Why not? If you’re visiting Captiva, then you’ve already tapped into your adventurous side. So, while you’re at it, hop to one or two surrounding islands for a day. Once there, you’ll discover each one has a unique personality that will surround you as soon as you step on shore. Better yet, each one is just a short ride away. Get familiar with six of our favorite islands you can hop to easily from Captiva thanks to Captiva Cruises, private charters, or a water taxi out of Jensen’s Marina.
Top Picks for Captiva Island Hoppers
Cayo Costa State Park:
One of the largest barrier islands in Florida, Cayo Costa is a quick and easy jaunt from Captiva. With nine miles of pristine, untouched beaches, this island is the ideal spot for camping, swimming, shelling and fishing. Visitors can also rent a bike to pedal cycling trails laced throughout the island’s interior. Cayo Costa is only accessible by a scheduled cruise or water taxi.
At Cabbage Key, you’ll find 100 acres of lush preserved nature, a historic inn, rental cottages and an open-air restaurant. What you won’t find is cars, trucks or even a paved road. Explore winding nature trails leading you to breathtaking waterfront views – and be on the lookout for one of the resident gopher tortoises that call this island home. Enjoy a cheeseburger in paradise at the historic Cabbage Key Restaurant, and add your own dollar bill to their collection of others taped all over the walls and ceiling. With so much to do, there’s even more to wonder about. The island can only be reached by boat, so consider taking a lunch cruise or chartering a private boat to get there.
Hop north to an island with small-town feel. On North Captiva, privacy and peace of mind are two key themes you’ll find woven into nearly every experience. Enjoy five miles of white-sand beaches and get yourself some sun. Take a bike or golf cart down the meandering native trails. Feel relaxed in everything you do, and explore this island at your own comfortable pace. Stop in at Barnacles for an island lunch and a cold drink. North Captiva is only accessible by boat, ferry or small private plane.
Located on Gasparilla Island, Boca Grande is known as a playground for dreamers and explorers alike. With excellent fishing, mom-and-pop shops, and small-town charm, this is one barrier island that will ease you into a slower, simpler pace. One of its many hidden gems, the Gasparilla Inn & Club, introduces guests to idyllic Old Florida. Art lovers are invited to browse the Boca Grande Art Center – at their own speed, of course. Because on Boca Grande, time passes a little slower. The only rush you’ll ever feel is one of excitement. Boca Grande is car-accessible via the Boca Grande Causeway, and by boat or water taxi.
Northeast of Cabbage Key, Useppa is an exclusive, luxury island club with beautiful island architecture and lush landscape – you won’t find beaches on this interior island. The only way to visit is to be a member of the club or by booking a day cruise. Surround yourself with beauty on a stunning botanical walk. With historical sites, century-old architecture and lush island forestry that’s stood here longer than anything else, Useppa will surround you with leisure, nature and history. Access it most conveniently with Captiva Cruises.
Pineland (Tarpon Lodge):
A subdivision of the larger Pine Island, Pineland features a casual island atmosphere and Old Florida charm preserved at Tarpon Lodge. Enjoy a savory lunch or dinner before a short walk down the Calusa Heritage Trail to the shell mound sites of the ancient Calusa Indians. Guests can also experience a range of activities such as golf, canoeing and kayaking, fishing or bird-watching on scenic nature trails. Whatever you fancy, a day trip to Pineland is an island hopper’s dream come true. Pineland is readily accessible by car, boat or water taxi.