Situated off the southwest coast of peninsular Florida just north of Sanibel Island, Captiva takes its name from a local legend. According to the tales, infamous swashbuckler, Jose Gaspar, imprisoned women he was holding for ransom somewhere on this little spit of land.

Whether this story is fact or fable, Captiva was likely a popular hideout for notorious buccaneers in the Golden Age of Caribbean piracy. Today, though the pirates have been lost to time, there is still adventure to be found here. And the magnetic allure of Captiva is no less enthralling. Be ye warned…one visit and you, too, will be ensnared by beauty and charmed by the fun island vibe…captivated.  

But, whether this is your first visit or the next of many, here are some sure-fire itinerary options to help you plot your course.  

 

FUN ON CAPTIVA

Jungle Drums (www.jungledrumsgallery.com) – Jim & Kathleen Mazzotta’s gallery is one of the coolest in Captiva’s de facto “downtown.” A montage of high dollar, tropical custom sculpture, hand crafted jewelry, paintings, furniture and parrot T-shirts. Yep, parrot t-shirts. 11532 Andy Rosse Lane. 239.395.2266.

Blind Pass – The narrow stretch of translucent water that separates Captiva and Sanibel is a great place to drop in a kayak to explore the Gulf on the west or the bayous to the east. Cast a line to haul up some tasty mangrove snapper. Parking available on the Captiva side.

Turner Beach – for shelling or just strolling, this wide stretch along the Captiva side of Blind Pass can’t be beat.

Bubble Room (www.bubbleroomrestaurant.com) – Bubble scouts. Mickey Mouse. Santa’s Workshop. Irresistible kitsch and tasty American grub in a festive, family environment. 15001 Captiva Drive. 239.472.5558. 

Captiva Cruises & Kayak Tours (www.mccarthysmarina.com) – Guided fishing and sightseeing excursions leave from McCarthy’s Marina (11401 Andy Rosse Lane). Also rent kayaks and head out on your own. 239.472.5200.

Jensen’s Marina – Sightseeing boat tours leave hourly. Great place for a family fishing charter. In the summertime, this is a primo location for manatee spotting. 15107 Captiva Drive. 239.472.5800.

Mucky Duck (muckyduck.com) – A British pub right on the beach. Enjoy the A/C or bask in the beautiful Gulfside view from shaded patio tables. Eating outside? Order at the bar. 11546 Andy Rosse Lane. 239.472.3434.

Tween Waters (www.tween-waters.com) – Historic Captiva resort, spa and marina. Plan a day of charter fishing. Enjoy upscale seafood dining at the Gulf-front Old Captiva House or drinks and live music at Crow’s Nest. 15951 Captiva Drive. 800.223.5865.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

While there are some fun activities for kids, Captiva is, for the most part, a playground for grown folks. Upscale shops, boutiques, galleries and big boy toys.

Captiva is not RV friendly. Lots of tight turns, narrow lanes and dead end streets. Andy Rosse Lane is a tourist epicenter with a variety of galleries, shops, beach bars and marinas all within easy walking distance.

 

GETTING TO CAPTIVA

Direct land access via Sanibel. GPS: (at Turner Beach) 26.483168, -82.183421. From I-75, take exit 158 (Cape Coral/N Ft. Myers). Drive west on CR-762 for about a mile then turn south on US-41. Turn SW on FL-867. The bridge has a toll. Bring cash. Turn right on Periwinkle then take a slight right on Palm Ridge. This becomes, first, Sanibel-Captiva, then Captiva Drive. Follow it over the bridge at Blind Pass.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Estero Island: Waterfront Fun on Fort Myers Beach

Estero Island: Waterfront Fun on Fort Myers Beach

A Florida sunset paradise, the thriving island community of Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island, on Florida’s southwest coast, offers fine dining, island style shopping and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and water sports fun. Plus, Estero Island...

