Best of Captiva Island in Two Days

Everybody knows South Florida. Obviously, most people associate Miami with South Florida and rightfully so but Southwest Florida is often left out of the conversation. From Fort Myers to Naples there is a lot going on in Southwest Florida. However, one other thing that Southwest Florida has is fabulous islands-islands like Captiva Island.

Captiva Island is a small place by island standards and it is a bit of a pain to get to. In order to get there you have to get to Fort Myers and drive the causeway ($6) to Sanibel Island and brave the traffic for 15 miles or so. Once you’ve traveled the Sanibel Captiva Highway, you cross a small bridge and you’re on Captiva Island.

You quickly notice a change. There aren’t many cars; there aren’t many stores or restaurants. There are houses, some massive houses, but nothing obnoxious that takes away from the island feel. Nothing is higher than a palm tree; isn’t that a great rule?

In town, there is a small area with a civic center and library and a few restaurants and stores. Restaurants on Captiva Island are more like institutions. Places like the Mucky Duck; which is best at sunset.

People from all over the island and also from Sanibel come to the Mucky Duck and get a front row seat to a daily amazing sunset. Obviously, it is great to have an accompanying sundowner of your choice but that’s all part of the Captiva Island experience.

Another great spot is the Bubble Room where it’s Christmas all year long. Don’t believe me-check out the décor! The Bubble Room is famous for its massive desserts and generous portions. The food is pretty good but the atmosphere makes the place.

The best place to stay on Captiva Island is the South Seas Island Resort. It is a massive property that takes up about a third of the island. However, it’s not massive in a bad way and actually feels pretty small. Besides anywhere that you get to drive around in a golf cart all day is cool in my book!

There are a few pools including one with a waterslide and a long stretch of virtually deserted white sand beach. The resort also has a beautiful executive golf course on site that I can honestly say I shot even par on. For those that don’t know executive means 9 holes and all par 3’s.

The rooms are pretty nice and mine happened to overlook the Gulf of Mexico; which was great-especially at night where I could sit outside and listen to the little waves come in. The hotel is not a luxury hotel but more of an experience because there is so much to do for men, women and kids of all ages-it’s very family friendly.

For this big kid, my favorite was the watersports-shocker I know. I did a great wave runner tour of the surrounding islands including North Captiva, Boca Grande, Cayo Costa and several others. My guide Craig was really cool and found some dolphins and other sea life along the way.

But the best water sport was parasailing! I hadn’t done that since 1999 on Aruba so I was pretty pumped. I was especially stoked to be up 450 feet or so to take pictures with my new iPhone and shockingly I didn’t drop it!

I was actually able to post a picture to Facebook from that high up; which I thought was pretty cool. The views were outstanding and from that vantage point you could easily see for miles and could see sharks, rays and dolphins in the clear waters below.

For two days on Captiva Island I don’t think I could have done much more. This was actually my second time on Captiva Island, the first was back in 2001 when I took a trip to Sanibel and came to Captiva to check out the Mucky Duck for sunset one night. Not much has changed and that’s a good thing. I look forward to going back to Captiva Island again soon!

Comments

  1. Lee good story, great pictures…I went to Sanibel a few years ago but didn’t make it to Captiva-you’re making me regret that decision!

  2. Looks like a great place, nice beach picture

  3. I love the Mucky Duck! I also didn’t know you could parasail in Captiva but good to know for next time. I have also stayed at South Seas-GREAT place to stay!

  4. Heading to Captiva next weekend for a getaway with my husband. I’m looking forward to another Kayak tour of they mangroves and some cycling.

  5. We spend many wonderful vacations at South Seas!

  6. Beautiful story about a lovely Island! I’m a bit spoiled since I live just off the Sanibel Causeway – I lived on Sanibel for several years and escape to Captiva almost daily. ( great spot to sit on the beach and work : )
    The night sky is what makes it so special for me. Absolutely fabulous for stargazers!

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