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Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

RLQ
Atlanta
3 posts
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Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

Where would you recommend two couples in their 50's to seek accomodations. Is it better to stay on Sanibel or Captiva?

Omaha, NE
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29 posts
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1. Re: Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

I suppose it depends on what you like to do.

If you like activity, dining options, shelling and nearby shopping, then Sanibel might be more to your tastes.

If you want to park your hinders in the sand, wander over to Jensen's to chat about fishing and see some manatees, grab a bite or a drink at a local tiny (but friendly place) and don't mind driving a bit for shopping, then Captiva is the way to go.

Take all this with a grain of salt, however. I've only been twice and stayed on Captiva both times, so the comments on Sanibel are based on observation, not personal experience. We're coming back this year with four teen-aged girls. They're looking forward to the 'hinder-parking' almost as much as we are!

Ft Myers
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96 posts
27 reviews
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2. Re: Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

Another consideration is the type of lodging desired. Houses on Sanibel rent only weekly, by Sanibel City ordinance, so that makes it a choice from condos only. Captiva houses and condos rent weekly, giving some better options.

Missouri
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755 posts
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3. Re: Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

I think CH meant to say that houses on Sanibel only rent monthly.

Birmingham, AL
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324 posts
85 reviews
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4. Re: Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

It might help to know that Sanibel and Captiva have two different "vibes." Sanibel is larger and has more to offer in the way of shopping and things to see, including the Shell Museum, refuge, and more public beach parking. Captiva is much smaller and is for folks who want to focus solely on the beach and bay. Fishing, shelling and generally doing nothing are the favored activities on Captiva. Unless you stay at South Seas Resort, the only "crowds" you might find would be on Andy Rosse Lane, where most of the restaurants and tiny "village" is centered.

Of course,you can always visit Sanibel from Captiva, and most do drive there for some meals, if not for shopping, especially groceries. If you want to ride bikes, there are really nice bike trails on Sanibel. Riding bikes on Captiva outside of SSR is pretty treacherous, due to the narrow roads. I personally prefer Captiva because I love parking our vehicle and trying not to move it for a week. We stay on the bay and enjoy using the boat more than a car. But we've also stayed on Sanibel and loved it, too. Try one island this year and come back for the other one the next year! You'll be hooked.

United States
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6,648 posts
13 reviews
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5. Re: Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

If you want easy access to more dining and shopping, stay on Sanibel. If you want more laid back, but enough dining to satisfy a week's visit, then Captiva is the place to stay. I prefer feeling the less crowded atmosphere of Captiva. And you are on vacation, so a short drive to Sanibel is not that big a deal.

Missouri
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755 posts
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6. Re: Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

I will take gentle exception to Alabama's use of the word treacherous to describe biking on Captiva. Granted there is only a 3' or so bike path separated from vehicular traffic by a painted white line but the speed limit is low and most people watch for cyclists. I haven't checked but I would be suprised if there have been many (if any) bike/vehicle accidents on Captiva over the years. That being said the bike path on Captiva pales in comparison with the bike paths on Sanibel.

Victoria, Canada
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763 posts
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7. Re: Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

I think Sanibel has more to offer (especially if its longer than 1 week) .. more of a real town .. more biking .. more variety ... closer to the causeway for off island trips .. Captiva reminds me more of a resort where you are pretty much limited to that one resort.

ps I always stay on Sanibel and drive over to Cap for short visits. tho I did try SSR once in the past.

cheers.

Miami, Florida
6 posts
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8. Re: Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

We have been vacationing in Sanibel/Captiva for the past 20+ years. When the kids were younger we stayed in Sanibel beachfront condos. This afforded us beautiful ocean views from the condo, easy beach access for the kids and more dining and shopping options. We were in our 30's then & were into the bike riding & the comings and goings. That being said, we are now in our late 50's & early 60's and have come to love Captiva. Now the whole family rents houses on Captiva for 1-2 weeks. The adult children come and bring the grandkids. We rent on Andy Rosse, Wightman or Laika Lane. The homes are all short walk to the beach (no more than 5 min) and most have pools. The kitchens are fully equiped and most have gas grills in the pool area. I love sitting on the beach at sunset with a good "mojito" in hand....aaahh....

If you are 2 couples and plan to dine out every evening and do more activities in the day other than water related activities, I recommed Sanibel being your first time. If you return on another vacation then stay in Captiva for a vacaton with a very laid back vibe.

We are Captiva bound in July and can't wait!

reading
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134 posts
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9. Re: Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

have you considered st james city in pine island. pine island sits next to Sanibel. It has a much more laid back tropical feel with little waterside restaurants, kayaking, boating, and preserves. It is not as built up nor as crowded as Sanibel so it depends what you are looking for. you can rent houses weekly and in general it is more affordable then sanibel.

Missouri
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755 posts
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10. Re: Captiva or Sanibel for accommodations?

I like Pine Island.......I'm looking to do a long-term rental there when I get sick of the Missouri winters but for a "beach" vacation I woud prefer Sanibel or Captiva..