Tag Archives: florida beaches

North Captiva Island

Just a few hours south of Tampa, Florida is North Captiva Island.

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It gets the name from both its captive beauty, and the fact that it served as a prison for female “captives” held for ransom by pirates.

North Captiva

Accessible only by boat or private plan, this half-mile wide island offers roughly 5 miles of pristine white sand beaches to explore, two-thirds of which border a 700-acre state land preserve. Pay to park your car at Pine Island Marina and get ready to leave it all behind.

There is phenomenal tarpon, redfish, snook, and trout fishing in the waters surrounding the island, and there are several charter fishing operations to serve your needs. The abundance of seafood served the Calusa Indians long before it supported a thriving fishing operation, which made use of fish houses to ice down their catch. Those that have fallen out of family ownership now belong to the state of Florida and are considered historical buildings.

Fish House 

A couple of restaurants do serve food, but it is recommended that your bring a sufficient load of supplies. Because there are no cars allowed, golf carts serve as the primary source of transportation.

North Captiva Golf Cart

Of course, a good old rusty bike will do the trick, and there are plenty of other activities including sea kayaking. If you go early in the morning the likelihood of seeing manatees and dolphins are very high.

North Captiva Biking North Captiva Kayaking

Whatever you do, just make sure to find some time to discover your subtle side. Captivity awaits!

Honeymoon Island

Honeymoon_Island Just north of Caladesi Island is Honeymoon Island, and unlike the former it is completely accessible by car. Of course, this will naturally produce more people per acre of sand, but as the situation so often goes, if you are prepared to walk a little bit chances are high that you will find plenty of room to spread out.

Honeymoon Island offers some of the most contiguous undeveloped white sand beach located near the epicenter of Tampa Bay. As I strolled north I was able to count off the miles using the markers along the sand dunes – 1, 2, 3, where did everybody go? My advice: ditch the cooler and various accoutrements and just take a pack filled with the things you’ll really need for unobstructed, unmolested chilling on a wide open beautiful beach. Alternatively, you could take a kayak.

There is also a nice open trail that loops around the interior of the island. Right now there is a pair of nesting bald eagles at the north end of the island and more ospreys than you’ve probably ever seen in one place. Just keep an eye out for Diamond Backs and Poison Ivy.

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