Captiva Island is a long thin piece of land that is located on the southwestern coast of Florida. Once upon a time, a long time ago, it was connected to Sanibel Island but a powerful hurricane came along and separated the two. Today, both remain great places for tourists to visit because they offer so much for visitors to do. Captiva Island in particular is the place to go if you want to enjoy time away from the hustle and bustle of any city in America as you soak in the sun. It is especially attractive for those who are looking to get away from cold winters and it attracts visitors throughout the year. For your visit you can plan to do any or all of the following:
Captiva Island has two main beaches for guests. On the southwestern tip as you cross over from Sanibel Island is Turner Beach which has ample parking for guests at an affordable fee. You also get showers, bathrooms, changing rooms and fresh water. While on Turner Beach you can see all the way across the bay and there is plenty of room for you to sit or lie down and make yourself comfortable. If you want to venture out a little further, you can head over to Northern Captiva Beach which is a little less accessible making it much more serene. It has fewer places to park and the only public amenities available are port -a- parties. However, you will enjoy a beach that has fewer people and is therefore quieter. It is a great place to watch the sun rise and set. Or see paradise from above when Parasailing Captiva Island!
Both Sanibel and Captiva are known as shell islands – they have an abundance of sea shells in all types, shapes and colors. In fact, the in pre-modern times these islands were made entirely of shells – it is only storms and shifting sands that have made them what they are today. Unlike some beaches in Florida, visitors are free to pick and remove any shells that they find so long as they are not inhabited by live creatures. Beware – if you carry away any shells that have living creatures you can face stiff penalties so stick to the rules.
Because of the isolation of Captiva Island it is home to many species of birds and small mammals. You will be able to watch spoonbills, herons, egrets, ibis and wood storks. If you come early in the morning you may see hawks and woodpeckers. If you fancy more of an adventure why not go scuba diving – you will be able to see dolphins, amberjack, barracuda, moray eels and even very old shipwrecks. You will be able to see fishermen out for the day and their catch includes tarpon and sea trout.
Like most islands in Florida there is no shortage of fine dining on Captiva Island. There are more than a dozen restaurants that you can choose from all of which serve excellent seafood dishes all made using the freshest ingredients including Florida mangoes and guavas. You can go straight from the beach to the restaurant – the dress code is laid back. Some of the best dishes include grouper and mahi mahi, seafood gumbo, and red snapper.
You don’t have to spend the whole day on Captiva Island if you don’t want to. You can charter a boat rental and go across the bay to some of Florida’s best attractions – Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Naples. At Fort Myers you can tour Manatee Park where you come up close with manatees. At Cape Coral there are lots and lots of navigable canals. If you are a baseball fan ask your guide to show you their training grounds – they aren’t too far away.
Are you in the mood for something sweet? Visit the Bubble room and you will have your fill. The menu includes a variety of delights such as buttercrunch ice cream pie, orange crunch, and the Jamaican rum cake and the butter crunch ice cream pie. Butterfingers happen to be a favorite candy bar. These desserts along make Captiva Island a great place to take kids out for the day.
If you want to enjoy the sea all you need to do is hire a boat. There are several Captiva boat rentals like Sunny Island Adventures and you can get a vessel right away. If you need to have it kitted let the rental company know in advance. If you are not good on the water, or if you plan to bring people who have no experience out at sea it is a good idea to charter a boat from a company that can provide a crew of at least one. If you will be coming as a group it is a good idea to book a boat in advance – while there are many boats on the island it may not be so easy to get one which can take more than two or three people at once, so booking in advance ensures you get exactly what you need.