Neighborhood Spotlight: Captiva Island

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When people marvel over Florida’s most beautiful beaches, Captiva Island is always near the top of the list. Sister to Sanibel Island, Captiva is easily accessible by the Sanibel Causeway Bridge and yet it possesses a secluded charm that creates a world unto itself.

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Captiva Island is a perfect place to begin an island-hopping adventure, as a jumping-off point to sail toward the outer islands. Yet the quaint local atmosphere, uncrowded beaches, and spectacular views will also inspire you to stay close and explore more. Paddle out by canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard on the Great Calusa Blueway. Shell collectors from all over set their sights on Captiva Island, turning up in the early morning hours at Turner Beach and Alison Hagerup Beach Park (aka Captiva Beach). At the junction of Sanibel and Captiva is Blind Pass Beach, where locals like to gather on the sand bars to collect shells and watch the sunset.

Anywhere you choose to set your home base, the experience is calm and welcoming. Unwind on island time at a resort or in a vacation home that you can call your own as you get to know the surrounding neighborhood. Meanwhile, the scenery is astounding from every angle at 'Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, set on 13 acres between the Gulf of Mexico and Pine Island Sound. Part of Captiva Island’s history since 1931, this resort offers beachfront beauty with private cottages, restorative spa treatments, and waterfront dining.

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South Seas Island Resort sits at the northern tip of the island, transforming a former Key lime plantation into an expansive resort with an Old Florida sensibility. Surrounded by a 330-acre wildlife preserve, this is a perfect spot to watch for playful dolphins and curious manatees and stroll along a 2.5-mile stretch of pristine beach.

Amidst this island of secluded beaches and relaxed resorts, there’s plenty of culture to be found. Nashville’s biggest singer-songwriters gather at open-air venues around Captiva every September for Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, including legendary local spots such as Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill and the Mucky Duck.

All year-round, the atmosphere on Captiva is friendly, welcoming, and always a good time. Wander along the main street of Andy Rosse Lane to step into laid-back restaurants, bars, and eclectic art galleries. Meanwhile, family-friendly options are everywhere on the island, from the playful Bubble Room to longtime favorite Keylime Bistro. Once you find your place on Captiva Island, you’ll be inspired to keep coming back for more.

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