Imagine a classic beach and Captiva Island’s shoreline will likely fit the image. Expect lazy days and water fun. Tucked into the southwestern portion of Florida, the island’s Captiva Beach, is often described as “most romantic.” That’s quite a compliment in an area filled with numerous other gorgeous sandy shores. Part of the romantic profile may relate to the lovely sunsets, which seem to be perfectly planned for a visit to Captiva location.
Find plenty of entertainment for the entire family here. The highlight is 5 miles (8 kilometers) of Gulf Coast beach along the island’s length. At the center of the island, South Seas Island Resort offers children’s programs, sailing schools and catch-and-release fishing activities. In addition, spend time at its 330-acre (130-hectare) wildlife preserve to see gentle manatees and friendly dolphins.
A selection of boat cruises from the island’s marinas will take you just offshore or somewhat farther into the ocean to spot a variety of sea life, go island hopping or enjoy the ultimate sunset with nothing between you and a watery horizon. Play golf at Captiva Course, an excellent nine-hole par-3 at the northern tip of the island.
Stop at the interdenominational Captiva Chapel by the Sea, originally built as a schoolhouse in 1903. Step into the nearby Captiva Memorial Library to get reading materials and maps for self-guided historical tours.
From the inland-facing side of Captiva you’ll see Pine Island, across the Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve. Drive or cycle southeast to nearby Sanibel Island via a bridge crossing the Blind Pass inlet. Activities on Sanibel include professional theater, live music venues, restaurants with various cuisines and even more beaches.
Stop at the Francis P. Bailey Jr. Visitor Center in Sanibel, for information about both islands. It’s open year-round and provides descriptions and schedules of events on Sanibel and Captiva.
Reach Captiva by flying into Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers. After less than a 1-hour drive you’ll be immersed in relaxation and enjoying island life.