Things to Do in Captiva Island

things to do in captiva island

Are you planning a trip to the Sunshine State? In Southwest Florida, a trip to Captiva Island is the perfect island vacation for memories with your loved ones out on the water experiencing everything from Florida beaches to exquisite sunsets. There are so many things to do in Captiva Island! You have to plan a […]

By Randy Hauck | March 12, 2021

Are you planning a trip to the Sunshine State? In Southwest Florida, a trip to Captiva Island is the perfect island vacation for memories with your loved ones out on the water experiencing everything from Florida beaches to exquisite sunsets. There are so many things to do in Captiva Island!

You have to plan a Florida vacation that doesn’t leave anything out, especially because there are so many things to do in Captiva Island. Renting a boat, hitting the perfect beach spots and going to amazing restaurants should all be on the itinerary. A stop at a Captiva marina to make a boat rental reservation should top your list too. 

We have the Captiva itinerary tips you need below to plan the perfect trip. 

What is There to Do on Captiva Island? 

We get it. You want to know everything there is to do to help you decide that Captiva Island is the perfect spot for your next Florida getaway. Here’s a brief rundown to give you an idea of the Florida memories you can start planning for on Captiva Island: 

  • Coastlines of beaches to explore
  • Shelling, which involves scooping up beautiful shells for keepsakes that you and your family can take home
  • A lovely nature preserve to visit and see Florida wildlife called the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge
  • Trails on nearby Sanibel Island for biking, golf carts, mopeds, Segways and more
  • Boat rentals to explore the water and get to North Captiva Island to enjoy Cayo Costa State Park to enjoy a more natural side of the Florida barrier islands
  • Go kayaking or canoeing
  • Utilize kayak rentals to get in tune with Florida’s more peaceful spots in riverways and the Intracoastal Waterway
  • Snorkeling and scuba diving in and around some beautiful reefs
  • Water taxi rides and island boat tours

Now that we have piqued your interest, read on to find out about more in-depth things to do in Captiva Island. 

Best Things to Do in Captiva Island

best things to do in captiva island

There are so many great things to do in Captiva Island but some other really fun activities we recommend for your Florida day trips include: 

  • Taking a trip to Lighthouse Beach Park to enjoy the historic lighthouse. Take a picnic basket and let the kids run around on the beach while you soak in the Florida sun. 
  • Take a trip to Turner’s Beach, just over Blind Pass Bridge. This beach is accessible by car and boat, so make sure you plan ahead and schedule a boat tour or rent a boat. The beach is less crowded and a great place to unwind. 
  • Head to the Wild Child Art Gallery by way of a boat ride to enjoy some fun family friendly art projects with the kids. There are other neighboring art galleries nearby too! You’ll take some beautiful canvas art back home that will always remind you of your Captiva trip. Travel Tip: A boat ride is the preferred method for this trip because a car ride from Captiva is two hours away. 
  • Head to Gulfside Algiers Beach, which is always rated as the cleanest beach setting and has less tourist traffic than other beaches in the area.
  • Go do some retail therapy by shopping along Andy Rosse Lane and Captiva Drive. You will find some lovely gift shops, antique stores and clothing boutiques.

What is Captiva Island Known For? 

Captiva Island is known for all of the beautiful outdoor waterfront activities that the Sunshine State is known for. When people think of Captiva Island, what comes to mind is: 

  • Captiva marinas like Jensen’s Twin Palm Marina and Cottages™
  • Boating and sailing
  • Fishing
  • Bike riding
  • Sunsets
  • Scuba diving
  • Dolphin watching
  • Nature trails on nearby Sanibel Island
  • Waterfront restaurants
  • Captiva guided tours
  • Renting Captiva cottages to experience Old Florida

Captiva Island Restaurants

There are so many delicious Captiva Island restaurants to choose from when you are craving fresh seafood during your Florida Captiva vacation. Some of the restaurant options we recommend on and around the island, some of which also include access for docking your boat, including: 

Mango’s Dockside Bistro - North Captiva Island (accessible by boat only)

Mango’s Dockside is a Captiva Island treasure! Known for its delicious breakfast treats like crepes and delicious French Toast, this waterfront location also caters to your animals by offering water and treats.

