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Summer’s Here, Get Packing!

Wondering what to pack for your summer vacation to ‘Tween Waters Inn & Resort? Here is a list of must-have beach essentials when visiting Captiva and Sanibel. You’ll also find ‘innsider’ advice as to what items you can buy/borrow/rent while you’re here, so you can lighten your load.

No matter if you’re packing for yourself or your entire family, here are the beach essentials:

  • Swimsuits
  • Sunscreen
  • Beach shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Bug spray
  • Shelling bag

If you’re traveling by plane and can only carry 3 ounces of liquids, I’d suggest getting your sunscreen once you arrive, same for the bug spray. If they don’t sell shelling bags where you are, any plastic bag will do, or you can get a good mesh one while you’re here.

Things you don’t need to pack:

  • Beach towels. ‘Tween Waters Inn has super plush pool towels for guests’ use. Just present your room key.
  • Beach equipment. Things like umbrellas and chairs can be rented onsite, plus volleyballs can be checked out at the front desk. Tennis equipment, too.
  • Books. Purchase a $5 annual membership to the Captiva Memorial Library and you can check out the latest beach reads.

Things you can purchase onsite:

If you forget any of your beach essentials, no worries! You can purchase most anything at ‘Tween Waters Inn. The onsite boutique, The Pelican’s Roost, has a fantastic array of swimwear, beach shoes, resort wear, cover ups, hats and more…for men, women and children. (I purchased my all-time favorite beach shoes here, called Fit Kicks!)

Poolside at ‘Tween’s Beans, you can purchase useful items including googlesswim diaperskids toys and sunscreen – all just steps from your chaise lounger.

Need an all-terrain wheelchair? You can borrow one at no charge, for up to four hours, from the Sanibel Police Department by calling 239-472-3111.

Now, get packing, and I’ll see you on the beach!

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Rainy Day Guide to Captiva and Sanibel

You’re on a beach vacation – so what happens when it rains? Thunderstorms usually blow in fast and leave just as quickly on these barrier islands, but if the rain continues to fall, you can still have a great time with your kids. Here’s your Rainy Day Guide to Fun on Captiva and Sanibel:

In-room Movies

At ‘Tween Waters Inn, you can watch Pay-Per-View movies right in your room. You’ll find a variety of titles including new releases.

 

Island Cinema

First-run movies are shown in two theaters using state-of-the-art projection. Seats are super comfy but the space is small so they frequently sell out. Movies start late afternoon and early evening. Go early.

 

J.N. Ding Darling Visitor & Education Center

This is a family favorite. Many exhibits are hands-on (create an animal rubbing, press buttons and make things light up, touch bones, solve a mystery, and much more). Best of all, it’s FREE. Open every day at 9 am.

 

Wildlife Drive

For $5 per vehicle, explore a 4-mile winding road through the J.N. Ding Darling Refuge. (For $12 cash, buy a yearly pass.) You may see alligators, spoonbills, and manatees…from the comfort of your car. Closed on Fridays. Download the Ding Darling app for educational fun.

 

Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

With live tank talks at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm, and activities like a shell scavenger hunt, arts & crafts and Shell Bingo, this is a must-do, rain or shine. Don’t miss the life-size giant squid model (like you could miss that). Open every day.

Be Puzzled

Here are 1,000 reasons to stay inside. There’s a rather infamous jigsaw puzzle of “Sanibel & Captiva Islands” that you can purchase in the Osprey Gift Shop.

 

Public Library

Captiva has a public library around the corner from ‘Tween Waters Inn, but the one on Sanibel has a large children’s area complete with a rowboat (the S.L. Readmore). There is something for every age, including toddler time and craft day.

I hope your vacation is filled with sunshine and seashells, but if the skies open up and shower you with ‘liquid sunshine’, I hope you’ll enjoy some of my favorite rainy day island activities.

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