Sanibel/Captiva-where to stay???

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Mar 18th, 2013, 10:56 AM
  #1
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Sanibel/Captiva-where to stay???

We are two adults and a baby. We would like comfortable beachfront lodgings within walking distance of some good places to get basic food and cocktails. We would like to the unit to have a good kitchen. Suggestions? I've looked at a few places on VRBO but they seem to restrict rentals to 1-week periods and we are going for just under a week. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Mar 18th, 2013, 11:09 AM
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Does it absolutely HAVE to be within walking distance of the food store/bar?
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Mar 18th, 2013, 11:44 AM
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Not necessarily, I suppose. Do you have a suggestion?
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Mar 18th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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cd
 
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We stayed at Ft Myers Beach a few years ago and loved the location. We passed a hotel everyday on our walks that has lovely grounds and also some rooms with kitchens. YOu would be 5min away from restaurants/stores/ quaint little square with ice cream stores http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...h_Florida.html
Also, Sanibel and Captiva is but a short drive away from Ft Myers. We went two days for day trips.
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Mar 18th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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Sanibel/Captiva just isn't one of those places with nice hotels or apartments within walking distance of much of anything, except some are near one or two restaurants. I'm hoping you will have a car? It just really seems necessary to me there.

And yes, it's pretty hard to find an apartment with a full kitchen unless you do a week minimum -- unless you're planing on going at very low season? Then they are more likely to negotiate a shorter stay.
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Mar 18th, 2013, 01:56 PM
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It has been a couple of years, but we enjoyed our stay at Song of the Seas on Captiva. Minikitchens. Great views from your balcony. You will need a car to get to restaurants.

http://www.theinnsofsanibel.com/song...efault-en.html
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Mar 18th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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The last time we were there we stayed at Mitchell's Sandcastles which is beachfront and consists of individual cabins with full kitchens, etc.

It has a great location but it is NOT all that "upscale" compared to many other places.

I hesitate to even mention it for a variety of reasons but I agree that you really do need to have a car and be willing to drive a bit.
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Mar 18th, 2013, 08:32 PM
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Casa Ybel?
Sanibel Arms?
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Mar 18th, 2013, 09:23 PM
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I'd suggest looking at recommendations on Tripadvisor. Is that Ok to mention an alternative site on Fodors? Also, I was contemplating Captiva Island earlier this year, and it's really an island. It costs $30 a person on a ferry to transport you there and then back. That was a deal breaker for my family.
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Mar 19th, 2013, 05:47 AM
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LaraM, what are you talking about? Yes Sanibel and Captiva are TWO connected islands but there is a toll bridge to them. There is no such thing as a ferry to Captiva. Perhaps you are confused about a tiny island called "Upper Captiva" which does have a small ferry to it. There are a few "cottages" on it. But you missed the boat, so to speak, changing your plans because you thought you had to take a ferry to Captiva!
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Mar 19th, 2013, 09:13 AM
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Thanks Patrick...for a moment there I was afraid Hurricane Charley must have taken out the bridge between Sanibel and Captiva. Still, even if it hadn't yet been rebuilt, you could probably jump from one island to the other!

If you are going out of season you can get rentals for less than a week. We've stayed at Casa Ybel a couple of times for just a few days each. We enjoy that location on Sanibel, they have full kitchens as well as screened porches overlooking the beach. I agree with others, a car is pretty much a necessity there.
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Mar 19th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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I looked at TripAdvisor and also did some Googling. Wow! Talk about misleading advertising! What I found were a number of ads and listings for rentals and homes on what they call North Captiva! But this is NOT on Captiva Island. I had not even heard of the term "North Captiva" but it is what they are now calling Upper Captiva, which is indeed a separate and very isolated island. Why anyone would stay there instead of on Captiva or Sanibel is beyond me -- unless they truly wanted an out of the way, inconvenient location.

LaraM, it sounds like you almost became one of those unsuspecting tourists who would logically assume that it was part of Captiva Island.
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Mar 19th, 2013, 10:17 AM
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Hmm. South Seas resort on Captiva has on site eateries and a little grocery store-at least they used to-and across the street from the entrance is a group of stores and restaurants.
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Mar 19th, 2013, 01:15 PM
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Wow, you guys, this feedback is amazing! Thank you! Now I've got a follow-up question. With your help, I've found good places to stay on both Captiva and Sanibel. The question is -- which one: Captiva or Sanibel? We have an infant. We'll likely see sites or go to restaurants during the day when we're not on the beach, and sit around and look at the Gulf at night while baby sleeps. Captiva looks interesting to me. But I don't want to be super-isolated. It looks quite far from the hubub of Sanibel and I'm worried that if we want to go see sights there we'll have a crazy long drive. (I don't know, because I've never been to either of these islands. But we've driven Islamorada to Key West in a day and, although a blast, waaaay too long of a drive to be doing with a baby -- not sure if Sanibel and Captiva compare to that.) Thoughts?? Which one would you pick?? Thanks!
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Mar 19th, 2013, 01:38 PM
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I honestly think it makes no difference. I'd hardly call activity on Sanibel a "hubub". In fact because there is essentially only one road going up Captiva, it may seem even busier, and I'm not sure I've seen bigger crowds anywhere on either island than at the Mucky Duck on Captiva on a nice Saturday afternoon or evening.

Other that South Seas, I'm not picturing many places on Captiva that actually face the Gulf -- it's pretty much private residences.

I'd just say it all depends on the best place you find to stay, but certainly there will be more of those places in Sanibel than Captiva.
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Mar 24th, 2013, 02:34 PM
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Upper Captiva has had a building boom since Charlie and there are lots of rentals there but you are pretty much stuck unless you rent a boat for the week.

I'm going to suggest Cap-San Village, The Castaways, right at BlindPass. There are some quaint cottages there that are gulf side and also bay side. It looks like someone's fantasy village.

Varying quality but perfect for a family and you can shop at the little market there and have great meals at the Mad Hatter, Sunset Cafe and Lazy Flamingo.

I think Fort Myers Beach is still a little trashy for a young family...lots of drunks and party types. Some love it, count me in the opposite camp. If they would just tear down the Lani Kai, they could start building themselves into a good mid-priced resort destination.
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