Weekend Getaway to Sanibel & Captiva Island
Want to get away but can't afford some far away tropical location? Captiva is the perfect weekend getaway destination!
I am so excited to write this post, Sanibel & Captiva Island are two of my favorite places to spend a weekend getaway!
The islands are located off the west coast of Florida from Cape Coral and Fort Myers. We usually fly into Fort Myers airport but there have been a few occasions we flew into Tampa or Sarasota. There was one experience in particular that comes to mind, my birthday is in February and here in Chicago it's usually VERY cold during that time. We had scheduled a trip to Captiva and it just so happen that the Polar Vortex hit and our flight to Ft. Myers was canceled! Last minute we booked a flight to Tampa and drove to Captiva, it was only a three hour easy drive! So always check around different airports to find the cheapest flights, usually I use SkyScanner. This website aggregates the cheapest flights from all airlines so you can easily compare prices. It makes it super easy to buy one way flights on separate airlines!
Different from my other blog posts, I will not be including a daily itinerary breakdown on this post. Instead, I will share my personal recommendations of my favorite places around these islands!
Starting with places to stay! When I travel to Sanibel I usually like to stay in a small beach resort called Sanibel Island Beach Resort . This resort is very small but the best part is that it is very affordable and has everything you might need for a weekend stay! They have a resort restaurant that offers breakfast and dinner. They have a great pool and a poolside tiki bar&grill where you can eat and watch your children swim! This resort is great for families because they have ping pong tables, sand volleyball, hammocks around the grounds, and backs up to the beach so you can walk 2 minutes to the ocean! My favorite part of this small resort is they offer bicycles for rent so you can ride around the island to get morning coffee at a nearby cafe or go to get ice cream after dinner! It really has everything you need for a short weekend on Sanibel!
Some of my favorite places to check out on Sanibel:
Best Coffee Shops: Sanibel Bean
Only Starbucks on the Island!: Located in Jerry's Foods Grocery Store
Casual Lunch/Dinner: Island Cow/American
Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille/American
Dante's Coal Fired Pizza
Captiva is the smaller of the two islands, having few resorts and only a handful of vacation rentals. The most popular being Tween Waters Island Resort and South Seas Island Resort. Tween Waters is a great resort to stay at if you're planning a family vacation. I remember as a kid our family would drive to this resort from Sanibel because they held crab races every Monday and Thursday evening! It's a fun event that can be enjoyed by all family members!
I was lucky enough to celebrate my 24th birthday while staying at the South Seas Resort for a weekend! We had a beautiful room where the balcony overlooked the marina. The resort is so large that it takes up the northern half of Captiva Island. They have everything possible from golf courses, multiple pools, tennis courts, and renting jet skis! While staying here, you really have no reason to leave the resort, you'll have everything you need!
If you're feeling adventurous, here is a list of my TOP recommendations for delicious food :)
Mucky Duck: This restaurant is famous for their seafood, it's truly amazing. You'll have to arrive early because they don't take reservations and they have limited parking. Arrive an hour before opening and get your name on the list to be seated in time for sunset! Captiva is famous for gorgeous sunsets and Mucky Duck is the perfect place to enjoy dinner on the beach.
The Bubble Room! This restaurant is SO FUN! The decor is so exciting and the food is incredible. Book ahead of time in order to ensure you don't have a long wait!
Keylime Bistro: This restaurant will fool you, it's a small shack off the main road but it embodies the island hut vibe while having a 5 star meal.
Lazy Flamingo: Casual seafood place is a Sanibel and Captiva staple!
Fun Things to do/Places to visit:
JN Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Visit Sanibel Lighthouse Beach
Lovers Key State Park
Sanibel Lighthouse Beach
If you have a rental car, check out Fort Myers pier and Naples Pier.
*If you need fishing spot recommendations, comment below and I can edit my recos in!*