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Getting Wild & Seeing Wildlife: A Girl’s Getaway to ‘Tween Waters Inn

Two frisky manatees
Karaoke crazed!

My gal pals and I plan our annual summer getaway to a place where we can park the car and walk everywhere we need to go. So ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa on Captiva Island made the perfect match this year. An easy stroll up the beach takes you to all the island’s shops, restaurants, and bars. But truth be told, we only left the resort once. We found all the entertainment we needed right on property.

That started the afternoon we arrived. I walked out on our balcony overlooking the bay and noticed a swirling disturbance that I immediately recognized as manatees mating – a summer romance ritual not uncommon to the islands. Those frisky manatees! They went at it for the entire weekend right off the sandy shore. I was able to get close enough to snap a couple of quick pictures (I kind of felt I was invading their privacy).

At nightfall, another kind of show grabbed our attention at Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille. It was Wednesday, Karaoke Night, and that usually means trouble. That third cocktail inevitably does it – lubricates our vocal chords and numbs our awareness of our lack of talent. So Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right, I May Be Crazy” seemed appropriate enough.

Following our usual pattern, the second day we spent in quieter pursuits – beaching, shopping, and a lovely dinner at Captiva House. Then a night-cap toast from our balcony to those feisty, amorous, and always loveable manatees – undoubtedly a highlight of our visit.

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Shopping for Summer on Captiva Island, Florida

Pelican’s Roost puts the tropical in your closet.

Since summer is year-round at ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa, you can find the best stock of warm-weather fashions, accessories, home décor, and supplies in its two retail shops and in one-of-a-kind boutiques in “downtown Captiva.”

I like to start at the resort’s Pelican’s Roost Sportswear, bayside at the marina. It’s like a mini department store. I head for the upstairs women’s clothing section, because I’m a big fan of Jams World shirts and dresses, and I also love the Brighton footwear and fun Wallaroo hats. Surprises lurk in every corner, such as whimsical wall clocks and bags that are “Feeling Nauti.”

Whimsical clocks at Pelican’s Roost

Of course there are men’s fashions also – name brands such as Royal Robbins, Fishware, Sperry, and Reef that fit the ‘Tween Waters salty lifestyle.

Downstairs you will find kids’ wear, swimsuits, and shelves full of practical necessities and fishing and boating sundries.

Next stop, T.H. Osprey, a delightful segue between Captiva House and Crow’s Nest restaurants. It is literally stuffed with stuff. And I mean good stuff.

Here’s where you will find a gift for everyone on your list – from the cat sitter to the grandkids. Buy her some SeaJewels toiletries or a clever Vinbrella (an umbrella in the shape of a wine bottle). Thrill them with sea-themed kids books or an animal puppet. And don’t forget a ‘Tween Waters Tervis Tumbler or a seashell wreath for yourself.

INNSIDER TIP: Score a free pina colada with the purchase of a logo Tervis Tumbler.
Vinbrellas at T.H. Osprey

 

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Getting Silly with Girlfriends at ‘Tween Waters’ Crab Races on Captiva Island

As much fun as you can have with hermit crabs
As much fun as you can have with hermit crabs

I had taken my son and friends to the crab races at ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa a time or two when they were young. Adopting and naming a hermit crab, then cheering it on in a race to the finish line: What’s a kid not to love about that?

That would have been the family-skewed races that take place at 6 p.m. every Monday and Thursday. The races take a hiatus the month of September, and will put the pedal down again starting Oct. 3, 2016.

We caught the last one of the season on Thursday, Aug. 18. This was my first adult-rated race, which started at 9 p.m. Three girlfriends joined me at the Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille for some pre-race munchies and cocktails. The season’s finale meant a big, noisy crowd – many of whom arrived super early to take one of the limited trackside seats around the round table.

I had always wondered how the adults race could get any more, well “racy,” than the family one. Commissioner Tim, who has been commandeering the races for more than 30 years, has a sarcastic, sassy sense of humor, but his witty double-entendres luckily escape the comprehension of young ones.

The fun gets a little rowdier and naughtier at the 9 p.m. show, but still the same tomfoolery, kazoo blowing, and good-natured taunting as the earlier one. Plus half the proceeds from crab “rental” ($5 each for the adult show) benefits the United Way. Good fun for a good cause.

