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