bowman's Beach.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Bowman's Beach is located at the end of Bowman's Beach Rd, Sanibel FL 33957. About eight miles after going over the causeway onto Sanibel Island, from Sanibel-Captiva Rd, turn left on Bowman's Beach Rd. There is a large parking lot. Cost to park is $5 per hour, with cash or credit card in the machines, which don't give change.
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