Things to Do on Captiva Island

Things to Do on Captiva Island
Captiva Island is part of Florida, located near the Gulf of Mexico. It once used to be part of the nearby Sanibel Island but was detached during a hurricane. The northern end of Captiva is occupied by luxury homes and the South Seas Luxury Resort and Spa, but there are accommodations throughout the island to fit an array of budgets. Captiva is a vacation spot that boasts outdoor activities of all kinds, including fishing, sailing, swimming and golfing, to name just a few.


Captiva Island is made from shells, according to the Sanibel Island and Captiva Island Chamber of Commerce. Shelling is an outdoor activity enjoyed by both children and adults. It provides a chance to roam the beaches of Captiva while finding beautiful souvenirs that don't cost a penny. Shells come in an endless variety, will last for decades and earn sentimental value as a reminder of your visit. Small shells will be near the lighthouse, while bigger shells will be on North Captiva. Shell at low tide when the seashells are more exposed and after gulf storms when shells have been washed up from the sea. Be sure to bring a bucket or net with you to collect your shells with. Expect to find conch, cockle and scallop shells, among others.


Man-made reefs and boat wrecks help keep Captiva waters full of fish to see while snorkeling. There are more than a dozen faux reefs that lie within a 15-mile radius of the island. There are dolphins, barracudas, cobia, nurse sharks, grouper and moray eels in the waters. Inquire about Edison Reef, created from the rubble of a bridge, or explore Belton Johnson Reef or Charlie's Reef, which is comprised of a small tug boat. Several local businesses and cruise lines offer snorkeling in the area:

Dolphin Experiences
Serving Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva Islands
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931
(239) 839-2109

Island Boating Adventures
Serving Sanibel & Captiva Islands
Sanibel, FL 33957
(239) 443-6338


Captiva Island is a premier spot to fish and offers great variety, depending on your method and area of fishing. Offshore fishing will give you some of the best grouper fishing in the state. The Gulf of Mexico is a shallow body of water, so you can be 20 or 30 miles offshore and only be in 50 feet of water. Also expect crevalle, amberjack and various kinds of snapper. Inshore and backbay fishing will get you snook, seatrout and tarpon.

If you're interested in fly fishing, look no further than Captiva Island. Experienced fishers choose this area because of the amount of fish and sight casting opportunities. Guides are available to help teach fly fishing to beginners.

You can fish without a boat off of beaches or the pier, or you can rent one locally. The official Captiva website recommends Tarpon Bay and Sanibel Fishing Piers. Locations to rent or find a fishing guide are available through the Sanibel and Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce
1159 Causeway Road
Sanibel Island, Florida 33957

Article Written By Marisa Swanson

Marisa Swanson began writing and editing professionally in 2007.

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