Bubble Room - Captiva Island

The Bubble Room Restaurant on Captiva Island offers a fun menu for both couples and the kids. Fun menu names include the Bing Crabsby, the Tutti Frutti O’Rudi and the S’Marvelous She-Crab Soup. Enjoy a cool dining experience that has bubble lights, trains, toys, antiques and fun Hollywood music and memorabilia everywhere for you to see and admire. 

Key Lime Bistro - Captiva Island

The award-winning Key Lime Bistro, located right in the middle of the Historic Captiva Island Inn Village, serves breakfast lunch and dinner. Enjoy beautiful seafood dishes like Crab Cake Benedict, Shrimp Scampi, a grouper sandwich cooked to your liking or Key Lime Pasta. 

Woody’s Waterside Island Rum & Grille - Pine Island

This waterfront restaurant in Pine Island offers everything from fresh seafood to the best classic sweet potato fries in town. You can also enjoy delicious burgers and a very popular meatloaf. It’s a fun place to access by boat across Pine Island Sound. Use the advice of a local boat captain to get there safely!

The Mucky Duck Restaurant - Captiva

The Mucky Duck Restaurant offers cold beer and a fresh seafood menu in a great spot to see the sun go down. Enjoy oysters on the half shell, Duck Fingers and Duck Duck Shrimp among other options. 

The Green Flash Restaurant - Captiva

The Green Flash is known as that split second flash of green brilliance across the horizon that you can see if everything aligns just right on a clear night as the sun drops below the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you see that flash from the weather being perfect or from a couple cocktails is up to you. Come give it a try at the Green Flash Restaurant on Captiva Island, which offers Smoked Salmon, a Captiva Salad, Stone Crab Claws and more at a historical waterfront restaurant location!

Cantina Captiva - Captiva

There’s always time for Mexican food when you are on vacation and the Cantina Captiva is the perfect spot for your fix. Come try a fresh taco salad, fajitas, enchiladas and more with a refreshing Margarita. 

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille - Captiva

Enjoy live music and a beautiful waterfront setting at Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. Order a refreshing Doc Ford’s Mojito while you look at menu options like the Shrimp Scampi Flatbread, the Seared Tuna and the Doc’s Beach Bread. 

Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant - Fort Myers

Enjoy a stunning outside patio dining experience at Lighthouse Waterfront Restaurant. Make sure you snack on some delicious fried calamari rings as an appetizer while you decide what to have for the main course. 

Things to Do in Captiva When It Rains

things to do in captiva when it rains

Even on rainy days in the Sunshine State, there’s plenty to do on Captiva Island. Also rest assured that a rainy day in Florida is typically an afternoon thunderstorm that passes over and the sun pops back out before you know it. When it’s raining though, we offer the following suggestions:

  • If it’s a sun shower, take a car drive on Wildlife Drive in the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel
  • Take in a movie at the Island Cinema on Sanibel Island
  • Discover the Bailey Matthews Shell Museum on Sanibel
  • Clean your shells and do an arts and crafts shell activity with the family
  • Have a spa day
  • Go have a nice, long lunch
  • Grab an ice cream cone 
  • Check out the Captiva Public Library
  • Go shopping

Fun Things to Do in Captiva Island

When you come to Captiva Island, it’s really all about the beach experience The top beach and shoreline attractions for you and your loved ones to enjoy include: 

  • Captiva Beach and Turner Beach
  • A trip to 2 Islands Gallery for souvenirs and unique art gifts
  • Captiva Pass for boat watching
  • Redfish Pass for dolphin watching

Romantic Things to Do in Captiva Island

romantic things to do in captiva island

Captiva Island is such a romantic place for couples that crave beautiful, relaxing and quiet experiences on the beach. Here’s some suggestions of some things to do for couples on and near Captiva Island: 

Experience a Sunset on the Beach

Stick your toes in the soft white sand with your partner, close your eyes and listen to the calm waves on the Gulf coast lap onto the shore while taking slow deep breaths of the cool salty breeze that’s enveloping your face. Nothing in the world on Captiva Island can be more romantic. Reconnect with your partner while you watch the sun drop below the horizon and marvel at the yellow and pink sky painting all around you as night falls. 

Try catching a sunset at the following beaches: 

  • Captiva Beach
  • Bowman’s Beach
  • Sanibel Lighthouse Beach
  • Lovers Key State Park

Do Some Shopping

Hold hands with your loved one and take a stroll down the quaint streets of Captiva Island and Sanibel Island, grabbing an ice cream cone and doing some shopping at places like Shop on Sanibel. Enjoy a fresh seafood dinner afterward at some of the best restaurants in Southwest Florida. 

