Captiva Island Information & Travel Tipps – learn what makes Captiva Island the ideal place for your next vacation.
Captiva Island in a Nutshell
Captiva is a small island in the Gulf of Mexico that attracts vacationers with its laid-back atmosphere and Caribbean vibes. Instead of big hotels, visitors find charming little huts, colorful flowers, lush palm trees and a soothing tropical breeze. No wonder that Captiva Island has long been a holiday destination for wealthy Americans. Some film stars have even bought their own private island in the north. Despite its secluded location, Captiva Island can be reached from Cape Coral in one hour via the Sanibel-Captiva-Road.
While mangroves dominate Captiva’s eastern parts, the west coast consists of tropical beaches with fine, white sand. Thanks to warm water temperatures, these beaches are perfect for swimming. They are also ideal places to collect beautiful sea shells and sand dollars. The beach extends for 5 miles, so you will have no problem finding a quiet spot to relax. And humans are not the only visitors. Dolphins and stingrays can be seen off the coast, and manatees migrate to South Florida’s warm waters during the winter months.
Captiva Beach is not the only attraction. The island is small enough to be discovered by bicycle, and different types of watersports such as kayaking, sailing and paddleboarding are available. Strong waves make the coast ideal for surfers, and Captiva´s waters are teeming with tarpons. This big, silvery fish has played an important role in the history of the island, as Captiva´s first hotels were built exclusively for fishing tourists.
The South Seas Golf Course in North Captiva is perfect if you want to lower your handicap, and hobby skippers are shown the ropes in Captiva´s sailing school. Looking for skillfully crafted souvenirs? Then, you should visit the 2 Island Gallery with its fine glassware and handmade jewelry. Beautiful sunsets await you in the evening. Afterwards it is time to gaze at the night sky. With such few artificial lights, the stars come out brilliantly on Captiva Island.
Sights and Attractions
Thanks to the Sanibel Causeway, you do not need a boat to visit Captiva´s neighboring island Sanibel. Bowman´s Beach on Sanibel’s southern coast is known for its fine sand, as well as its many colorful shells, so you better bring a bucket to store your souvenirs. Still more ocean treasures are displayed at the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. Following the Causeway, you will reach Fort Myers, a small town with family-friendly beaches, fascinating museums and a world of shopping opportunities.
Cabbage Key to the north is a popular destination for boat trips. Only 12 houses grace this tiny island, among them Cabbage Key’s only restaurant. Here, it is tradition for the guests to stick one-dollar bills to the wall – a remarkable collection worth more than 70.000 Dollars now. From the water tower, guests enjoy magnificent views over the mangrove forests. Not far from Cabbage Key lie Cayo Costa and Gasparilla Island with their sandy beaches, scenic nature and crystal clear waters.
Despite its small size, Captiva Island has no shortage of accommodation options. The biggest among them is the South Seas Island Resort at the heart of the island. This extensive resort features 3 swimming pools, 6 restaurants and 7 tennis courts. From the balcony of their room, guests enjoy beautiful views of the turquoise ocean. A big plus for families: The Island Resort offers on-site childcare with fun activities for the little guests. Meanwhile, their parents can unwind at the spa.
Situated further south is the Captiva Island Inn, a 3-star hotel whose charming “Love Shack” attracts many couples. The beach is only 300 meters away, and the hotel provides beach chairs and umbrellas for free. Guests who want to visit Captiva Island with their own boat or rent one should check out Jensen’s Twin Palm Cottages & Marina Resort. Here you can also book spacious bungalows – perfect if you want to have your own kitchen.
Of course, there is no real need for you to cook, as you can always enjoy delicious South Florida cuisine at the island’s restaurants. For excellent seafood, you should stop by at the Sunshine Seafood Café. The Keylime Bistro is not only known for South Florida’s most famous dessert made with refreshing lime juice, but also for its house margaritas. Among the island’s restaurants, the Bubble Room is by far the most remarkable. Thanks to the festive decoration complete with Santa Claus and his elves, there is always Christmas Season at this charming Captiva original. Other culinary options include Starbucks, a Mexican restaurant and a pizza place. Whether you want to enjoy local or international cuisine – Captiva’s restaurants will not let you go hungry.
Climate and Weather
Thanks to the warm, pleasant weather, spring is considered the best travel time for Captiva Island. The summer months see temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius, as well as high levels of humidity. Most rain falls between June and September.