Captiva Island Activities

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Captiva Island, Florida, has plenty of fun activities for guests of all ages and all interests.

If you’re staying near Captiva’s Village Center, you can easily walk to any of the shops, restaurants, merchants, and even our own Captiva Library.

Of course, there are many outdoor activities that can make each visit to Captiva uniquely memorable:

  • Collecting the amazing shells on the water’s edge (best early in the morning)
  • Watching the sea birds and listening to song birds in the tropical forests
  • Enjoying water sports like kayaking, power boating, sailing, water skiing, fishing
  • Having a great game of golf or tennis then relaxing by the pool and soaking up that glorious Florida sunshine
  • At night Captiva is a good “dark sky” location for star gazing.

Locations of these activities may be obtained from the Captiva Map. Just click the black & white name symbols next to each title and find that same symbol on the Map. For more information, telephone the activities directly (area code is 239) or call American Realty of Captiva at 800-547-0127 (local 472-0564).

See our separate page on Fishing and Boating!

Captiva Holiday Activities

Fun Events, Ceremonies, and Decorations Join Captiva residents and other visitors for a delightful celebration of the holidays! It’s a perfect time to visit: the weather is mild (77 degrees average for the month) and December is our driest month (just 1.7 inches of rain). The local businesses get together to provide all kinds of fun. Past favorites included AMRC’s own professional Junkanoo parade along Andy Rosse Lane, opera on the beach, concerts in the village, lighted boat parade, decorated golf cart contest, drums and fire dancing exhibitions, and of course all-out holiday decorations. Every year it gets better and better!

Move over, Macy’s parade, this is the Captiva Decorated Golf Cart Parade! Preparations are secret, the competition is intense, and the crowds are all smiles and cheers. The golf carts are decked out like parade floats – tropical style! Don’t have your own golf cart? No worries, rent one, decorate it, and enter! We’re very proud that American Realty took home the first ever Captiva Golf Cart Parade trophy!

The lighted Boat Parade is another favorite – sail boats, power boats, and cruise boats, all decorated bow to stern with seemingly a million points of light. Cheer your favorites to victory! See our high-def Boat Parade Slide Show from 2010 (watch this fullscreen in 1080 HD!).


The Beach

Captiva’s beach is among the best anywhere, according to many visitors. Even the world’s leading expert, Dr. Beach, rated Captiva in the top five winners of his Best Romantic Beaches survey. This distinction was based on 50 criteria including natural beauty, privacy, good sand and water quality, and amenities such as easy access and places to walk along the shore. All of the beaches on Captiva are available to visitors, but they are mostly used only by the relatively few residents. There are only a couple of small public parking areas, so the remaining six miles of beach tend to be sparsely used. At sunset, however, there is a very informal gathering all along the beach to enjoy the display and the company of friends and neighbors. See our Beach page for more photos.


Matthias Wendt displays a rare Junonia shell he found on the Captiva beach. Finding a Junonia gets your picture in the paper, even here on Captiva where a treasure trove of shells awaits the first beach walkers in the morning. Matthias is a frequent visitor to Captiva from Switzerland.


Adventure Sea Kayak & S.U.P.

You can rent kayaks right on Captiva at Adventure Sea Kayak & S.U.P., a wildlife tour and eco adventure company located on Captiva Island, Florida.

The Gulf waters off of the coast of Captiva and Sanibel Islands are among the most beautiful in the world, where unrivaled wildlife, fishing, and nature views abound. Get an up close and personal experience with this natural paradise by booking a rental or tour with Adventure Sea Kayak & SUP. Our professional and knowledgeable tour guides provide both serenity and adventure with kayak or stand up paddleboard eco-tours and rentals that are fun, informative, and family-friendly. Captiva Adventures is open and ready for fun 7 days a week, weather permitting.

The Island Store

Pick up virtually anything you need right here on the island. Conveniently located in the Village Center, this quaint store is well-stocked with all of the necessities and has been serving residents and visitors for decades. Fresh produce and deli counter add to the charm of this old-timey grocery. Parking never seems to be a problem, maybe because those staying in the Village Center can just as easily walk. Regardless of what you might need, chances are the Captiva Island Store has it… this is where the “locals” shop! Open 7 days a week until 11:00 pm. 239-472-2374


Museums and Wildlife Adventures

Jensen’s Marina Fishing Charters and gear.  See the Manatee that laze by the sea wall.

Captiva Cruises  Dolphin Cruises, excursions to Cabbage Key  & Useppa.

Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum Located on Sanibel Captiva Rd, a unique fun and informative marine & seashell museum for all ages.

