What to do in Southwest Florida? Discover the secret islands
Southwest Florida is a haven for outdoor activities, delicious food, and exquisite beaches. But some beautiful islands are secluded and unexplored. If you are wondering what to do in Southwest Florida, Southwest Florida Insider has some secret islands that you can explore.
1. Cayo Costa
Imagine nine miles of unspoiled beach with incredible shelling, walking, camping, fishing, and biking opportunities. Vivid turquoise waters where you can go snorkeling, paddling, kayaking, and swimming or watch the teeming wildlife such as manatees, dolphins, alligators, osprey, and eagles. Accessible only by boat and about a one-hour ferry ride away, this barrier island park is perfect for a day trip or an overnight camp at a tent site or staying in a primitive cabin. The relatively high fees for this island make it less crowded and retain its pristine and secluded appeal.
2. North Captiva Island
North Captiva Island offers excellent ocean views and five miles of pristine beaches, a charming island dotted with swanky residences and resorts on rent. Only accessible by boat, it lies between Captiva Island and Cayo Costa. The North Captiva Island Club is a great place to indulge in good food and tropical drinks. Beach buggies or electric golf carts are the only forms of transportation on the island. Fishing enthusiasts can rent a fishing charter. While adrenalin junkies can rent jet skis or go biking or hiking across 350 acres of wildlife preserve.
3. Cabbage Key
Visited all the famous places in Southwest Florida? If you wonder what to do in Southwest Florida for a relaxing and peaceful time, move away from the crowd and the commercialization. Head for a secluded getaway at 100-acre Cabbage Key for a cozy ambiance and an Old Florida feel. Indulge in fishing, shelling on deserted beaches, reading, writing, painting, and boating. Visit the famous Cabbage Key Restaurant, known for its dollar-covered walls and the “cheeseburger in paradise.” Cabbage Key is a popular stop for weekend boaters and the visitors-who-lunch set. Many charter captains and ferries offer daily excursions from Pine Island, Captiva, Boca Grande, and Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda.
4. Gasparilla Island State Park
A cluster of five beaches, Gasparilla Island State Park is located at the southernmost tip of Boca Grande. The Boca lighthouse is home to a museum filled with the rich history of Gasparilla Island. Visitors can learn about the Calusa Native Americans, the island’s role in the phosphate industry of the 1900s, and the world-famous tarpon fishing in the Boca Grande Pass. There are ample opportunities to swim, snorkel or even wander off into nature on this easy-going yet upscale island! Preferred romantic getaways, these beaches offer lodging and dining close by. Visitors can avail of picnic tables, and freshwater showers from 8 AM to sundown.
5. Useppa Island
A 100-acre bridgeless private island club located within the waterways of Pine Island Sound, Useppa Island is a premier destination for Floridian boaters, seasonal out-of-state residents, and international travelers. An exclusive and private island community, Useppa offers the general public just a two-hour window of opportunity to visit. Travelers can stay for lunch and explore the famed pink path, the Collier Inn, and its signature Old-Florida-style homes rendered in white and pale grays.
A resort destination for the wealthy since the late 19th century, lucky guests and homeowners enjoy a setting steeped in nature on this island.
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