Check Out The Butterfly Estates in Downtown Fort Myers

Take a trip a bit further north to see The Butterfly Estates, which is a great place to take a stroll and unwind while you see beautiful butterflies floating around you. 

Visit the Captiva Chapel By the Sea on North Captiva

The Captiva Chapel by the Sea, built in 1903 as a former school house on Captiva Island, is still used today for small Sunday services, weddings and baptisms. Enjoy this cute little white chapel in an island setting with your loved one and even make future plans for a wedding or to renew your vows here. 

Visit the Edison & Ford Estates

A romantic date is taking a stroll through the Edison & Ford Estates garden in downtown Fort Myers. You will love the beautiful properties owned by two of the greatest inventors of our time: Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Both of these Florida snowbird neighbors spent their winters in the warm Florida sun and both never stopped inventing even while they were on vacation. Check out their winter laboratories and enjoy the beautiful properties. 

Schedule a Fishing Charter or Boat Cruise

Who says fishing can’t be romantic? Pack a romantic lunch and schedule a Captiva marina fishing charter. A fishing captain or cruise charter captain with knowledge of the area can map out a great fishing spot location in secluded areas like: 

  • Pine Island Sound is beautiful for sunrises and sunsets
  • Local mangrove spots
  • Guided tours past the Sanibel Causeway and Sanibel Island Lighthouse

Things to Do for Kids in Captiva Island

things to do for kids in captiva island

The great thing about Captiva Island is that 99 percent of the outdoor activities that are available to enjoy can be done together as a family with your kids. These activities include:

Taking a Boat Ride

Kids love boats, so grab a life jacket, rent a boat and pack the boat with fishing equipment and a picnic lunch. Just like that you have a day on the water that your kids will never forget. 

Getting Out in Two-Person Kayaks

There’s really nothing like exploring Florida nature in a peaceful kayak made for two. Take some snacks, a fishing pole and some binoculars to experience peaceful parts of Pine Island Sound and Roosevelt Channel up close. 

Going Fishing

This is an extension of the recommendation above. Whether you are planning a fishing trip on a boat or want to spend a few hours with the kids fishing at the Sanibel City Pier at Lighthouse Beach Park, you have an outdoor adventure on your hands with live bait. What kid won’t love that? 

Exploring the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

This is a must stop visit for kids, whether you plan on walking or taking the Wildlife Drive loop in your vehicle. View the interactive exhibits at the Visitor and Education Center first, then head out on the two-mile Indigo Trail while looking for birds, turtles and alligators. There is also a wonderful observation tower along Wildlife Drive to check out. If you have smaller kiddos, take the four-mile Wildlife Drive option (kids can stay in their car seat and crash when they are tired), the Wulfert Keys Trail or the Shell Mound Trail. These are shorter trails that you and the family can tackle before nap time. 

Try Paddleboarding

The beauty of the Gulf of Mexico is its glassy calm conditions on a beautiful sunny morning. Combine that experience with a paddleboarding excursion. Rent a paddleboard and try standing up on a board that can be rented for people of all ages. Paddleboards, which are shaped in the form of a kayak, also have recesses areas for stability for the little ones. Boards can be rented by the hour or by the day at many locations around the barrier islands. 

Go Bike Riding

There’s really nothing better than taking a bike ride in the fresh salt water breeze that comes in from the Gulf of Mexico. Take a biking trip with your family and explore Sanibel’s biking trails. Even better? There’s always a ton of choices for rentals to help the needs of your entire family, including beach cruisers, child seats for the back of the bike, helmets and baskets for your belongings!

Plan Your Jensen’s Marina Watersports Activities Today!

You now have a complete list of things to do in Captiva Island! Now it’s time to plan that trip to Jensen’s Marina™ today to schedule your Florida boat rental, make a marina reservation and plan other exciting water sports adventures. 

Jensen’s Twin Palm Marina and Cottages™ on Captiva Island is the perfect marina to rent a Captiva cottage and explore Captiva Island and the Florida coastlines in a boat. Nestled in Captiva Island, Jensen’s Marina™ has the perfect Captiva marina amenities and it’s the best location to experience Old Florida in all its peaceful glory. Contact us today to book a rental!

Jensen’s Twin Palm Marina and Cottages™

15107 Captiva Drive
Captiva, FL 33924

(833) 668-7768
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