How to Celebrate the Sanibel Lighthouse for National Lighthouse Day

DATE: August 4, 2022

Sunday, August 7, 2022, is National Lighthouse Day and the perfect time to celebrate our very own Sanibel Lighthouse. Located on the eastern-most point of the island, the Sanibel Lighthouse broke ground in 1884 thanks to $50,000 granted by Congress to the petitioning settlers of the island (approx. $1.5 million in today’s dollars). Their hope was that a lighthouse would make the island settlement easier to find and help the local settlers increase trade opportunities.

Today, the lighthouse is a much-beloved landmark and part of the National Register of Historic Structures. Visitors can explore the land around the lighthouse, owned by the City of Sanibel, to enjoy nature trails, a beach park, and the pier. The area offers hourly parking, a restroom, picnic areas, sheltered pavilion, beach or shore fishing, showers, trails, and ADA-accessible amenities.

sanibel island aerial shot from lighthouse point v2

Sundial Resort guests can use one of our complimentary bikes to pedal the route from the resort to Lighthouse Beach – it’s a quick 20-minute ride.

We hope you’ll make time during your next visit to go and see this towering Island landmark!

Here are some fun facts about the Lighthouse:

  • The lighthouse was operated on Kerosene Oil for 65 years until erosion caused the lighthouse to become automated in 1949.
  • In 1982, residents in the area surrounding the lighthouse could live there for free in exchange for the upkeep of the area.
  • The Coast Guard handed the lighthouse over to the city in 2004.
  • The lighthouse was recently restored in 2013 for a grand total of $269,563.
  • Henry Shanahan, the second keeper of the lighthouse in 1888, was originally denied the position because he was illiterate.
  • 670 acres of land was reserved for the construction of the lighthouse.
  • Although the actual lighthouse is not open to the public, the area around it is.
  • The lighthouse is 98 feet tall.


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