Commissioner Tim explains the rules before the races start.
Commissioner Tim explains the rules before the races start.
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Boys to Men, This One’s for You

Whether you’re in need of a mancation or seeking some quality time with your family, ‘Tween Waters Inn has just what you need.

We’ve Got Your Back

How does a Deep Tissue Massage sound? (The answer is AHHHHH.) There is nothing better to relieve soreness, and the trained masseuses at ‘Tween Waters Spa work magic. And, have you ever had a massage of your feet and calves, and some buffing and trimming on those manly toes? It’s called a pedicure, but no one has to know. My brother says that pedicures are the best kept secret – he loves them, and he’s 6’5” and 285lbs. You want to tell him he’s wrong?

For the Golfer

Tee it up at the 18-hole championship Sanibel Island Golf Club. You’ll even receive a 10% discount when you show your room key from ‘Tween Waters Inn.

Reel Fun

If you love fishing (and who doesn’t?), ‘Tween Waters Inn can hook you up. You can rent your own boat or book a trip with a captain who knows where the fish like to hang out.

Hot Tubs

It may not be a time machine but it can take you back to stress-free times. Ease on in and bubble your cares away. There are two hot tubs to choose from on the pool deck.

Game On

If there’s a game on TV, you can catch it at the Crow’s Nest, along with your favorite cold beverage.

Sharp Dressed Man

Clean shirt, new shoes…you know the song, but did you know The Pelican’s Roost is filled with top quality clothing? This onsite shop has all kinds of nautical clothes and accessories.

Pump You Up

You won’t have to miss a single workout, if that’s your thing. You’ll find your favorite equipment in the Fitness Center. Or, just chill by the pool (oh wait, that’s my thing)!

So, take a break from the bbq, the honey-do lists, and car repairs, and get yourself over here. And to all the dads out there, Happy Father’s Day.

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Plan To Stay Cool When The Sunshine Is The Brightest!

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Staying cool’ around the resort when the sunshine is bright — is a vital skill or perhaps, even an art.  

Many ‘Tween Waters Inn guests on Captiva Island visiting Southwest Florida have ‘sunshine’ at the top of their list for ‘why’ they travel here to spend their spare time. With so many things to do outdoors my husband, Eric and I know first-hand how easy it is to get too much sun, too fast and find ourselves looking for places and things to do while we cool down a little bit.

Consider some of these good ideas offered from my own personal experience, for staying cooler around the resort from morning until sunset:

  • Walk through the lush vegetation areas to get around the resort and stay cool under shady trees and roof lines.
  • Visit the pool early morning or late afternoon when temps are the coolest all day and it’s the perfect time to start a tan.
  • Pack and wear your stylish hats, or pick up a new ones in the Pelican’s Roost Boutique near the dock entrance of the Marina.
  • Umbrella spots beside the pool are more likely to be open when the pool deck is less busy and the sun is lower in the sky.
  • Morning is the time to reserve a shady chaise on the beach and to simply take it easy hanging out beside the sand and surf.
  • Wear shorts, skirts, light fabrics, t-shirts and sandals anytime, anywhere and dress up only if it suits your beachwear fancy.
  • Remember that the Oasis Pool Bar offers a shady spot all day where you can chill, sip cold drinks, make friends and sit beside the pool.
  • It’s also the place to enjoy lunch or order it ‘to go’ and take lunch back to your air-conditioned room, suite or cottage you call home.
  • Early afternoon is a favorite time to relax on your private lanai where the temps are cooler when the sun is high in the sky.
  • Schedule favorite Spa appointments dedicated to your complete comfort and relaxation after you’ve been outside in the morning.
  • Afternoons are traditionally the tropical time for a brief siesta or nap when the temps are always the hottest outdoors all day.
  • Later in the day take your time exploring the quiet back bay waters paddling a rented canoe or kayak through the mangroves.
  • Make a reservation at the Captiva House restaurant first thing and look forward all day to a memorable dinner right around sunset.
  • After dinner share a night cap or even an impromptu fiesta at the Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille next door where having fun is popular.
  • Make it a habit in the evening to take a stroll down to the beach before bed when it’s cool, breezy and the sand is lit by the moon.

