Tiny Captiva Island is easy to explore in one day, but most like to linger longer to take advantage of the island’s beaches, water sports, handful of attractions, restaurants, and shops. It’s “downtown” area is easily walkable. Since it has no bike paths, cycling can be a bit tricky, especially when the island fills with tourists and snowbirds in the winter months.
Some would say any day on Captiva Island is a perfect day, but to make sure you get the most out of your short visit, here’s what you should not miss. Note: Boat excursions and spa treatments should be booked ahead of your visit.
Once you have fortified with breakfast at Key Lime Bistro, start the day with an early morning kayak paddle from ‘Tween Waters Inn Marina to Buck Key Paddling Trail, a canopy trail through the mangroves just across the channel from ‘Tween Waters Inn. Morning is the best time to see birds flitting around the trees and dolphin arching from the waters.
Head to Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill at the entrance to South Seas Island Resort to renourish. Feeling a little sore from your morning paddle? Stop in at Kay Casperson’s Spa for a soothing massage, then head to the beach for a little R&R. Or, if you would rather, walk around the village for some unusual shopping. Do not miss the Jungle Drums Gallery. Visit Chapel By the Sea and its quaint cemetery.
Do a sunset boat excursion with Captiva Cruises. It offers two different cruises: one focused on wildlife, the other on partying – complete with live music. You will find plenty of options for dinner. If you have the family in tow, consider the kitschy, fun Bubble Room. And don’t pass up on cake for dessert.
If the occasion calls for a little romance, the Captiva House at ‘Tween Waters Inn or the Mad Hatter, just across the Blind Pass Bridge on Sanibel Island, have the right ambiance and fine dining. The beach is never far away in the Captiva Island world, so end your perfect day perfectly – with a moonlit walk on the beach, orchestrated by the boom and swish of gulf breakers.