North Captiva Island is a hidden gem, and getting there is half the adventure. You can only access North Captiva Island by boat, ferry, or small aircraft. But when you’ve figured out how to get to North Captiva Island, you won’t regret the journey, thanks to the pristine beaches and rustic surroundings.

North Captiva Island is not accessible by car, and you need to take a boat, ferry, or small aircraft over the Redfish Pass channel to get there. Getting there is worth the hassle, though. You’ll find that knowing how to get to North Captiva Island gives you access to what makes the Gulf of Mexico magic.

North Captiva Island is the perfect place for dolphin watching, shelling, and relaxing on a remote island. Learn more about getting to the island and how to enjoy your time there.

Where is North Captiva Island?

If you’d like to visit North Captiva, it is crucial to have a clear idea of its location. North Captiva Island is an island situated in Lee County located in Southwest Florida. It is found offshore adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico, north of Captiva Island.

There is a Redfish Pass resulting from the 1921 hurricane that separates North Captiva Island and Captiva Island. Also, the North Captiva Island is located in the southern part of Cayo Costa Island, and the Captiva Pass channel separates Cayo Costa Island and the North Captiva Island. It is very narrow and acts as a barrier island to Pine Island, just like the Sanibel Island and Captiva Island.

What Makes North Captiva Island Special

What Makes North Captiva Island Special?

This tropical paradise is a beautiful spot to relax on its white-sand beaches and picturesque ocean. North Captiva Island is also arguably the best shelling place in the United States. Its calmness is also very an attractive feature for visitors to the island.

Let’s look at other factors that make North Captiva Island special.

No Cars

People only use bicycles and electric golf carts to move on the sandy roads. These sandy roads link different facilities and the approximately 300 homes found on the island. The absence of cars is not a bad thing as it allows the young ones to walk freely without fear of getting knocked by vehicles. It guarantees everyone’s overall safety and keeps the island’s air pollution-free.

Great Shelling

North Captiva is one of the best areas if you wish to collect the best shells. If you wish to, you can also go to the nearby Cayo Costa, where you come across a wider variety of shells for a more fantastic shelling experience. In addition, you get to pack the attractive shells you have collected in an ecological sack and take them home as souvenirs!

North Captiva Sea Turtle Foundation

North Captiva Island does not only provide a great vacation spot for its visitors. It is also active in safeguarding the well-being of the turtles on the island, through The North Captiva Sea Turtle Foundation. During the summer, many sea turtles come to the island’s sandy beaches to lay their eggs. If you’d like to contribute to preserving these creatures’ lives, you can volunteer or learn more about turtles from the North Captiva Sea Turtle Foundation.

Island Eats

Another amazing thing about North Captiva is its variety of delicious island eats. You can visit the restaurants on the island to taste the best wings and seafood. If you are not a fan of seafood and wings, how about taking a ferry ride to Cabbage Key to grab their widely recommended burgers? Alternatively, you can also take a thrilling boat ride to Captiva, if you’re in the mood for some fine dining. Last but not least, crab cakes at the Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island are also guaranteed to blow your mind! 

What is the History of North Captiva Island?

The famous North Captiva Island was, for close to 2,000 years, predominantly filled with Calusa Native Americans. The Calusa people were able to survive by depending on the many natural resources found on the island. Their population grew steadily over time until the Spanish foreigners came to North Captiva Island to seek precious resources such as gold, which was found on the island. The Spanish foreigners dominated the locals by enslaving many and imprisoning many others.

Pirate ships often visited North Captiva Island, and the foreigners also used it to shelter themselves from strong winds and rough sea waves. However, a fascinating fact to note is how the island came to be known as North Captiva Island! The name came about from the Spanish foreigners who captured and imprisoned many beautiful female captives, hence the name, “Captiva.” 

How Did North Captiva Island Form?

North Captiva Island is separated by a channel called the Redfish Pass. This channel was created by a hurricane in 1921. This has not stopped the quick population growth of residents and visitors to the island. One of the things attributed to the growing numbers includes the fantastic natural beauty it offers and its serene atmosphere. As early as the mid-’70s, people began setting up their residences along the stretch right from the island’s northern tip and across the entire gulf up to the bay.

There are approximately 400 homes found on North Captiva Island today. The homes are being built at a rate of about 30 units annually. People expect the island to have a capacity of about 450 residences. Some parts of North Captiva Island have been experiencing speedy urbanization, and this has made efforts to safeguard the natural beauty of its features an essential practice. These efforts are meant to guarantee perfect harmony between the natural state of the island and the residents.

How Can I Get to North Captiva Island

How Can I Get to North Captiva Island?

