Winter Season 2017/2018

I can say with no hesitation that I am glad the summer of 2017 is behind us. The island fared very well in the horrendous storms that Florida faced. Our house thankfully suffered no damage and we are so grateful that Irma decided to turn right before she reached North Captiva.

The news forecasts of a 14 foot storm surge were absolutely terrifying. The idea of the island being submerged and the devastation that it would cause,  was really heartbreaking. It is humbling to realize how lucky we were and what a gem North Captiva is. Is also reminds you of how fragile the things you hold dear really are.

We are looking forward to another beautiful winter in Southwestern Florida. If you haven't visited before, now is the time to plan a wonderful vacation on North Captiva. The island was untouched by the storms and ready for you to discover and enjoy!

Adding on to your North Captiva vacation

If you are fortunate enough to have more than 7 nights to spend on vacation, there are many great places to visit near North Captiva. Fort Myers has lots of attractions including the Ford Edison Winter estates, the River District in downtown Ft. Myers and nearby Naples with the Zoo and Botanical Gardens. And don't forget Spring Training, with Ft. Myers hosting both the Twins and Red Sox. If you want to travel further afield, Tampa is 2 hours away, and the East Coast towns of Ft. Lauderdale, Delray Beach, Palm Beach and Jupiter are less than 2 1/2 hours drive. How about Cuba? If it's a place you have always wanted to visit, drive to Ft. Lauderdale airport and take a quick 46 minute flight to Havana. You will need a little more advance planning for that one, but I can tell you it's a trip you won't forget. We visited in January 2017 and are planning a return this winter.

The winter that wasn't 2017

Even Florida has a winter. But this year we didn't. January is typically the cool off month, but it didn't happen this year. The winter in SW Florida is usually fairly dry, with an occasional shower. This winter hasn't seen a drop of rain for months. While the year round residents don't like it - us snowbirds from up North won't complain. Now that we are solidly in February the temps are warming each day. We even had an 86 degree day this week. The island has been beautiful and if you are thinking of coming down, make those reservations now. I think this was the busiest season ever on North Captiva. 

What should I pack?

You've heard the old travel adage, put out what you consider essential and then pack half of it. Well in North Captiva, we have to alter that a bit. Take out what you consider essential and then put away most of it. Sound crazy? Well, let me explain why I say that. The island is very casual and beachy, you will not need any dressy clothing. Consider that the roads are all sand. You will not want the heel of your new sandals sinking into the gritty sand. So take out the dressy shoes. Our house had a washer dryer, so you won't need outfits for 7 days. Better to take a few and wash them midweek.  You will need bathing suits, cover ups, shorts and flip flops- maybe a sundress and sweater or jacket for sunset walks That's about  it. 

Ok, now that I hope I have convinced you not to bring much in the way of luggage,  I will do an about face and say to bring lots of food. Why? Because you don't want to purchase anything on the island. Don't say I didn't warn you- but any food or cosmetics you buy on the island will cost 3 times what it will in Publix. And you won't have much choice. So concentrate on your meal plans and shopping list. Items which are commonly forgotten include batteries, sunscreen, bottled water, charcoal and snack and desserts. Many times when menus are planned the snack and desserts aren't included. Also keep in mind that supermarkets in Florida sell beer and wine. If you have any questions about what to bring, don't hesitate to ask us. We provide many items for the rental to save on carrying over extras, so check with us first if you are not sure. 

The Busiest Day of the Year on North Captiva March 26

On an island that is usually quiet, the busiest day of the year is actually an event. It marks the peak of the season. This year it was March 26. That is when an already full island greets the Easter week crowd. For a few short hours both groups are on the island and it is a bit crazy. All boats are booked and jockey for position in the harbor. And then by 5:30, everything is back to normal. Each week gets quieter and quieter from here. I met a family who was leaving the island and asked if they had a good time. Her 9 year old daughter answered first, "Yes, but we have to go home." She didn't seem happy. Then the mother took out her phone and showed me a video of the family kayaking. As I was watching the video a manatee came out of the water on the side of the kayak and kind of nuzzled the kayak. It was amazing. I told her I had never seen anything like it. She said that the manatees stayed with them the whole time they kayaked. That's what makes North Captiva so special. You never know what will happen!!

How to save 10% on your Tequila Sunset rental

We have been a huge fan of VRBO and have had both of our properties listed on it  for over 10 years. Recently VRBO, which is part of Homeaway, was purchased by Expedia. We were very disappointed to learn that in addition to  many changes in the way the business will be conducted, they have decided to add a service fee to every booking made through them. The booking fee does not come to the owner but is kept by them in addition to the fees we pay to list and the credit card fees they earn on every transaction. The fee added to rentals for Tequila Sunset is between $100 and $150 depending on season and days. That's a lot of money with no added benefit to the guest or owner.

If you would like to save this fee, we can offer booking through Paypal which does not go through the VRBO website. Simply contact us at and we can arrange this. You can also save an additional $50 if you would like to pay your deposit through Paypal and the balance by check. 

Florida in Summer?

Florida in summer is hot! Not the temps, but Florida is really catching on as a great summer vacation destination. Here are some things to consider when thinking about North Captiva in summer. There are no crowds, prices are much lower. 

The beaches are pristine and beautiful.  The fishing is great. Can you walk out of your house with your coffee and be on a fabulous uncrowded beach? Does going to your local beach involve a drive, beach stickers, and parking hassles? Do you have resort amenities just a golf cart ride away? These are all the reasons to consider Florida this summer. 

Long Awaited Night Water Taxi Service

I am really excited to announce that Island Girl charters has added night time departures on Friday and Saturday nights to their regular schedule. This gives Island residents and visitors so many options. You can arrive later on Saturday and still take a scheduled water taxi at regular prices. You can take a day excursion and not have to race back for the 5 PM ferry. You can also take this boat from North Captiva on Friday night and dine at the historic Tarpon Lodge. The boat will also make stops at Cabbage Key if you want to go there for dinner. Of course, you may not want to leave the island at all! I encourage our guests to use this option as it will need to be successful to continue.

Saturday on North Captiva

Comings and going on North Captiva

Saturday is the main turnover days for vacationers on North Captiva. There is always a flurry of activity as groups arrive at the dock to leave the island  There are rested happy faces and lots of regret at having to go back to "civilization". The only good thing about leaving the island is that you know you can always come back.

Barnacle's is the place to be-

Saturday's bring local boaters who come out to soak in some sun and enjoy the food and fun at Barnacle's. Music is on tap with a great singer. Maybe the next Jimmy Buffet- who knows?

The arrival of guest from near and far is always fun. The trip is well worth it. Kids love seeing dolphins on the way over following the boat. Wait a minute- it's my favorite things too! I can never get enough of them.

Saturday night is a good night for going out to dinner. After a day of travel and settling in you may not feel like cooking. Choose from Barnacle's, Over the Waterfront, or the Boathouse. 

Fish is usually on the menu and the local grouper is always a great choice.