At ‘Tween Waters Inn when you get over heated you have the Gulf of Mexico waters and the resort pool to cool down in anytime. Then you can take it easy while you make a decision about what to do next.

Most importantly, stay cool and enjoy!

 

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Race In for Fun: Captiva Crab Races

Honestly, my kids are not enthusiastic about many things, but there is ONE thing in particular that gets them excited every time—the Captiva Crab Races.

Every Monday and Thursday at 6 pm at the onsite Crow’s Nest restaurant, you can join the silliness and help raise money for the United Way. (There is also a show at 9pm but it is for adults only.)

No reservations are required but you will need cash to choose a rental crab and you’ll have to give it a name. (Since ‘SpongeBob’ was already taken, my son named his, um, “Stinky Britches.”)

Choosing the right crab from the bowl is tricky! You want one that will leave the other hermits in the dust, so don’t let the sleepers fool you. After all, there are awesome prizes at stake. You can win goodies like a Captiva Crab Races t-shirt, the ever-popular kazoo, and cash.

Once everyone is signed up, the qualifying races begin. Your host, Commissioner Tim, sounds the kazoo, lifts the custom crab starting gate (a wire basket), fires his trusty squirt gun, and they’re off!! You will be on the edge of your seat cheering!

During the crab races, the full menu is not available, but you will find items like pizza, pasta and chicken fingers. There will be something to please most everyone.

The Crab Races at ‘Tween Waters Inn have been a tradition for 25 years and have raised over $180,000 for charity. Commissioner Tim will tell you, “It’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever seen,” but I bet you laugh. And Stinky Britches came in 3rd place –we donated the winnings and kept the t-shirt!

Innsider Tip: Arrive early! During season, get there at 5pm to secure a table and start the crab registration process.

A quick thank you to my friend, Lauren Tjaden and her husband Paul, for the video.

My kids LOVE the Captiva Crab Races. Come early for a seat.
My kids LOVE the Captiva Crab Races. Come early for a seat.
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Host Your Special Events Confidently In Our Island Setting

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As the new year begins in 2015, this is the perfect time to consider the upcoming holidays, birthdays, weddings or the monumental anniversaries on your calendar this year.

Whether you have either personal or a professional dates to plan, ‘Tween Waters Inn Resort & Spa has a variety of options to complement your most important occasions. On a property the size of ours located on a rare expanse between beach and bay, we assure you that your creative possibilities are many.

Overnight accommodations include cozy cottages, suites and rooms in upscale settings beside the Gulf of Mexico, on the bay near the Marina, and in close proximity to the Pool. Special event options for meals or mingling, held anywhere around the resort can be formal or casual, in both indoor and outdoor places suited for larger or more intimate gatherings. When your party calls for a luxurious Spa environment, remember we have that covered, too.

  • Our private beach on the Gulf of Mexico has a reputation for offering one of the most romantic sunsets in the world.
  • Your special events like a wedding on the beach or a special dinner are always possible, along with intimate picnics for two or more.
  • In the Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille entertainment and fun is a part of the menu, and there are many local artists who will perform music of all kinds, just for you and your party.
  • Gourmet food selections are expertly prepared and served by the chef and staff overseeing the elegant Captiva House restaurant everyday.
  • Private parties looking overlooking the peaceful, back bay waters and Marina are hosted in the more secluded, Ding Darling Boardroom.

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Invite your immediate or extended family, a close group of friends, business colleagues, an entire destination wedding party, or just yourself and a significant other. Your special requests will be fulfilled in an exceptional fashion that you will remember in the fondest way. Allow us the opportunity to care for your most important guests and to see to the details and planning of your most important occasions when you call.

Throughout the new year ‘Tween Waters Inn will be here when the time is right and we are ready to make your event happen. Until then we hope you will simply consider the possibilities and smile, knowing you can relax when making plans must be the finest. Enjoy!

 

 

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Culinary Gladness Served With A Side Of Sparkling Gulf Beach

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The Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille offers a setting to remember everyday and for every occasion.

In the late afternoon, it’s a warm and rich environment filled with scrumptious smells, light conversation and music. During the day, a wash of sunshine fills the room from the windows located next to the booths with a view of the beach.

