: Fort Myers
: Crows Nest at Tween Waters Inn
: Redfish Point
: Green Flash
Captiva is a tropical paradise like no other in the United States. Captiva Island is a barrier island in the tranquil Gulf of Mexico on Florida’s southwest coast. North of Sanibel Island and West of Fort Myers, world-renowned Captiva is also just three hours from Tampa and Miami by car. A narrow seashell-laden island famous for its dramatic sunrises and sunsets, celebrity visitors and creative residents, Captiva is home to private waterfront estates, two large resorts and several charming small inns. The heart of the island is its vibrant ‘downtown,’ coined “the village,” in which visitors and locals stroll among colorful galleries, shops and restaurants with live music and water views. Captiva is also a water sports destination and offers boaters multiple marinas with overnight dockage.
As you can tell by the picture above, one of the island’s most beautiful gifts is the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico right outside your front door. Captiva is one of the furthest points west in Florida which gives you the best view and amazing colors fill the sky. National Geographic Traveler magazine names Sanibel and Captiva as among the world’s best islands. Travel and Leisure magazine rated Sanibel and Captiva as having some of the top shelling Beaches in the world, describing it as a “Sheller’s Mecca where you can find the best unburied treasures in the US”.
You will be captivated by beautiful alluring Captiva Island, where once it is said pirates roamed, conquistadors explored and Calusa Indians called home. The mystery and adventures are still here. Treasures to be found include; spectacular white sand beaches scattered with treasures from the sea (pastel colored seashells) and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. Captiva is one of the few islands literarily made up of shells created over thousands of years, and one of the places considered best in the world for shelling. The islands geography of lying east and west rather than north and south as most islands, allows Captiva to catch abundant sea shells from the Gulf of Mexico.
The famous J. N. Ding Darling National wildlife Refuge is second only the beaches as the islands top attraction with 6400 acres of forest and watershed making up one of the largest mangrove wildernesses in the country. It is in the top five most visited refuges in the US. Each year over 800,000 people visit the refuge and explore the wildlife drive. You can take a self guided car or Tram tours or experience the professional guided tour. Birders have spotted nearly 250 species in the refuge, many of them rare types that life-list keepers flock to see. Call 472-8900 for information.
From the end of Sanibel the beach stretches 5 miles to the northern tip of Captiva Island at Redfish Pass. Captiva Drive is a road with giant cactus, colorful bougainvilleas and other tropical flora along a stretch of sea and sand ending at “Captiva Village”. It will remind you of a small lush island in the Caribbean.
There are superb accommodations, restaurants & shopping. Golfing, tennis, fishing, boating, and all types of children's activities are available in this small slice of paradise.