Neighborhood Spotlight: North Captiva

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@amanda_wanders

Create a different kind of getaway with a journey over to North Captiva Island. Divided by a pass from neighboring Captiva Island (locals call it “Upper Captiva Island”), this remote barrier island is only accessible by boat or private plane. Scattered across this tiny, car-free island — only 4 miles long and about half a mile wide at the most — are vacation rentals, two beach clubs and a handful of restaurants.

This is the kind of place you envision when you dream about a beach vacation where life moves at a relaxing pace. Locals have made getting here a completely streamlined process with two ferry boat services sailing regularly from Pine Island. All you need to pack are your bathing suits and most casual beachwear. On-island grocery shopping is minimal, but it’s easy to bring your own from the mainland, pick up pre-packed “boat bags” or even have your groceries delivered.

Once you arrive, you’ll already feel at home. Since no cars are allowed on this secluded island, you can get around the unpaved roads on foot, by bicycle or on an electric golf cart. You can claim long, uncrowded stretches of sand all to yourself to hunt for seashells and look for shorebirds along the way. Getting from your home to these publicly accessible beaches is so simple that you can picnic daily, swim in the beautiful Gulf waters and even go fishing straight from the beach (or charter a fishing boat for a day out). 

The southern half of the island is made up of a protected nature preserve, with trails designed for beach biking or hiking toward miles of sandy beaches. Loads of seashells wash up on these shores, making it a perfect place to spend a day collecting your treasure trove. Out on North Captiva Island, wildlife moves about freely — keep your eyes open for manatees floating gently in quiet coves and dolphins playing out in the water. 

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