Your Captiva rental home is right in the heart of an extraordinary vacation area. Moving about easily and independently will make your Captiva vacation more enjoyable. To that end, we've provided answers to questions frequently asked by first-time visitors. We encourage you to contact us if you have questions not addressed here.
Where is Amarelo Sol Located?
Amarelo Sol is located at 11530 Laika Lane Southwest, Captiva, FL 33924. Click on the map image at left to view a Google Map showing Amarelo Sol in relation to the rest of Captiva Island.
Captiva Island is located approximately 35 miles from Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers, Florida. Click here for driving directions from Fort Myers. The airport is serviced by all major domestic carriers and some international carriers. International service is also available through Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. These airports are a 4 hour drive or less to the island.
What are the Best Places to Eat?
While it's true that Amarelo Sol's fully-equipped kitchen can serve up any meal you might choose to prepare, there are some truly world-class restaurants in town. Click on the menu at right for a summary of the area's restaurants and eating establishments (PDF format, Adobe Reader required).
In fact, many people come to the island just to experience the 5-star quality cuisine offered by regional restaurants, which include dozens of bistros, cafes, lounges, night spots, dining rooms and coffee shops. There are also outstanding hotel restaurants and many specialty shops.
Where Can We Buy Groceries and Supplies?
Like restaurants, there are many places to buy groceries and other goods. Here is a short list of nearby quality grocers and suppliers:
- Island Store, 11500 Andy Rosse Lane, Captiva 239-472-2374. The selection and prices are what you would expect in a small convenience store. A small liquor store is located next door with all the essentials. If the store is closed, inquire at the Island Store, they will fulfill your needs.
- Bailey's General Store, (239) 472-1516. Bailey's is located at the corner of Tarpon Bay Rd and Periwinkle, Sanibel. Grocery, liquor, bakery, deli, hardware.
- Jerry's at 1700 Periwinkle Way (239) 472-9300. Deliveries can be arranged, groceries, beer, wine and liquor, bakery and deli are all on the delivery list.
- The Grog Shop, Sanibel, located in Bailey's Shopping Center, next to the movie theatre. The Grog Shop probably has the largest wine and liquor selection on the islands.
- Island-Go-Fer Pick Up and Delivery Service, (239) 336-8322 they will pick up and deliver almost anything to the house and even put them away. This is a popular service and you must get on their schedule in advance.
You can also enjoy hot, fresh meals in your own kitchen with Latte Da Catering (across from Keylime Bistro on Captiva) for catered meals to your tastes. Choose from a huge selection including hors d'oeuvres, sides, entrees, gourmet delicacies, fresh pizza, fresh fruit salad, baked stuffed clams casino and more.
Here's how it works: Make your selections in advance (2-3 days notice is best). The chefs at Latte Da buy the fresh groceries, then prepare your meals in the morning. Pick up the food and refrigerate, then follow the easy instructions for heating. Later, return any pans to Latte Da and they'll take care of clean up. 472-0234.
Where are the Best Places to Find Seashells?
Both Captiva and Sanibel Island boast large quantities of an amazing variety of seashells. In fact, Sanibel and Captiva Islands are actually made out of shells, created over many thousands of years. Not surprisingly, the islands rank among the Top Ten beaches for shelling. This abundance and variety of shells draw people from all over the world.
Sanibel Island in particular is a natural sea shell catcher. Due to its east-west orientation, Sanibel's south side acts like a massive shovel, scooping up seashells from the Gulf, the Caribbean and other southern seas. Larger seashells frequently appear on the south-facing shore of Captiva Beach and North Captiva. Smaller seashells are often found on the Lighthouse end of Sanibel. Conch, Junonia, Lightning Whelk, Cockle, Scallops, Murex, Tulip, Olive, Coquina, are among the species you can expect to find, as well as some that are extremely rare. Other beaches in the area include:
- Causeway Beaches: Great for swimming, fishing, windsurfing and picnicking. Pull your vehicle right to waters edge. There is no fee when you park on the causeway beach. Located along both sides of the road. Restrooms are available.
- Lighthouse Beach & Fishing Pier: This is the site of our historic functioning lighthouse. Located on the eastern tip of Sanibel, wrapping around to the bay side. This is where the t-dock-fishing pier is and a boardwalk nature trail winding through native wetlands. Turn left on Periwinkle Way from Causeway Road.
- Gulfside City Park: Picnic tables and seclution welcome you, located mid-island on Algiers Lane (mid-island).
- Tarpon Bay Beach: Easy parking for recreational vehicles, and a short hike from the parking lot to the beach. Located at the south end of Tarpon Bay Rd. at West Gulf Drive (mid-island).
- Bowman's Beach: Pristine and quiet, you won't find any hotels here. Park and walk over a bridge to secluded white beach. There is an outdoor shower located at this beach. This is the only beach with barbecue grills. Located off Sanibel-Captiva Rd., turn left on Bowman's Beach Rd (up-island).
