Captiva Island - charming island on the west coast of Florida

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Villa on Captiva Island

Captiva Island

The first impression we have of Captiva Island is that of a subtropical paradise on the west coast of Florida. Palm trees and palmettos grow almost to the sea. They are only separated by a narrow and sandy one Sandy beach, which extends around the whole island. It lures every visitor to take a stroll along the beach, be it to look for shells or just to chill out for a few hours lounging in the sun. Meanwhile, the gentle wind from the sea fans over the sunburned areas of skin. It's just a narrow strait that runs through the charming neighboring island of Sanibel Island. It is separated from this by a short bridge. But the first impression is deceptive.


Luxury home on Captiva Key, Florida
Luxury villa on Captiva Island, Florida


Luxury villas on Captiva Island

First we drive past pompous luxury villas that are only separated from the sea by the road. Everywhere signs indicate that parking is prohibited. No wonder, otherwise the wonderful views of the Gulf of Mexico would be blocked by parked cars of day trippers. They feel magically attracted to the island's beaches. In the interior of the island, the road runs right through the middle of the island, and manicured driveways line the path to the left and right, leading to equally manicured and obviously expensive villas. A paradise, at least that's how it appears to us at first. But this paradise looks back on a dramatic history, as we learn later.


Coconut trees on Captiva Key, Florida
Coconut trees on Captiva Island, Florida


Departure point to Cabbage Key

After Captiva Iceland we only came because from here the boats go to Cabbage Key. We didn't learn much more about the island before our visit. Not even the otherwise all-knowing Wikipedia contained more than a few lines about the island, and our travel guide didn't reveal much information either. Maybe that was one reason why our expectations were low. We were all the more surprised by the beauty of this small island. She is not tall.

The first major street crossing we come to is already the "downtown" of Captiva Island - actually just two streets meeting at a ninety degree angle: the one that runs through the entire island and the other that allows access to the beach on one side and access to the boat dock on the other. In between there are a few restaurants, bars with live music, surf shops, souvenir shops and bed and breakfasts that encourage you to stay overnight with their inviting facades. A few steps past this intersection is Captiva Island's biggest attraction, the Bubble Room Restaurant, which is worth seeing for its Hollywood, Christmas, and vintage decor alone.


On the island beach
On the beach at Captiva Island, Florida


Storms threaten Captiva Island

Nevertheless, this paradise is deceptive, as the dramatic story of Captiva Island shows: In 2004 Hurricane Charley hit the subtropical island. 160 homes were destroyed, and the ensuing tsunami split Captiva Island in half. The northern part of the island can now only be reached by boat, since a water channel has separated the two parts of the island from each other. And even the entire island was created by a hurricane, because the island used to be part of Sanibel Island.

The narrow channel separating Captiva and Sanibel was also formed by one of the storms that plague Florida during the hottest months of the year. Just how tragic such storms can be for individuals is illustrated by the story of a family who fled Charley to the mainland and, before returning, spoke to friends about how badly damaged their home must have been. When they got there, they found that the storm had swept away both the house and the property. That, too, is Florida. And it shows once again: even the most beautiful places have a dark chapter hidden somewhere.


Captiva Island Florida
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Source Captiva Island: On-site research assisted by The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel. However, our opinion remains our own.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Captiva Island - charming island on the west coast of Florida

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

2 thoughts too "Captiva Island - charming island on the west coast of Florida"

  1. Hi you two, from Captiva Island I honestly just never heard anything. I'm in Florida for the first time in the spring and it looks like the west coast is worth it, that looks really adorable. Let's see what I take in my road trip with everything :) LG, Katrin

    1. Hi Katrin,

      Captiva Island - like other small islands off the west coast of Florida - really pleased us. Captiva Island is easy to reach by car. We also found the boat excursion to Cabbage Key especially nice. The boats go there from Captiva Island.

      Best regards,

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