Big Arts Historical Museum Located on Dunlop Rd, offering a walk back in time to the original settlement homes and businesses of Sanibel & Captiva islands.

C.R.O.W. (Care for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) is a teaching hospital with a visitor education center that is dedicated to Wildlife through state-of-the-art veterinary care, research, conservation and more.  The visitor center offers behind the scenes view into animal care with live feed cameras, interactive and daily presentations.

JN Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge offers a visitor center, library, gift shop and more.  Dedicated to the cartoonist JN “Ding” Darling and his love of nature.  The refuge also offers a 3-mile one-way drive through our unique eco system here on Sanibel & Captiva.  Home of scores of wading birds, and other animals of our area.  Enjoy the walking trails as well.

S.C.C.F. (Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation) Host nature trails, and parks in numerous locations on Sanibel including the Baileys Homestead (one of Sanibel’s founding families), plant nursery, visitor center and more.

Jungle Drums Art Gallery

A popular photo op is the gigantic chair in the garden at Jungle Drums (right side of the photo). But the real attraction is inside the art gallery. Come on in and browse the exhibits and sales. It’s a great way to find treasures and keepsakes for yourself, unique gifts, or just to wait out the noon-time sun or a passing shower. Have your items professionally packed and shipped home to avoid airline luggage hassles and possible breakage. Jungle Drums is located in the Village Center on Andy Rosse Lane next to American Realty. 239-395-2266

Yolo Watersports Parasailing

Yolo Watersports offers parasail rides in the Gulf of Mexico or in the Pine Island Sound (depending on wind and sea conditions). If you’ve never done this, you’re missing a great adventure! The top-of-the-line parasail boat and equipment makes this experience is as easy as sitting in a swing, but a whole lot more thrilling. It’s safe and comfortable, perfectly dry (if you want), remarkably silent (you can’t even hear the boat below), and affords breathtaking views from as much as 1200 feet over the water. Yolo Watersports is located in the Village Center on Andy Rosse Lane near American Realty. 239-472-9656

Jim’s Rentals offers bicycles, scooters, floats, in-line skates, snorkeling gear, wave-runners (in proper season), and just about anything else you could want to have a fun-filled day on Captiva. Plus they have basic necessities for more passive enjoyment, like beach umbrellas and chairs. Stop by to see all the cool activities and toys. Located in the Village Center on Andy Rosse Lane near American Realty. 239-472-9656

Captiva and Sanibel Ecotours

Captiva and Sanibel Islands are renown for their wild life, shells, nature sanctuaries, and unique ecology. Join us for an “EcoTour” to enjoy and learn about the natural beauty of the islands. AMRC facilitate your nature-oriented visit by arranging for the necessary passes and providing information about where to go, what to see and who to talk with. See our Ecotours page for more information.

BIG ARTS Home for the Arts on Captiva and Sanibel

Barrier Island Group for the Arts is BIG ARTS, with galleries, a concert hall, classes and workshops, and exhibits. Established in 1979 to provide cultural enrichment to residents and visitors, BIG ARTS is located at 900 Dunlop Road on Sanibel Island, between the City Hall and the Historical Museum. Patrons may enjoy a wide spectrum of performing and visual arts events, and participate in more than 170 educational courses and workshops each year. The lovely Schein Performance Hall seats 400. The Phillips Gallery and Founders Gallery feature local as well as visiting exhibits. More than 250 volunteers have helped to make BIG ARTS a prominent cultural institution in Florida’s southwest region. 239-395-0900

Island Restaurants

Keylime Bistro located on Andy Rosse Lane is great for all ages, good food, great Bloody Mary’s and offer Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.  Enjoy live entertainment nightly.

RC Otters just across the street offers lots of draft beers, and also is open Breakfast Lunch & Dinner.

Mucky Duck just at the end of Andy Rosse and right on the beach offers English Pub style dinners, and wonderful seafood.  The best location for sunset dining with inside & outside seating.

Bubble Room located right on Captiva Drive and offers a unique dining experience.  The food is good, the desserts are incredible. Save room for it!

Cantina Captiva offers the islands only Mexican food and is pretty darn good.

Green Flash located right on the Roosevelt Channel with waterfront views. Good food, good drinks, great view.

Doc Fords located on South Seas Resort 1 of 3 located here in Lee County and every one of them is amazing.

Latte Da Coffee shop on Andy Rosse, or the Starbucks at the Chadwick Square.

“San-Tiva”  Area

Lazy Flamingo

Sunset Grill 

Mad Hatter