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sanibel vs captiva

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sanibel vs captiva

My family will be traveling to Sanibel/Captiva in early April. We are trying to decide between the Sundial on Sanibel and Tween Waters on Captiva. Our children are 12, 9, and 2. The Sundial looks very nice but I am concerned about the construction there during our stay and I know that the restaraunts and possibly the large pool won't be open. Tween Waters looks very nice and more "islandy". Our older children would love the marina also. But I have read that there are no bike paths on Captiva and the ocean water isn't as nice for young children. Also I am wondering about the 3 bedroom suites at Tween Waters. One of the postings mentioned that some of the rooms were in need of updating. Thanks for any help!

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4 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: sanibel vs captiva

Hey treefrog

Just returned from Sanibel and I would strongly recommend Sanibel--While captiva is magnificent, they have alot more cleanup to do before it is really ready--also, the beach is across the road at the tween waters---CASA Ybel is still the best--while the rooms are very 'tired' you cant beat the view/pool/location and helpful staff--something about sitting on your porch watching the dolphins jump everyday sure beats the winter mess here in toronto

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113 posts
8 reviews
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2. Re: sanibel vs captiva

I'm still torn on the same subject. Not quite sure if I want Sundial, West Wind or Casa Ybel in Sanibel or Tween in Captiva. I'm looking for layed back, nice pool and beach but with ameneties like beach chairs, restaurants. I don't mind the beach across the street at all. I'm coming Mem' Day weekend. Will clean up be much better by then?

Summerland Key...
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3. Re: sanibel vs captiva

My family -- six adults, one toddler -- stayed in a three-bedroom suite at Tween Waters over Christmas, and we really liked it. There are two bathrooms, a kitchenette/bar, a living room with sofa and chairs and a nice deck overlooking the bay. (My one beef: The fridge is small, so it's hard to squeeze in everyone's beverages and leftover Bubble Room cake.) We've also stayed in the Gulf-front cottages, but I've found the suites to be more comfortable. I've probably stayed in eight different rooms there and have never noticed one in need of an update.

There are no bike paths up to downtown Captiva, but there's so much to do at Tween Waters that it shouldn't be a deal breaker. (You can get to "downtown" by walking or riding up the beach. It takes about 20 minutes on foot if you're shelling along the way.)

The waters along Captiva can be a little rougher than other parts of S.W. Florida, but by rougher I mean that you might have a tiny bit of wave action instead of flat-as-glass water. We saw quite a few people in the water with their toddlers at Christmas. (Brrrr, is all I can say.) Your kids should get a kick out of the great shelling there. There aren't that many homes and no public parking nearby, so the beach is pretty uncrowded.

I moved away from S.W. Florida a few months ago so I don't have the latest information on post-Charley cleanup on Captiva, but I can't imagine it's much of an issue. There was still some vegetative debris and construction work along San-Cap Road in December, but it won't interfere with your good time. (Tween Waters was virtually untouched by the storm with the exception of the marina's office and docks, which were well on the way to repair in December.)

Wilmington, DE
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36 posts
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4. Re: sanibel vs captiva

The Sundial web site does say that the big pool will be open the end of this month. There is definitely much more to do in Sanibel then Captiva. The bike paths are wonderful. The kids will love the birds at Jerry's Supermarket and be sure and go to the Sanibel Trailer and Camp Park to see the other exotic birds and lumurs. The beach at Sanibel is much better for kids, there is a drop off on Captiva beaches. Sanibel has lots of restaurants to go to and the kids will like the lighthouse and fishing pier. Have a great vacation.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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5. Re: sanibel vs captiva

Dear Treefrog,

If your family has anyone with asthma or any kind of breathing problem, I advise you to stay away from Captiva right now. They are having a terrific problem with red tide, in which spores become airborne, especially near the beach, and cause coughing in humans. When we checked in to the 'Tween Waters Inn, I started coughing immediately. I just assumed it was mold, and we headed to the (extremely nice) restaurant on site. Every one there was still coughing, too, and the waitress said it was caused by red tide and had been going on for several weeks. The wonderful staff at 'Tween Waters understood why we needed to leave, and allowed us to cancel our remaining 3 nights with no charge, and we headed down to the keys.

We returned to Sannibel on March 5, and did some shelling on the Lighthouse Beach. The air there was fine, but 3 shellers I talked to said they came down to Lighthouse Beach because they and other folks were still coughing up on Captiva.

Good luck!

Detroit, Michigan
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2,235 posts
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6. Re: sanibel vs captiva

Thanks for all the great info. I am going in a few weeks and still can't decide on Captiva,Sanibel or Naples. We are looking for white clean beaches; I have allergies. What is bot? What about Naples? Need a reasonable on the beach clean hotel (we have a car) ; the quality of beach and sand is most NB. More suggestions?

New York
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340 posts
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7. Re: sanibel vs captiva

itryalot, I was in Naples in the early 90's and had a great time. From what I understand though is has gotten very built-up now. Sanibel/Captiva is much nicer in my opinion if you're looking for quiet and don't want all the high-rises and and "action a la Ft. Meyers Beach...

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