Island Tales
Getting Around ©
- Libby Boren McMillan

Island visitors have several options when it comes to local transportation. The day's activities will help you choose which one best suits your needs. Residents also will find these modes of transportation handy on occasion.

The most obvious mode, with miles of tropical bike paths awaiting you, is a bicycle. There is no better way to get around an island than two-wheeling it with a little handlebar-bell. Sanibel bike rental companies all make free deliveries for multiday or weekly rentals. Jim's Rental, Andy Rosse Lane on Captiva, 239-472-1296; Finnimore's Cycle Shop, 2353 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 239-472-5577; or Billy's Rentals 1470 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 239-472-5248.

Need to go farther and faster? Enterprise Rent-a-Car will deliver a vehicle directly to you on-island. Anything from an economy model to a van or a sport utility vehicle is available, although reservations are encouraged in high season. No minimum number of rental days is necessary to qualify for delivery. Enterprise is open seven days a week with limited hours on the weekends. 239-454-0770 or 888-352-7368.

The Famous Sanibel Island Trolley
Sanibel Trolley

You don't want to do the driving? Call Sanibel Island Taxi at 239-472-4160. Leave the driving to them.

Perhaps the quaintest form of getting around while getting entertained is the historical trolley tour provided by Adventures in Paradise. Drivers will pick up passengers with reservations directly from their hotel or condominium for the two-hour tour covering Sanibel and Captiva. Tours start at 10:00 a.m. and run Monday through Saturday. 239-472-8443.

Like these islands so much you want to explore others nearby? Call for a water taxi to North Captiva or Cayo Costa. Jensen's Twin Palms Marina on Captiva will deliver you and pick you up based on your time frame. 239-472-5800.

Captiva Cruises also provides the means to island-hop the upper islands. Enjoy lunch on Cabbage Key or Useppa Island, or try shelling on primitive Cayo Costa-made simple by several daily cruises from Captiva Island. Captiva Cruise's Boca Grande Cruise even allows passengers to bring a bicycle along for touring the island on which Katherine Hepburn has often been seen two-wheeling. 239-472-5300.

If you wish to float farther afield, Key West Excursions will take you from Fort Myers Beach to Key West and back on its 92-foot catamaran. The boat travels at a speed of 24 knots with a full load of 149 passengers. You can choose to make the trip (five hours each way) all in one day, or come back another day. The boat also leaves from Marco Island (a four-hour cruise). Gulf Star Marina, 708 Fisherman's Wharf, Fort Myers Beach, 239-263-3900.

For a different perspective on the islands, high fliers will want to call Boca Grande Seaplane Inc., 800-940-0234 or 239-964-0234. Pilot Mark Futch provides winged transportation to any water-related destination in Florida, including the Keys. He picks up at all major airports, and has delivered happy passengers to the barrier islands for 11 years. Barrier Island Seaplane, 239-472-8848, also provides seaplane service to waterfront destinations, including Key West, Palm Beach, Fisher Island, or exotic and inaccessible places. Sightseeing is also terrific from the air; if you've never experienced the barrier islands from above, you should try either of these services.

* Originally published in Times of the Islands - 8/02
© Libby Boren McMillan - Legal Rights Apply
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