Captiva Island does exactly what it promises to – it captivates. Its long stretches of unspoiled beach and fine, white shell-strewn sand are nothing short of dazzling, and come with the benefit of wall-to-wall sunshine. Laze by the water’s edge and watch dolphins at play offshore; walk for miles, feeling the sand slip softly between your toes; or take a leisurely dip in the clear-blue sea. Captiva Island holidays give you every opportunity to re-connect with the good things in life.
This is a place for anyone who wants to spend time in an environment that’s both beautiful and serene, where nature puts on a fabulous show. Couples can get away from it all by seeking out the island’s secluded spots and feasting on stunning sunrises and sunsets. Families will love the pristine beaches, the warm, gently shelving ocean and the abundant wildlife. And everyone will get a kick out of collecting the shells that the island is famous for, and which stud its beaches like stars.
Thanks to a quirk of currents and gentle coastal slopes, Captiva is one of the top spots for shell hunting anywhere. Do the ‘Captiva Crouch’ and hunt for conch, coquinas, cockles and other shells along the shoreline.It’s said you can expect to find 50 different varieties in just one session – and most of them will be whole, too.
The fantastic beaches and plentiful other amenities of Sanibel Island are just next door and easily reached by road. Stroll in the botanical gardens; visit the shell museum; and be sure not to miss the mangrove estuaries, cordgrass marshes and astonishing birdlife of the J. N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
Come to Captiva and relax. The pace on the island is slow and unhurried, and the irritations of urban life will seem a million miles away. Doze on the beach; see the sky turn pink at sunset; watch a pelican flap past; and feel your stress levels plummet.
There are plenty of options for reaching the other little islands dotted round about. Boats make the run to Cabbage Key, Useppa Island and uninhabited Cayo Costa, all of which are inaccessible by car. Offering a seductive mix of isolation, Eden-like beaches, superb tarpon fishing, and some great spots for a delicious lunch, these islands are hidden gems.
There are some great cruising options from Captiva’s marinas, and an evening trip to catch the romance of the sunset is a must. Off shore and back water fishing trips take anglers off in search of grouper, barracuda, shark, snook and redfish; and kayaking adventure tours allow paddlers to explore the island’s shoreline in intimate depth.