Boca Grande & Outer Islands

Head to points known and unknown.

Great things come in small packages, and never is that more true than on Boca Grande and the Outer Islands. A playground for the rich and famous, and long time residents and snowbirds, Boca Grande exudes a relaxed elegance – the result of life getting no quicker than a bicycle or golf cart. Offshore, the teal waters hold some of the best-kept secrets in Florida, namely, North Captiva's beaches, Useppa's Barbara Sumwalt Museum, Cayo Costa's wildlife and shelling and Cabbage Key's cheeseburgers.

Offshore, North Captiva, Cayo Casta, Cabbage Key, and Useppa Island intrigue island hoppers of varied ages.

Clustered around the old train depot that brought industry to this pint-sized village near the southern tip of Gasparilla Island, this charming community, Boca Grande, has evolved into a playground for the rich and famous – and regular folk as well. Five beaches line the western part of the island, and a grand inn graces the outskirts of "town." Visitors delight in the barefoot elegance, fine outfitters and the miles-long bike paths that traverse the island.

Offshore, North Captiva, Cayo Costa, Cabbage Key and Useppa Island intrigue island hoppers of varied ages, abilities and interests. North Captiva has pristine beaches and a collection of large rental homes and two restaurants; Useppa sports the Collier Inn, a beautiful botanical walk and, proof that good things come in small packages, the tiny-but-terrific Barbara Sumwalt Museum.

Cabbage Key is a stop off in civilization as only islanders envision it: a casual hamburger and seafood joint with a spectacular view surrounded by an inn comprised of cracker cottages. Cayo Costa, mainly a state park, is pristine coastal Florida at its best – wide, unspoiled, white-sand beaches, rustic cabins and tent campsites – and ample bird and wildlife to watch.

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Jump on a rented boat, take a ferry or head out on an island-hopping tour – just get out on the water to experience the most unique aspect of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel. Hundreds of islands punctuate Pine Island Sound, Estero Bay and Charlotte Harbor, offering cultural and natural experiences not to be missed.

Useppa Island provides a nice stopover on a Captiva Cruises tour. Have lunch at the Collier Inn and step back in time at the Barbara Sumwalt Museum. Cabbage Key, with its inn, cottages and restaurant, is an alternative for lunch in a more casual atmosphere. Climb the water tower for a spectacular view of surrounding waters and islands.

North Captiva is popular for shelling and for dining at Barnacle Phil’s (famous for its black beans). Cayo Costa is an experience unto itself. The barrier island is mostly given over to a state park, which has sweeping beaches, tent campsites, picnic tables, primitive cabins (they’re not kidding – but the bunk mattresses are quite comfy), bathrooms, showers and rare, beachfront seclusion. The cost of admission to this piece of paradise? Only $2 per person for day use.

Beach Venues & Locations

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