- Turner Beach (Blind Pass): Located on both the Sanibel and Captiva side of the Blind Pass Bridge, this beach is popular with shellers and fishermen. Signs warn against swimming because of the swift currents. Located on Sanibel-Captiva Rd. at Blind Pass Bridge. No restrooms on the Sanibel side.
- It's important to note that there are some specific rules and recommendations regarding seashells of which you should be aware. For more information about collecting seashells, please visit the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce Shelling Page.
What Are Some of the Major Attractions in the Area?
It would require an entire web site to cover the things you can do and places you can go on Captiva and Sanibel Islands. The islands offer the nature seeker a vacation like no other. Considered to be two of the world's best beachcombing spots, it's not uncommon to find rare and unusual seashells on either island. Florida wildlife includes birds, alligators, raccoons, fish and much more. The islands also offer several challenging 18-hole golf courses. Adults will find plenty of ways to relax and children will discover abundant ways to keep themselves occupied.
The "Ding" Darling Wildlife Refuge on nearby Sanibel Island is probably the most well known wildlife destination in the area. The refuge consists of over 7,000 acres of mangrove estuary, populated with large resident flocks of neo-tropical wading birds and migrating waterfowl, as well as alligators, otters and others.
Captiva is visited by hundreds of bird species, some nesting on the shoreline. Protected birds like Plovers have been spotted nesting in North Captiva. Other birds include Bald Eagles, Osprey, Terns of many varieties, Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, Kingfishers, Black Oystercatchers, Skimmers, Brown Pelican, White Pelican, Great Blue Herons and more. Manatees can also be found in these waters. In fact, Pine Island Sound is a traditional stomping ground for Florida's manatees, who spend most of their time feeding and resting. They graze for food along rivers, coastal bottoms and the water's surface. Manatees have been known to hold their breath for as long as 20 minutes, but usually surface every 5 minutes to breathe.
Friendly dolphins abound in the seas surrounding Captiva. They regularly swim right up to the docks. A Dolphin Watch and Wildlife Cruise is the perfect family outing. There is nothing more exciting than to see these beautiful marine mammals jump in the boat's wake. You can visit secluded Florida state park beaches that are only accessible by boat. Most tours feature food, drinks, even live music. Here are some of the attractions from which to choose:
- The J.N. "Ding" Darling Nature Reserve on Sanibel Island, just minutes from Captiva. This is a must-see for wild life viewing. Bike, kayak or take a guided tour.
- Sanibel/Captiva Conservation Center
- Sanibel Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge
- Captiva Island Cruises offer nature, sunset and lunch cruises to other Islands like Cabbage Key, Useppa, Boca Grande and others.
- Captiva Island Fishing or pleasure
- Boat rentals at Jensen's Marina
- Sailing lessons and charters at New Moon Sailing.
- Captiva Island Bike Rentals include Billy's Rentals, on-line ordering, will deliver bikes to your door.
- Kayak, canoe, sunfish, windsurfer rentals
- In Captiva Island 's charming village - Yolo Jim's - parasailing, biking, golf carts, in-line skates and JetSki rentals.
- Captiva Island Restaurants, wonderful options some with live entertainment and dancing, are within a 5-minute walk from your door.
- Jungle Drums Gallery and nearby island theme shops like Beach Stuff and H2O Outfitters.
- Golf is available at your choice of two 18-hole courses, the Dunes and Beachview, just minutes away on nearby Sanibel Island.
- Captiva Island Shelling is wonderful! Visit the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum - popular for all ages.
- Sanibel Island's Big Arts Performing Arts Center for concerts and stage performances.
A Note About Sanibel and Captiva Islands
Historians believe that Sanibel and Captiva were formed as one island about six thousand years ago as sediment that rose from the sea, after being shaped by centuries of storm activity. Sanibel and Captiva feature a history rich in intrigue and adventure. From native Indians, to Spanish explorers, infamous pirates and brave pioneers, the islands have many a fascinating tale to tell.
The area has some of the warmest winter temperatures in the country. Captiva has lush tropical vegetation and is cooled by gentle sea breezes. Sanibel is a much larger island and has unusually strict conservation laws to preserve its vegetation, birds, and other wildlife — including the island's bald eagles, tortoises, manatees, dolphins, alligators and American crocodiles. About 70% of Sanibel is now reserved for wildlife or otherwise protected from development. Captiva also has the same strict laws with a significant portion of the island (about 1/3) preserved as wildlife refuge.
Captiva was recently rated #1 in Romantic Beaches in the U.S.. With endless walkways, clean white beaches, fine dining, entertainment, shopping, and personal services just minutes away, you're never far from your destinations. And, Amarelo Sol is the ideal "home base" to experience all the islands have to offer.
Didn't Find the Answer Here?
Additional information regarding Amarelo Sol and Captiva Island can be found on our Home page. You can also view larger pictures on our Photos & Images page. Or, we invite you to contact us directly — we're more than happy to answer any questions you may have!