Top Five Vacation Favorites
1. Do the Captiva Crouch or the Sanibel Stoop early in the day, especially after a storm. The terms refer to your position as you gather shells and driftwood.
2. Watch manatees loll around in the marina waters and graze on thick beds of sea grass.
3. Gaze at the sunset from the beach--either at South Seas Island Resort or at Blind Pass, where Captiva and Sanibel meet.
4. Drive over the new causeway from Fort Myers to Sanibel (finished at last!).
5. Paddle a kayak alongside a pod of dolphins near the harbor.
Under the glow of a southwest Florida sun, sleek sailboats dance on turquoise seas. With every gentle lapping of the warm blue water on Captiva, a whispered tinkling sound settles around your bare feet. It's the murmur of the Gulf of Mexico tumbling pink, orange, red, gray, and blue shells on the ivory sand.
My family comes to this island paradise to play far from the crowds. Any place named for a pirate getaway has to be thrilling. This little spit of land includes a tiny village and a gleaming newly rebuilt resort (see "Charley's Aftermath" below). You'll discover a laid-back atmosphere that lacks the try-too-hard trappings of other destinations. Amid the lush palmettos, sea grapes, and sea oats, you'll find no buildings taller than a palm tree, no traffic lights, and no fast-food drive-throughs. Even when neighboring Sanibel spills over with visitors, Captiva feels uncrowded, tranquil, and private, yet it offers everything we desire in a vacation.