Tag Archives: beaches of Florida

Lovers Key Beach State Park

Lovers Key Beach State Park is a barrier island just south of Ft. Myers Beach in SW Florida. It consists of 712 acres of beach, shrub habitat and salt water waterways winding their way through the island. Beachgoers will find the two mile long beach a great place to find shells of different kinds, clean Gulf of Mexico swimming and interesting places to gaze at the long beach and driftwood washing ashore. There is also an abundance of wildlife on the island and an interesting place to view birds.

There is a nominal fee to enter Lovers Key Beach State Park but it is worth it. One of its’ nice features is a tram that will take you from the parking lot to the beach and across some pretty bridges. No heavy carrying of beach chairs and towels required at this place. There are also concessions to rent bicycles and kayaks at this place. Clean bathrooms are available here also.

Lover Key takes a heavy pounding during the winter storms each year so the beach has to be re-nourished frequently by barges pumping sand back onto the beach. What I liked most about Lovers Key is the cleaner water it has to swim in than other beaches north of there.  I think it is less affected by the large inlets that lie next to Sanibel and Ft Myers Beach which churn up the sand and mud on the bottom.

The Gulf of Mexico  temperature gets pretty warm during the summer months and its easy to drive into without getting cold. Once you drive off the island there are plenty of restaurants just south of the beach in Bonita Springs or north of the beach on Ft. Myers Beach. The website Trip Advisor gives Lovers Key State Beach Park very positive ratings. You can also visit the official state website to learn more about the park.

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Bowmans Beach, Sanibel Island

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Bowmans Beach is one of the few public beaches on Sanibel Island and well worth the visit for beachgoers and shell collectors. The beach is located in the middle of the island at the end of Bowmans Beach Rd. There is a public parking lot a short distance away where parking costs a few dollars an hour. There are also showers and public bathrooms at the beach. The white sandy beach at Bowmans stretches for several miles and the water is usually aqua marine blue and green and very inviting to swim. Shell collectors like the beach at Bowmans also for its variety and abundance of shells to collect. Collecting live shell is not permitted. Fisherman can also fish from the beach. The only other public beaches I know of on Sanibel are located near the lighthouse at the southern end of the island and the beach at Blind Pass at the northern end of the island. Visitors who have been to Bowmans Beach and rated their experiences on Trip Advisor have rated it mostly excellent to very good. Make sure to bring sunscreen, chairs and an umbrella as the suns rays and UV light are very strong. Other attraction nearby are the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge and the Bailey Matthews Shell Museum. There are also many good restaurants on the island.  The Sanibel Island Chamber of Commerce has good information for people that want to stay on the island or do more than just visit the beaches.