At night when things get dark outside, the Crow’s Nest is dedicated to entertaining guests who come from near and far, ready to settle in and share some fun with old and new friends they make. Dinner the night we visited was intentionally before sunset, and the setting was quiet, relaxed and easygoing. The menu offered us all kinds of delightful options: See for yourself the array of choices… Our dinner included the Captiva Favorite: Gulf Shrimp ’N’ Grits, along with a Fresh Grouper Sandwich served on a homemade bun.

Did you see the creative, culinary madness on the menu for yourself? Our only care was to select ‘that one choice’ we wanted to enjoy from so many that sounded so good. From soups to salads, shrimp, grouper, and lobster, ahi tuna, bruschetta, mozzarella or wings, these are all available as appetizers and intended to get your party started.

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All this and a beautiful view of the Gulf of Mexico.

Munch down on your favorite sandwich served the ‘Tweenie way. Get adventurous with choices like mahi mahi, roasted chicken, a pot pie, the fresh catch of the day, unique pizza, ribs or a ribeye. Then top it off with any of the unique options served by the Crow’s Nest bar.

If you prefer, come for just coffee and dessert because your options for both, we can report, are definitely worth it. Most importantly, take a stroll after you eat down to the beach and enjoy!

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Unpack and Unwind: Take a Walk Around the Resort

Carefree Couples Innsider Walk on the Beach

You and your ‘other half’ have arrived and it’s finally time to relax. With hours of enjoyment ahead of you take off your watches because now is the time to chill and get familiar or reacquainted with the unique, ‘Tween Waters Inn you are delighted to call home while you spend time on Captiva Island.

Begin by taking a carefree stroll together around the property that stretches famously from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bay. Get some sun on your faces and a little wind in your hair while discovering the places you both want to locate and return to during your visit.

  • Head to the Oasis Pool Bar on the south side of the resort, meet the bartender, order a fruit drink, take a peak at the Bar’s restaurant menu, and spend a few moments taking in the sights.
  • Across the pool deck you’ll see the children’s area, hot tubs and the poolside Tween’s Beans shop where specialty coffee and frozen treats are served all day. Visit here also to pickup the most popular and necessary pool items ranging from cotton t-shirts to a new pair of water wings.
  • Look up to the 2nd floor to find the Spa At ’Tween Waters. Take the stairs to enter the Spa or the Resort’s Fitness Center. Make appointments if you like, and also look for the quiet lanai located beside the Spa. It’s an out of the way place where you can relax for a few minutes protected from the sun almost anytime during the day.
  • As you leave the Spa go west and you’ll be walking by the Shuffleboard and Bocce Courts, as well as directly toward the resort’s Private Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Go all the way to the beach now or save this promising adventure for another carefree walk.
  • From the entrance of the resort off Captiva Drive, look for Captiva House restaurant. This is where guests dine graciously for breakfast, and again during the evenings in gourmet-style. Step inside to make dinner reservations and browse the gift shop. Make a note of the outside seating area here that offers a place to share a meal or simply take it easy in the shade under cover. 
    INNSIDER TIP: Guests who stay two or more nights receive a $100-value resort coupon book, where they enjoy $5 off a $30 purchase or more at both T.H. Osprey Gift Shop and the Pelican’s Roost — ‘Tween Waters Inn’s on-property gift shops.
  • You have also arrived at the famous Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille located right next door. This is ‘the place’ for enjoying happy hour in the late afternoon or to take in early evening and late night entertainment along with lots of fun.
  • From the Crow’s Nest walk to the east side of the property to savor a view of the ‘Tween Waters Marina and the resort’s beautiful Bay view. Find the Canoe & Kayak Club near the Boat Ramp, then the bayside Snack Center and the Pelican’s Roost Boutique near the water offering the finest, tropical fashions you’ll want to wear.
  • The last thing to sight on this unwind tour is the picnic table with a thatched roof. This special spot overlooks the ’Tween Waters Inn view of the Bay, and is located near a charcoal grill guests may use during their visit.

You’ve now strolled past all the various buildings and secluded cottages on the property. It was a relaxing walk you will likely call on for quick reference during your ‘Tween Waters Inn visit. Best of all you are a short distance from the pool, again. This will work out great if one of you thinks it’s time for a snack or to take a carefree swim. Have fun!

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