You can’t drive to North Captiva Island. In fact, getting there is part of the adventure! Let’s look at a few ways you can get to North Captiva Island.

By Small Aircraft/ Private Plane

How to get to North Captiva Island is quite easy if you choose to go by plane. Find the best flights to take you to any major international airports near the island. It is highly recommended you choose a flight that takes you to the Southwest Florida International (RSW) because this airport has easy access to parking areas. The Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) also helps you get to the island quickly because it has many more direct flights from different cities at affordable prices.

By Car to Ferry or Water Taxi

You can also travel by car, but it will not take you to the North Captiva Island Captiva itself. You will need to head west on Pine Island Rd from the South or North of I-75. Then, follow the right turn on Stringfellow Rd. (State Road 767) in Pine Island Center. Once at Pineland Road, take three miles down, and this will take you to the Waterfront Drive. At this point, you will see the Pineland Marina on the left. This marina is found nestled right on the shores of the Pine Island Sound. While there, you can use private water taxi services to take you to North Captiva Island.  

By Scheduled Ferry Service

How to get to North Captiva from the Pineland Marina is easy due to the availability of a scheduled ferry service to the North Captiva. The scheduled ferry usually stops at strategic places. These are the Barnacle Phil’s Landing, Safety Harbor Club, and the Cabbage Key. You must contact the ferry company for reservations and off-season scheduled times due to varying boat times from time to time.

By Private Charters or Rental Boats 

How to get to North Captiva Island becomes relatively easy if you have a private or rental boat. You can start your ride from the Safety Harbor at Marker # 52. With your compass set at 195 degrees from this marker, head to the “The Fish House.” From here, you can safely enter the Safety Harbor found near the Peninsula and allow the Markers to guide you to the Hidden Cove. Once you get to the docks, you are now on the island!

What is There to Do on North Captiva Island?

North Captiva Island promises visitors plenty of fun activities to engage in. Here’s just are several things that you can do on the island. 

  • Get to enjoy the pristine, sandy beaches: The white, sandy beaches on North Captiva Island offer you a fantastic opportunity to unwind and feel enjoy the refreshing atmosphere.
  • Enjoy great food and tropical drinks: The local cuisines and other delicacies at North Captiva Island will blow your mind and taste buds! There is fantastic seafood, wings, and crab cakes all for you. 
  • You can take a thrilling tour of North Captiva Island’s sandy roads: Hop on electric golf carts and bicycles and go around the whole island and discover the features and spots available for you and your crew!  
  • How about a great fishing session? Get your fishing line and enjoy an awesome fishing experience from the guided fishing charters and the island’s docks.
  • You can enjoy dolphin watching and seeing manatees playing: Lovers of nature can enjoy dolphin watching and staring at manatees enjoying themselves near the airstrip.
  • There are various retail outlets for all shopping lovers: Take your friends along and go shopping at the gift shops on the island and the nearby Cayo Costa, Boca Grande, Cabbage Key, and Sanibel. 

Do People Live on North Captiva Island?

Yes, they do! Many people have made North Captiva Island their home. It currently has about 400 units that offer homes to the locals. The State of Florida presently owns roughly half of North Captiva Island, and this portion currently is a part of a state park. The rest of the areas, such as the roads, are currently privately owned.

The locals of North Captiva Island and the visitors are served by a passenger ferry that operates from the adjacent Pine Island Marina. There is also a barging service that transports materials and garbage from the island.

The residents and tourists can also use golf carts to move around. However, almost everyone moves around on foot. The residents living on the island and these visitors are not allowed to use cars. This makes North Captiva Island even more pristine and special as it accommodates visitors and more residences.

If you need further evidence that North Captiva Island is a hot real estate hub that promises to accommodate more people in the future, you can look at the properties, land, and home listings on the Sanibel MLS. Prospective clients can get the best beachfront and waterfront listings whose prices range from $1,200,000 to $2.5 million!

It has also been widely speculated that A-list celebrities like the famous Joe Perry from Aerosmith and Tom Hanks have some properties on North Captiva Island. This makes North Captiva Island an even more attractive place to live for potential residents.

Make North Captiva Island Part of Your Florida Vacation

Make North Captiva Island Part of Your Florida Vacation

Now that you know how to get to North Captiva Island, you’re likely ready to see it for yourself. Consider a Captiva Island vacation rental from Royal Shell Vacations for your next stay in the Sunshine State.

No matter whether you’re staying just a few weeks or a few months, you’ll find the perfect property for your stay in Royal Shell’s inventory. Whether you’re seeking a cozy marina-front cottage or an expansive beach estate, you’ll find what you need to make the most of your time on the island.

Ready to learn more? Contact a friendly Royal Shell Vacations agent today by calling (866) 202-0723 or reaching out online.