Pictures from Captiva Island, Florida

Captiva Island, Florida

Captiva Island, Florida

Captiva is one of the barrier islands on the lower Gulf Coast of Florida, 125 miles south of Tampa. Captiva Island and it's sister, Sanibel, are known widely for their pristine beauty and unspoiled landscapes. Encouraging commercial interests to design and build relative to the island's charm, residents have created a modern tropical splendor for themselves and visitors alike. On Captiva, one feels the call of the tropics and the inclination is to stay forever in this island paradise. Unlike Sanibel, however, this island is mostly residential homes with very little commercial enterprise. It is a hike to get back to the mainland from Captiva, also. Thankfully, groceries and other everyday items can be found in the small commercial area of Captiva.

The drive from the south end to the north end of Captiva is on a paved pathway cut through the lush natural vegetation. Tall trees shade almost the entire roadway and the natural growth blocks views of the gulf or bay in all but a few areas. Still, its a lovely drive winding several miles and showing this island's beauty. Occasionally one catches a glimpse of the "million-dollar" homes built on the beach or bay but no extended viewing is likely because parking is limited and traffic can be heavy.

The south end of the island starts at the bridge at Blind Pass. There is a public access beach here with restrooms. At the north end of the island you'll find restaurants, bars, groceries and a smattering of specialty shops. One of the island's public beaches is here as well as the famous South Seas Resort. Stop in and have a cocktail at the Bubble Room or a fresh fish sandwich at the Mucky Duck, where you can sit inside or outside viewing the Gulf of Mexico.

While on Captiva Island, nature lovers MUST tour the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel. It is a short drive from Captiva and the entire tour can be accomplished by car, as well as biking or hiking. By car one can view or photograph wildlife and never leave the car seat because of the cleverly constructed roadway. You can also drive from point to point, leaving the car for short walks to constructed viewing platforms. It's about an eight mile trip and, if you plan to take photos, will take a while.

Visitors to Captiva can easily tour the southwest Florida cities in the area. Driving south through Sanibel and crossing the causeway bridge, you'll have close access to Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach.  Pine island including Matlacha, Bokeelia and St. James City are closer by water than roadway. North Captiva, Useppa, Don Pedro and Little Gasparilla islands are all just north of Sanibel-Captiva but must be reached by boat. A 30 minute drive south will find Estero Island (Fort Myers Beach) and Bonita Beach. Naples is about an hour's drive south on US Highway 41 or Interstate  75. The Punta Gorda / Port Charlotte area is 45 minutes north. The Southwest Florida International Airport is 45 minutes from Captiva.

 

Blind Pass

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Captiva Island beaches blind pass rocks
The beach at Blind Pass (pictures above and below), at the southern tip of Captiva, is a public access beach. Sunsets can be outstanding.
   

Captiva Houses and Streets

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captiva_driveway_1.JPG (37435 bytes) The drive to the northern tip of Captiva (photo upper left) features views of dense vegetation cut by shell-top driveways winding into the undergrowth and an occasional view of the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the beach houses you'll see are beautiful (pictures below).
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Captiva Drive takes one through "downtown" Captiva. Residential houses and condos mix with the commercial buildings in a charming way. Groceries and specialty items can be found as well as restaurants and bars. Eat inside or outside at the Mucky Duck (below, center) and enjoy a great view of the beach (below, right).

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Captiva Island Photos

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South Seas Resort occupies the north tip of Captiva Island. Pictures here show condos and houses that are just off the public beach.

chapel by the sea

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Drop by the "Chapel by the Sea"-  (weddings, anyone?) This beach area contains a public library, cemetery and small chapel. Above is the tombstone of the first settler to Captiva.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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