Getting Around Sanibel by Car

Getting around Sanibel by car

As stated earlier, try to avoid driving on Sanibel between 9-10:30 AM and 3-6:30 PM. If you had to choose between the two, it is a lot worse leaving the island at the end of the day than entering in the morning. There are two main roads that run parallel to each other; Periwinkle Way and the Gulf Drives. In addition to these 2 roads there are 6 more streets you should become acquainted. If you learn these main streets you will be in great shape when you visit Sanibel.

Periwinkle WayThis is the main business section of Sanibel.  It runs from the East end of the island at the lighthouse and ends at Tarpon Bay road.  As you enter the island, if you make a right or left at the 4-way stop sign you are on Periwinkle.  A left would eventually dead end at the Sanibel Lighthouse and a right would take you 3 and 1/2 miles down where Periwinkle meets Tarpon Bay Road. It for the most part runs right down the center of the island.

The Gulf DrivesThis road is divided into 3 sections.  East, Middle, and West Gulf Drives.  It zig-zags along the Gulf and is home to many of the islands hotels and motels.  It runs parallel to Periwinkle, although extends further west then Periwinkle to a couple miles past Rabbit road.

Rabbit road -This road  connects Sanibel Captiva rd to West gulf dr. It is the last turn off West Gulf dr before it dead ends.

LindgrenThis is the road that you enter the island on.  If you go straight through the 4-way stop sign as you enter the island you are on Lindgren.  It connects Periwinkle with East Gulf Drive.

DonaxThis road runs between Periwinkle way and Gulf Drive.

Casa YbelThis road runs from Periwinkle way and actually turns into Middle Gulf Drive.

Tarpon Bay-This road is located at one end of Periwinkle.  It connects West Gulf, Periwinkle way, and Sanibel Captiva rd.

Sanibel-Captiva road-This road runs from Tarpon bay Rd all the way up to Captiva Island.  It is 7 miles long.

Map of main Sanibel island roads
Map of main Sanibel island roads

This video shows just how crowded Sanibel can get in season for Holidays. This is just people parked on the Sanibel Causeway for the day!