Island Tales
Romantic Captiva ©
- Libby Boren McMillan

Casting yourself in the lead role of your very own island romance is as easy as arriving on set: a small, tropical getaway, way off the beaten path. The script describes sunny days and star-filled nights. You will be strolling barefoot down sandy lanes lined with coconut palms, the heady scent of jasmine in the air. You'll feel yourself slowing down to island time, arriving at the beach just before sunset. Spreading out your beach towel, opening a bottle of wine, you sit down to watch Captiva's Main Event.

Can't you picture yourself here?

There's so much to recommend this tiny island, especially for those who appreciate romance. You'll be instantly charmed by its size - Captiva is a place for walking. Should you arrange for accommodations right in the "village" area (which include homes, condos, hotel rooms and a B&B) you'll not need your car again. It is nothing short of sheer bliss to walk around the corner for groceries, terrific dining, shopping, beach activities or water sports. Traveling by foot helps set the pace for your stay on the islands.

The heart of Captiva is the intersection of Andy Rosse Lane and Captiva Drive. While you're deciding what to do next (or deciding not to decide!), find a bench, sit down, and watch the world go by. Stretching out in every direction are several terrific options for romantics. Slowly make your way down Andy Rosse and discover quaint restaurants, bicycle rentals, a day spa, live music, a cozy bed and breakfast, and intriguing art galleries. Captiva Drive also has several gems. More scrumptious dining options offer everything from intimate porches to terrific water views or quirky bars. Shopping is unlimited; surprise each other with special gifts - antiques, jewelry, and comfy clothing can all be found.

A Captiva night can easily include dancing to live music, or late-night appetizers and drinks. Nearby Sanibel offers even more options: pool, karaoke, dancing, live music, piano bars, sports bars, first-run films, live theater, musical concerts, lighted tennis courts, even local softball games.
Moonlight on the Gulf

Here are a few of my favorite suggestions for bonafide romantics.

Rent a bike and go for an evening ride on a full-moon night. Pedal over to a bayside marina and watch the moon on the water. Race each other down to the beach and back. Promise not to check your email tomorrow.

Arrange for a sail. Leave your watches at home. Ditto: pagers, phones, and worries. By the time you've been on the water an hour, you'll be yawning, life's tensions melting away. It's just the two of you, and the sound of waves against the hull.

Go to a Captiva nightspot. Go in separately. Act surprised when an attractive "stranger" comes up to you and suggests you dance. Voila'. You're having your first "date" on Captiva.

Arrange for a local photographer to shoot beachfront portraits of the two of you.

Rent kayaks, pack a picnic lunch, and have an adventure. Paddle your way to the south banks of North Captiva and watch for dolphins. Explore undeveloped Buck Key. Try to kiss without flipping over.

Do something new. Go deep-sea fishing. Try parasailing. Drink expensive champagne. Build a giant sandcastle. Lie on the beach at night, and look at constellations. Have a key lime pie fight.

Start your romance all over again. Plan your very own wedding or vow renewal on the beach (or hire a local pro to help you). Come back every year you can for your anniversary.

Whatever type of romantic you are, Captiva is the perfect setting. What better place to fall in love . . . again and again?

* Originally published in Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce Guide
© Libby Boren McMillan - Legal Rights Apply

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