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Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

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Level Contributor
16 posts
Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

I am looking for a tropical location within the continental us. Preferably aqua water, palm trees, and an island feel (if that actually exists here in the states). I have seen that Siesta Key and Sanibel/Captiva areas are rated very high. Do either fit my criteria? If not, any recommendations would be greatly appreciated :)

Cherry Hill, New...
Level Contributor
3 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

I was in the same position last month, researching. Well, I am on Sanibel now, and I highly recommend it

Cherry Hill, New...
Level Contributor
3 posts
4 reviews
2. Re: Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

I am on Sanibel now, highly recommend it. I had same question, did my research last month and no regrets

Captiva Island...
Level Contributor
940 posts
52 reviews
3. Re: Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

Siesta Key--A less crazy version of Miami--High rises, but more aqua water

Captiva--A less crazy version of Key West--More island feel, more palm trees

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Clearwater
Level Contributor
2,033 posts
88 reviews
4. Re: Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

If you are looking for beautiful clear blue water like you'd find in the Caribbean, you won't find it on the Gulf coast. The Keys have the clearest, bluest water in Florida, but are not known for their beaches. Of the three places you mentioned, Siesta Key has the clearest water, and nicest sand, but it is the busiest. If you like a busy beach with a young crowd - then choose Siesta Key. It has condos backing onto the beaches though, and not hotels and restaurants. Parking can be difficult by the beach.

If you want a peaceful beach - go to Sanibel. It is a peaceful place with some of the best shelling to be found.

My advice - look these beaches up on the Internet and read about them - they have very different personalities - then pick the right beach for you.

Edited: 5:59 am, October 05, 2013
Level Contributor
22 posts
1 review
5. Re: Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

Agree with lifesabeach - siesta is different to Sanibel and Captiva. Depends on how lively you want it to be - only you can make that call but I would go for Sanibel or Captiva every time. Island feel is accentuated by the big and beautiful drive over the causeway to the islands - get a little lump in my throat just thinking about it

Sanibel - plenty of shopping and restaurants but you need to drive to them. However lots of bike trails (but I didnt attempt in darkness to get to bars and restaurants)

Captiva - more limited shopping and restaurants but you can walk to them. Fewer bike trails

Scenery great on both islands but Captiva probably nudges the palm tree to square mile competition - well thats how it feels when you are driving around

Either are great!

Level Contributor
136 posts
15 reviews
6. Re: Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

You have some great advice above! For me it comes down to shells or no shells? We are hooked on shelling and Marco Island, Naples, Sanibel, Captiva all fit the bill!

Captiva Island...
Destination Expert
for Captiva Island, Sanibel Island
Level Contributor
5,236 posts
29 reviews
7. Re: Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

Me too! Shells or I'm not going! The few times I've been to Naples, I haven't really found any shells. Any secret spots that you feel like sharing?

United States
Level Contributor
4,345 posts
35 reviews
8. Re: Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

I think Captiva is much more island feeling than Sanibel. Several people said to choose Sanibel. Don't forget about Captiva!

Fort Myers, FL
Level Contributor
351 posts
5 reviews
9. Re: Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

Siesta is pretty but definitely choose Sanibel/Captiva! You will not regret it.

Bean - As far as shelling, Barefoot Beach in northern Collier has some nice shelling at times- but not as good as our beaches here!

Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
164 posts
9 reviews
10. Re: Siesta or Sanibel/Captiva???

Anna Maria perhaps? Very traditional true Florida.