A Lasting Commission from LtCol Faircloth

A Lasting Commission from LtCol Faircloth

One of the highlights of my writing career was the day I got a call from LtCol H. Spencer Faircloth (Ret.). Spence wanted my help writing a book about his extraordinary life. He didn’t land at Normandy on D-Day. He was still a kid, back home in Georgia,...

Horrific Tragedy in a Beautiful World

Horrific Tragedy in a Beautiful World

On Easter morning, while millions around the world gathered in worship and celebration, a handful of religious fanatics came together to murder Christians, to murder families enjoying a holiday vacation… to murder at least 45 children. The speculation as...

A Higher Call

A Higher Call

“A Higher Call” by Adam Makos is an honest, intense, and expertly crafted book. It is, without reservation, one of the best historical books I have ever read. An exceptionally detailed, exquisitely rich picture of life both during and after World War 2. It...

7,670 and counting

7,670 and counting

I was at the grocery buying an anniversary card, because that’s what you do when the Hallmark next door has vanished without a trace. The cashier snuck a peak at the card and her eyes went wide. “Happy Anniversary! How many years.”“Twenty-one.”“Wow. Uh … I...

Writer & Editor: The Perfect Team

Writer & Editor: The Perfect Team

I work with some terrific editors who understand the subtle difference between directing a writer and correcting their work. Both are important; and both are vital to a successful story. But the secret to that success lies in understanding when and where...

Spell Check Two-Step

Spell Check Two-Step

In their preschool years, of my boys’ favorite shows was a PBS educational cartoon called Super Why. The four main characters in the show, the “Super Readers,” are storybook characters with reading-based super-hero alter egos. One of the characters in the...

Research as a Creative Writing Prompt

Research as a Creative Writing Prompt

Research allows you to learn things you did not previously know. Duh. It also introduces you to new worlds, strange ecosystems and unfamiliar social networks. This new information has the potential to blast through your writer’s block like dynamite… if...

Writer & Editor: The Perfect Team

I work with some terrific editors who understand the subtle difference between directing a writer and correcting their work. Both are important; and both are vital to a successful story. But the secret to that success lies in understanding when and where...

Spell Check Two-Step

In their preschool years, of my boys’ favorite shows was a PBS educational cartoon called Super Why. The four main characters in the show, the “Super Readers,” are storybook characters with reading-based super-hero alter egos. One of the characters in the...

Research as a Creative Writing Prompt

Research allows you to learn things you did not previously know. Duh. It also introduces you to new worlds, strange ecosystems and unfamiliar social networks. This new information has the potential to blast through your writer’s block like dynamite… if...

Vero Beach

Vero Beach And Other Hidden Gems on the Treasure Coast   When vacationers, even many Florida natives, think about hitting the beach on the Atlantic coast, they head to Daytona, Cocoa, Lauderdale or Amelia Island. Florida’s Treasure Coast is treated as...

Banish Writer’s Block For Good

Many, if not most prospective writers are born storytellers. Sergeant Friday would hate us because we rarely, if ever, stick to “just the facts, ma’am.” We love to recite even the simplest activity in narrative form. Whether it be a relatively mundane...

Avoid This Communication Trap

With his trademark understated cultural satire, Bill Watterson strikes a chord for all of us who are sick to death of — or at least hopelessly confused by — empty jargon, meaningless, business-speak and other words that take up space but communicate...

Lady and the Scamp

Lynette Birch has a simple philosophy. It hangs around her neck, a thin charm wrought in gold, a single letter connected to a twisted strand of rope. Y knot. This message pours from the heart and radiates from the smile of a lady who has every reason to...

5 Cups of Coffee

Ferris Bueller said life goes by too fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you just might miss it. I wondered if maybe “once in a while” just isn’t enough. We put so much emphasis on weekends and annual vacations we drain the fun and...

Gay Marriage & Religious Freedom

Every since the SCOTUS agreed to hear arguments related to gay marriage, some very prominent religious leaders have stated that legally protected gay marriage could force churches to perform gay weddings. Those leaders are lying … and they know it. Now...