We ended up at Captiva Beach due to a terrible rain weather when we arrived at Bowmans Beach (Sanibel), we decided not to stay but continue further north to see if there was another beach with better weather.
Driving to the top of Captiva Island, we ending up at a very small parking lot, we met people giving up due to the “not so great weather”, so we got a parking space immediately.
There was however a problem, the parking machine was gladly accepting money but was not delivering tickets.
I did not want to "waste" money, but I did not want to get a big fat ticket, so one of us (adults) hung back by the car to see what was happening in the parking area and the other joined the kids for a swim in the Gulf of Mexico.
After a while a guy came along and fixed the machine, the weather got a lot better, we decided to stay and we are happy we did.
The grey clouds moved on and the sun came back. There were not many people, the water was very nice. I did not see many shells (as at Englewood) but then I was not really looking.
(The parking is just by the beach, the walk is just a few meters. Next to the parking area there stood 3 temporary latrines. We bought coffee on our way back at the Starbucks, close to the beach.)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.