Once connected to its Southern neighbor, Sanibel, Captiva Island is a small, barrier island off the coast of Southwest Florida. Legends connect the island’s name back to a swashbuckling past, claiming that notorious Spanish pirate José Gaspar, hid treasure on neighboring Sanibel Island and female prisoners on Captiva — sparking the name “Isle de los Captivas.”
Much like Sanibel, Captiva is known for its beautiful beaches, premier shelling opportunities, and status as a “sanctuary” island. Captiva, however, is much smaller than Sanibel. Whereas Sanibel spans roughly 12 miles end to end, Captiva only spans 1.64 square miles. Despite its small size, Captiva packs a punch with its natural beauty, charming downtown area, and abundance of luxury homes.
Captiva is a small island with a small population. While numbers have been growing since 2020, the total number of inhabitants tops out at approximately 668. Whereas retirees make up the majority of the population in Sanibel, Captiva’s population skews a bit younger, with a median age of 41.3. As one might expect of a petite and exclusive island, Captiva has a relatively high cost of living that’s reflected in the above-average income of its residents. Homes in Captiva range from quaint island bungalows and cottages to luxurious waterfront properties. Part of Captiva Drive, which runs the length of the island, is known for its stunning waterfront mansions, with a nickname of “Millionaire’s Row.’
As a popular tourist destination, Captiva is home to a number of vacation resorts and hotels. However, the community has taken pains to strike a balance between development and ecological preservation.
Don’t let Captiva’s size fool you. The island has plenty to offer when it comes to dining and shopping. Stop by The Mucky Duck, for a cold drink, live entertainment and breathtaking sunsets overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. For a quirky experience you won’t soon forget, The Bubble Room, has to be on your list. Listen to records from the 1920s while taking in the funky mix of kitschy Americana and Christmas decor.
Captiva Beach and Turner Beach are two of the island’s biggest draws. Turner Beach is popular with shellers and fishermen, but swimming is not recommended due to the swift tide. Captiva Beach is the perfect place to settle in on a towel and watch the sunset. Or maybe you’d prefer to take a dolphin cruise or search for manatees.
While no schools are located directly on the island, neighboring Sanibel Island has an award-winning elementary and middle school. Captiva is served by the School District of Lee County. Top educational opportunities include:
Passionate about helping buyers find homes that they connect with emotionally, Jodi is able to draw upon her own investment experience to advise them on which properties have the most potential for financial gain.