This is my second visit to the tiny island of North Captiva in Florida.
I’m not going to lie. It’s no picnic to get here from San Francisco with zero direct flights, an hour drive from the airport once you land, and then a ferry ride over from Fort Myers. But once you get here, your hectic travel day just melts away. The island is an unspoiled and undeveloped little paradise, with beautiful beaches and no paved roads.
That might not seem that significant at first, but as you walk around, you begin to notice that something is different and more peaceful here. Then you realize that the sandy paths, cruisy golf carts, and good old-fashioned foot power (with no cars – gasp!) make for a very different — and welcome — pace of life.
The long stretches of mostly empty beaches are a sight to see, especially for this San Diego native who is used to fighting for sand real estate in shoulder-to-shoulder packed beaches on hot summer days.
North Captiva also has great hikes, as much of the island has been set aside as preservation land. Keep your eyes out for wildlife! We spotted turtles, snakes, all kinds of birds, and tons of shells and other sea creatures washed up on shore.
There aren’t a ton of amenities on the island, so you need to stock up on a grocery trip to ferry all of your food over with you. Sure, there’s an Island Club, a couple of restaurants, an ice cream shop, a pool-side bar, and a very tiny store, but you’ll be more comfortable if you come prepared.
If you’re looking for a remote getaway to detach from your hectic, gadget-infused, overworked life, this is the perfect spot. Just bring a book, a bathing suit, and hiking shoes, turn off your computer, and disconnect from the world for awhile.
Oh, did I mention Cheeseburger in Paradise was written about the island just up the road?