• 09/18/2023

Top 8 Things To Do in Captiva Island To Enjoy Your Florida Getaway

A beautiful sunset over the ocean

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Captiva Island is a small island belonging to Lee County, Florida. It can be accessed through a small bridge that crosses the strait Blind Pass and connects it with Sanibel Island. In 2020, 165 people lived here.

When mentioning Captiva Island, people also talk about Sanibel Island, as both are on opposite sides of the strait. According to history, the Sanibel and Captiva islands were once a single island connected to the mainland. Thousands of years ago, the rising level caused the islands to be separated from the mainland. Before the 1926 Miami Hurricane happened, there was no Captiva Island. The hurricane created the Blind Pass, which severed an island from Sanibel and this is Captiva Island. 

8 Day Trip Ideas for Captiva Island

Despite its small area, it compensates for its scenic white beaches and local charm. If you’re visiting Florida, a day trip to the island will make your vacation extra special. Here are the top 8 things you can do at Captiva Island to maximize your time. 

1. Stroll the Beach

If you love beaches, you’ll have a pleasant time at Captiva Island. Boasting several miles of white sand and gorgeous beaches with clear water, soaking in them is the most comforting thing to do after a stressful day. Some famous beaches are Turner Beach, Alison Hagerup Beach Park and The Mucky Duck. 

If you love collecting shells, you’ll be mesmerized by their abundant number. The island has 250 different types of shells, promoting the island as one of the best places for shelling and a must-visit for shellers. Regardless of what you want to do, Captiva Island is a paradise if you love the sea. 

2. Try the Water Activities

You’ll never want to miss out on the fun water activities on the island. Explore the area and see it up close by parasailing. Go on a kayaking adventure and see the Buck Key, Pine Island and the Wulfert Keys. If you’re lucky, you’ll see dolphins, ospreys, manatees and various kinds of fish. 

You can join on tours and enjoy the nature views while listening to the guide narrating the island’s rich history. You can never say you’ve experienced the true Florida vacation without spending hours in the water. Remember to protect your skin while doing these water activities so you don’t go home with burnt skin. 

3. Watch the Dolphins

An activity on top of your itinerary should be a dolphin cruise. Watching dolphins swimming and splashing water is one of the highlights of a Captiva Island tour. Thousands of them roam and swim around the waters of the island and seeing a glimpse of them play is a memory to remember. 

Along with your underwater friends, you might also see some birds. Birds and dolphins often stay in the same spot as they find food. Take a guided dolphin cruise for a hassle-free adventure. The staff would know where the dolphins flock at certain times of day, so you can see and take photos of them.

4. Go Island Hopping

The islands of Captiva and Sanibel are near several Gulf Coast barrier islands waiting to be discovered by boat. A trademark of a Captiva Island visitor is exploring the islands of North Captiva, Useppa, Cayo Costa and Cabbage Key. 

Each island offers a unique experience and vibe. North Captiva Island is a natural paradise with undeveloped nature preserves. It’s the perfect place to walk on the beach, laced with white sand. 

On the other hand, Useppa Island is a hidden oasis surrounded by pristine water and parks. It’s the perfect location for a relaxing catboat ride alone or with the family. Hopping on a boat and visiting these islands will give you visual access to wildly different attractions and incredible natural views. 

5. Visit the Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve

The Sound is where the waters from San Carlos Bay, Charlotte Harbor and Caloosahatchee River mix. It’s located west of Captiva and several other islands encircle it. It’s easily accessible by a boat. 

The preserve features an impressive stretch of protected water with towering mangroves, salt marshes, mollusk reefs, seagrasses and sponge beds. You can bathe in this natural beauty while having fun on the beach. If you want to take it to the next level, book a kayak tour. A guide will take you through the fascinating mangroves and other resources and see them up close.

6. Take a Memorable Meal

When it comes to local delicacies, Captiva Island doesn’t disappoint. If you love seafood, you’ll find abundant options for your next meal. Some of the most popular restaurants are The Mucky Duck, Keylime Bistro and Bubble Room. 

The Mucky Duck is at the top of the list for tourists and visitors alike. The warm and cozy ambiance makes it an excellent place to have a bite and watch the sunset. Their seafood platter, shrimp bisque and barbeque bacon-wrapped shrimp are hot ticket items. 

Meanwhile, Keylime Bistro adds a seafood spin to egg benefit, and their crab cake benedict is a favorite. Their key lime pie is a must-try. Almost all dining locations on the island boast fresh, succulent seafood menus. Since most of them are on the beachside, you can indulge in the beautiful sunset while having a memorable meal. It’s the perfect activity to end the day. 

7. Catch the Sunrise and Sunset at Blind Pass Beach

If you want a front-row seat to the fantastic sunset, head to the Blind Pass beach. This area is the strait between Captiva Island and Sanibel Island. There are several activities you can do on this beach. 

It’s the ideal place for kiteboarding, windsurfing and fishing, but visitors come here as it has an idyllic setting for a breathtaking nature show of sunrises and sunsets. 

8. Party at the Mucky Ducky

Make the last item on your itinerary a party at the Mucky Duck to get the most out of your day trip. The restaurant serves delicious drinks that you can enjoy after dinner. Since it’s a famous tourist stop, expect to meet people and make new friends. The place has outdoor seating where you can chill, relax and enjoy a glass or two of your favorite cocktail while soaking in the night view of the beaches over the Gulf of Mexico.

Visit Captiva Island and Leave With Awe

Captiva Island may be smaller than other famous island destinations in Florida, but there’s no shortage of exciting and fun things to do here. From walking the beach to enjoying its waters, watching the dolphins, visiting islands on a boat and watching the sunset — you’ll need more than a day trip to check all these things off your bucket list. 

Captiva Island offers wild attractions, subtropical weather, and an opportunity to get close to nature. If you’re looking for a perfect Florida getaway, you’ll surely find it here.

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