Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

captiva, sanibel or marco island-- which to choose?


captiva, sanibel or marco island-- which to choose?

Old Mar 10th, 1998, 09:19 PM
Posts: n/a
captiva, sanibel or marco island-- which to choose?

hello -- we are considering one of the above islands to spend a week -- this is our first trip to florida -- which would you choose? -- any info would be MOST helpful.......thanks!!
Old Mar 10th, 1998, 10:31 PM
Posts: n/a
I would not stay on Marco Island, public beach access is difficult to find because the place is over run by condo high rises. Sanibel is beautiful. There is a beach at the end of the island where you can see gorgeous sunsets.
Both Sanibel and Captiva are quiet and so green (lush), you will see lots of birds and sea shells. Look for dolphins around the bridge!
Old Mar 11th, 1998, 12:34 AM
Erni Hirsch
Posts: n/a
Having spent time on all three, I would choose
Marco. Better beach, great restaurants, less issolated and more to do. Most properties(hotels and timeshares) are directly on the beach. You have a beautiful Island with miles of beach and the facilities of Naples close at hand. All three are layed back enjoyable destinations.
Old Mar 11th, 1998, 09:58 AM
Posts: n/a
I would skip Marco Island. While it does have a pretty public beach (very blue water), every square inch of the island seems to be covered in massive concrete condo buildings. It was kind of depressing. Here they have what was no doubt a beautiful place, and they completely blanket it with buildings. Kind of like New York, only with sand. I've heard much better things about Sanibel.
Old Mar 11th, 1998, 12:07 PM
Joe Ferris
Posts: n/a
I think that Marco Island is the best! It is NOT over-run with condos like New York. It is a small community; very friendly, great beaches, several first rate hotels on the Gulf, and world class restaurants. It is only 4 miles wide and 6 miles long. You can walk to almost any place on the island. I too have visited all three, and Marco is the best.
Old Mar 12th, 1998, 08:46 PM
Posts: n/a
As an avid shell collector, I have been to all 3. I have a special place in my heart for Sanibel. It is a more natural environment, and the last time I was there, it had more of an "old Florida" feel to it. You might also consider Fort Myers beach (just accross the causeway and around the corner from Sanibel)
where the waters are more quiet and prices are better! I must say that the views from the Marco Island rooms are great, and there used to be a dolphin who lived in the bay waters around the southern end!
Old Mar 13th, 1998, 02:14 PM
Posts: n/a
My husband and I visited Sanibel at the end of October and it couldn't have been nicer. The weather was wonderful and the accomodations were a pleasant suprise. We stayed at the Seaside Inn run by the South Seas Resorts. It is one of the smaller resorts on the island, very quaint. We like the fact that you were right on the beach and didn't have to travel down an elevator, through a lobby and take a long walk down to the beach. It was perfect. Off season rates are nice too.
Old Mar 14th, 1998, 01:27 AM
Posts: n/a
I love boards like this. There is nothing like a good friendly exchange of opposing opinions. I cast a impassioned vote for Captiva. Marco was an island turned into a denuded piece of land and then the condos and the rest of the buidlings went up. Captiva has a great natural landscape of windswept trees. Both offer excellent access to any kind of water activities you might desire. Marco and Naples certainly offer more nightlife but Captiva offers a very laid back and natural enviroment. If you like fine dining Captiva and Sanibel can't be beat. Marco has some nice restaurants but you won't find restaurants on par with the Kings Crown at South Seas and the Mad Hatter to name a few of the places in Captiva. The other posting on this forum regarding Sanibel and Captiva has some good recommendations.
Old Mar 20th, 1998, 09:25 AM
Posts: n/a
I lived on Ft.Myers Bch. for a couple of years and Sanibel for 6 mo. and worked on Sanibel for even longer. Definately choose Sanibel & Captiva! They are beautiful, lush, private but not too closed up to the public. Park your car and rent a bike. Visit the sanctuary. Visit Jerry's supermarket and talk to the tropical birds in the front (they have a lot of personality!) Alligators roam free on the island, and it is especially fun to watch them cross the road (but don't get too close!). The dining can't be beat! And a quick drive across the causeway, in which there is a good chance you'll see dolphins in the water, will take you to Ft. Myers Bch., which is more developed but has a GREAT little place to eat across from the beach, in Times Suare, called Pete's Time Out. Definately Casual!!!YUM! Have fun!
Old Mar 22nd, 1998, 06:02 PM
Posts: n/a
I have been to all 3. We love marco island. It is manicured and the beach is beautiful. There's lots to do. We stayed at the Marco Beach Hilton and it was GREAT! The everglades are close and that is an experience not to miss.
Old Mar 27th, 1998, 06:17 AM
Posts: n/a
marco island is very commercialized. we hated it there. condos everywhere. the restaurants aren't even that great. you don't have to go to florida to experience what's there. if you want OLD FLORIDA go either to sanibel or captiva. sanibel is an adorable little island with beautiful flowers and great shelling. captiva is alittle more rustic and abit further away. you have to experience the famous sanibel stoop.
Old Mar 28th, 1998, 05:28 PM
Posts: n/a
I'm a year round resident of Southwest Florida and think Captiva/Sanibel are the best. I have some clients who are bored by all the nature& quiet however, and prefer to go to the Registry or Ritz Carlton in Naples or up to Long Boat Key.

Sanibel and Captiva are very different from the rest of Florida because of their building and zoning restrictions (about 3 stories max) and abhorence of national chain restaurants, hotels, etc. This creates a unique ambiance. Marco is nice, high rises duly noted, but the restaurants are definitely third tier or worse. There are some amusing dives however and the Marriott tries. Night life in Captiva is basically watching sunset, having a lovely relaxing dinner (the sophisticated tastes of the tourists and locals has allowed for some world class restaurants) and maybe playing ring toss (string, ring and hook on wall) at the Lazy Flamingo or watching the Crab Races at the bar at Tween Waters Inn. If we decide we want night life, my husband and I drive to the east coast (South Miami Beach).
Old Mar 28th, 1998, 07:03 PM
Posts: n/a
Sharon definitely gave the best anlaysis.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information