Sanibel and Captiva Island Transportation

Sanibel Island CausewayWhere are Sanibel Island and Captiva Island?
Sanibel Island and Captiva Islands are located off the gulf coast of southwest Florida, just west of Fort Myers, Florida. Fort Myers, Florida is situated north of Naples, Florida and south of Tampa, Florida.

The Fort Myers Airport, Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), is located approximately 25 miles away from Sanibel Island.

Rental Cars
Reservation Central Sanibel Island and Captiva Island have pre-negotiated a rental car discounted rate through Thrifty which is available at any Florida Thrifty Rental Car location. In addition to discounted rates of up to 50% or more, guests receive unlimited miles, no extra driver fees and no underage (21-24) driver fees. Click here to search availability and make a reservation on the Reservation Central rental car web site.

Traveling Around Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island is approximately 12 miles long and three miles wide at its widest point.

Sanibel Island has two main roads that parallel each other. Periwinkle Way, located at the four-way stop just past the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Center, is the main thoroughfare. West of the causeway, it leads to the island’s shopping and dining district. Follow Periwinkle Way to the east and you’ll pass a quieter commercial section, winding up at the Famous Sanibel Lighthouse and the Sanibel Lighthouse beach. The Gulf Drives, the other main routes, winds past hotels, resorts, beaches, and homes at the water’s edge. It is separated into East Gulf Drive (The Lighthouse End), Middle Gulf Drive, and West Gulf Drive. Click here for a Google Map of Sanibel Island

Traveling Around Captiva Island
Smaller neighbor, Captiva Island has more a more compact measurement of approximately four miles long and one half mile wide.

Periwinkle Way connects, via Palm Ridge Road or Tarpon Bay Road, to Sanibel-Captiva Road, which follows on to Captiva Island. Known to the locals as “San-Cap,” the road passes by most of Sanibel Island’s natural attractions, including the the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Center (SCCF), the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, and the Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (C.R.O.W.) facility. Captiva Island is connected to Sanibel by San-Cap Road over a short bridge at the scenic Blind Pass, the road becomes Captiva Drive once on Captiva Island. Follow the road north and you’ll find two public beach accesses, plus restaurants, shops and resorts. Click here for Google Map of Captiva Island

Beach Parking on Sanibel Island & Captiva Island
Island public parking areas have park-and-pay machines. The cost is $2 per hour, and each machine produces a receipt for you to put on your car dashboard. The machines do not make change, but they accept $1, $5 and $10 bills, as well as Visa and MasterCard credit cards. Handicapped parking is free at all public beach parking areas.

Roadside parking is not allowed, and some beach access areas are restricted to those with permits. Permits are available to non-residents at a cost of $80 to $160. The permits are available at the Sanibel Recreation Center located at 3880 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel Island, FL.

Transportation on the Islands
There are several taxi companies servicing Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

Sanibel Island Toll Bridge Information
The toll to cross the Sanibel Island Causeway onto Sanibel 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). For more information, Visit the LeeWay Service Website or call 239-931-0100. Typically, the transponder program is only beneficial for Island residents, workers or business owners. If you have a SunPass, that transponder will work at the Toll Plaza, however, there is no discounted rate.

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