Exploring the Islands Around Sanibel

Think paradise begins at the Sanibel Lighthouse and ends at the tip of Captiva Island

Think again.

Sanibel Island is surrounded by several outer lying islands that offer up even more fun for your family to enjoy during your time on Sanibel Island. North Captiva, Cayo Costa and Cabbage Key are all uniquely different locations that are sure to satisfy easy going day trippers and beach loving adventurers.

Because these islands are not connected to the mainland by bridges, the most popular way to access North Captiva, Cayo Costa and Cabbage Key is with the help of a local charter service. Captiva Cruises is the largest local business that will transport large groups of people to the surrounding islands.

The closest island to Sanibel Island is North Captiva. When a powerful hurricane ripped Captiva Island apart in 1921, it left two islands, divided by a deep pass from Pine Island Sound into the Gulf of Mexico. Sanibel’s more quiet neighbor to the north is host to residential homes and a state park. Plan to spend the day in the sun exploring pristine natural environments while you scoop up shells from the surf.

The next stop is Cayo Costa, heaven on earth for shell-lovers. Cayo Costa State Park’s beaches and shelling are among the best in the state and the 2,426 acre park also features wooded trails for hiking and mountain biking. There is almost no development on this barrier island. Truly, visitors visit Cayo Costa for solitude and the wildness. There just aren’t many places like this island left.

The final island is Cabbage Key. Encompassing 100 acres of under-developed paradise, visitors to Cabbage Key generally travel to the island to dine at the historic Cabbage Key restaurant. Enjoy a meal on the front porch of the open-air restaurant situated atop a thirty-eight-foot Indian shell mound. Previous visitors have taped thousands of one-dollar bills to every surface. Ask your server for a black marker and tape to add yours to the collection. Dine on fresh seafood just as captains and fisherman have for the past 60 years.

Not sure where to start your island-hopping adventure? Our staff is always on hand to provide you with any information about attractions and activities on and around Sanibel Island. Visit us at the office or give us a call at 239.472.1626  or toll free at 800.388.2842.

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