It may be small, but there are lots of things to do on Captiva Island. The barrier island is one of Southwest Florida’s not-so-hidden-anymore gems and people from all over the country and the world love to vacation on its shores. From romantic sunsets and pristine white sand beaches to eclectic restaurants and the allure of small-town living, there is just something magical about living here.
Top 5 Things to Do on Captiva Island:
Walk the white sand beaches
Look for seashells
Stay for the sunset
Dine at one of the island’s restaurants
Take a boat ride and explore the surrounding islands
What Sets Captiva Island, FL Apart from Sanibel?
Captiva’s sunsets are some of the most romantic and breathtaking in Southwest Florida. Some say they’re even better than Sanibel’s. The beach’s white powdery sand and clear emerald-turquoise water looks like a postcard. Captiva is smaller and more intimate than Sanibel, making it perfect for a romantic getaway or small gathering. The restaurants are a little more eclectic here, and if you opt for one of our homes for sale on Captiva Island, most of them are a short walk to the beach and what’s known as Captiva Village. Many people choose to live here because it’s a bit more secluded than other parts of Southwest Florida. It’s a popular retirement destination and perfect for people who want to live a simple, quiet life in paradise. There aren’t any traffic lights or bright neon signs. Most people get around by walking or using a bicycle or golf cart. You won’t find any high-rises, either.
Visit Turner Beach on Captiva Island
This is the first beach you’ll see once you cross over the Blind Pass Bridge from Sanibel to Captiva Island. It’s located just past the bridge. Parking is limited so it’s best to arrive early and claim your spot. Turner Beach is known for its fishing from the rock jetty and the beach. A saltwater fishing license is required to fish from shore. Swimmers are also advised to stay away from the bridge area as there can be a strong undertow in the pass, and the water gets deep quickly. Restaurants are also nearby. These include Sunset Grill, Lazy Flamingo and the Mad Hatter.
Hanging out at Turner Beach is one of the best things to do on Captiva Island because it is a popular spot to watch the sunset. Depending on the time of day and other factors, it can also be an excellent shelling beach. Just remember, you can’t take any live shells or creatures home with you. This includes sand dollars, sea urchins and sea stars, also known as starfish.
Shelling on Captiva Island Beaches
Shelling on Turner Beach and other Captiva Island beaches is best after a storm or during low tide. Captiva beaches tend to be less crowded than Sanibel beaches, which is a huge perk for locals. If you decide to purchase a home for sale on Captiva Island, you may be able to find one on the beach. Then you can go shelling whenever you want! Don’t forget to practice your Sanibel Stoop and bring water, a hat, sunscreen and bug spray. If you’re willing to go on an adventure, there is excellent shelling on Cayo Costa. You can only get there by boat, so you won’t have much competition finding the best shells. If you don’t own a boat, you’ll need to hop on a shelling cruise to the island or rent a boat to get there.
Stroll along the beach and enjoy a quiet and peaceful walk. Not only is shelling fun because you can discover hidden treasures, but it’s also an excellent way to relax and enjoy the beach. If you’d like to learn more about the shells you find, you can visit the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island.
Captiva boasts some of the most magical and romantic sunsets. Some may even say they’re world-famous. It’s one of the few places in Southwest Florida where your view isn’t obstructed by tall buildings. Another reason why this is one of the top 5 things to do on Captiva Island is because enjoying the sunset is simple and easy. Save for a blanket or chairs, some snacks and some bug spray, you don’t need to bring much.
Captiva Island Restaurants
One of the best things to do on Captiva Island is to eat at its delicious restaurants. Some favorites are Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, Key Lime Bistro, The Mucky Duck and the Green Flash. The Bubble Room is also very popular. Its name is synonymous with Captiva Island. It’s known for its kitschy décor, from old celebrity photos to retro Christmas decorations. The Bubble Room also offers gigantic slices of cake. If you have a sweet tooth, you can’t pass up the cake.
Take Boat Ride
Captiva is a boater’s paradise and one of the best things to do on Captiva Island is to enjoy the salt life. If you don’t own a boat, you can take advantage of cruises from Captiva Cruises. Visit places like Cabbage Key, Boca Grande, Useppa Island and Cayo Costa State Park. Or you can stick around Captiva and see its beauty from the water. Captiva Cruises also offers sunset, shelling and dolphin cruises.
Homes for Sale on Captiva Island
Now that you know about the top 5 things to do on Captiva Island, we can help you plan a visit to this beautiful slice of paradise, or we can help you find your forever home. Contact us today to get started. It's that easy! Royal Shell offers vacation rentals on Captiva Island and any of our Vacation Planning Advisors can assist you. If you think a permanent home on Captiva is more your style, any of our real estate agents would love to help you find your next dream property. Living and visiting the island is a treat. Let us help you get on island time.
If you're still exploring the Southwest Florida area, here are our 10 must-do things in Florida. If you're looking for things to do with the little ones, here are our top kid-friendly things to do in Southwest Florida. We're happy you're exploring our slice of paradise and we can't wait to help you find your permanent Florida home or your next investment property!