Getting High Over Captiva.

‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa is excited to announce that now, we can take your Captiva beach vacation experience to new heights!

That’s right, parasailing has come to ‘Tween Waters Inn — and getting high over Captiva is as easy as making your reservation at Captiva Water Sports at our Marina!

Rates are $90 per person (single) or $80 per person (two or three people), and up to three persons can take flight at the same time. Captiva Water Sports will make sure you’re safe and secure, and it’s as easy as sitting back and taking off — up, up, up above the Gulf of Mexico to a panoramic, breathtaking, beautiful and perfectly peaceful view of our islands that compares to, well, truly nothing else! Note: “bottoms up” dip in the Gulf waters upon return no extra charge.

Just click here to book your parasail adventure now or call 239.472.6336 for the time of your life!




Vacation Upgrades Worth Springing For

Whenever I’m planning our family vacations, I try to find a few things we can do to make them extra special. You know, those added little things that make the difference between ordinary and extraordinary. At ‘Tween Waters Inn, here are my top picks of extras and upgrades worth springing for:

Beach Cabanas

Sure, you can hang out on the beach and just sit on your towel, but imagine having your own beach cabana. It’s the ideal place for sitting, reading, relaxing, lounging, or napping. Rent one for the entire day for $15.

Souvenir Tervis Tumblers

Tervis tumblers keep your cold drinks cold, and your hot drinks hot. They’re also indestructible, making them the perfect souvenir. While onsite, purchase a customized ‘Tween Waters Inn Tervis for $19.95 +tax. As a bonus, each comes with a coupon for a free piña colada. (Innsider tip: avoid getting sunscreen on your Tervis; it will leave a cloudy mark.)

Upgraded WiFi

Yes, you get free WiFi when you stay at ‘Tween Waters Inn, which is great for browsing. But, if you’re a screen junkie, or you have kids with smart devices, you’ll want to upgrade. High speed Internet packages start at $7.95 a day. Multi-day packages are available.

Larger Accommodations

If you love extra space, a room upgrade is worth it. The suites are so roomy; they’re perfect for families. And, because they have a kitchen, you can actually save money. As a mom, I can tell you that having a separate living area and multiple bedrooms is priceless.

What’s your favorite extra worth springing for on vacation? Tell us on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you.


Nighttime Fun at ‘Tween Waters

My boys tend to be more night owls than early birds, so we’re always looking for things to do in the evening. Luckily, there are several activities (even on a barrier island) to keep your crew happy after the sun goes down.

Karaoke at Crow’s Nest

Got a Lady Gaga in the making, or a Bruno Mars wanna-be? Every Wednesday, from 8:30pm till 11:30pm, you and your kids can take the stage and belt out your favorite tunes. A prompter displays the words and the crowd will cheer you on. This is fun for all ages.

Meteor Showers

Being on a barrier island has its advantages, especially during meteor showers. Bring a blanket, plop yourself on the sand, and look up. Several are scheduled from August 25 to December 24, 2016.

Moon Set

Just as the sun sets, so does the moon – and it is quite a sight. Click the attached link for a schedule, then head to the beach to watch the magic.

Big Arts Theater

‘Tween Waters Inn is a proud sponsor of this 414-seat performing arts center on Sanibel, and their lineup this fall and winter includes Monday Movie Nights. Plus, A Christmas Carol begins in December.

Astronomy Cruise

What will you see? The Big Dipper? The Seven Sisters? Jupiter and Mars? Budding astronomers will love this nighttime astronomy cruise from Captiva Cruises. Prices are currently $45 for adults and $35 for kids 2-12.

Adult Fun

Crow’s Nest Beach Bar and Grille is THEE place for late night dancing. Stop by and enjoy the live music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Have a great evening – and may you see lots of shooting stars!


I Spy Wildlife on Captiva and Sanibel

Do your kids love animals? You just won’t believe all the wildlife you can see on Captiva and Sanibel, even right onsite at ‘Tween Waters Inn. Here are some of my family’s favorites along with a few tips on where you’re likely to see them:

Snowy Egrets

These snowy, white birds have bright yellow feet and love to walk the shoreline. You’ll also see them on fishing piers, docks, or anywhere they can steal a quick meal.


Look for perfect swirls in the water from their wide, paddle tails, or spy their whiskered noses breathing above the waterline. Spy them at the onsite marina or while kayaking. In winter, hundreds gather at Manatee Park.


See that big bunch of sticks, high above the wooden pathway near the ‘Tween Waters front desk? It’s an osprey nest! Look for them along San-Cap Road, too. These birds of prey are skilled fisherman and carry off their catch in their talons. A pair lives at Sanibel Lighthouse, listen for their screechy chirps.

Gopher Tortoises

In Florida, gopher tortoises are a threatened species, so spotting one is exciting. They love walking near the road, so be alert. You can help one cross the street if you see that it’s in danger. Watch this video to learn more.

Marsh Rabbits

Believe it or not, these brown, cotton tail bunnies are good swimmers. Do the four-mile Wildlife Drive at J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge (by car or bike) in the morning or at sunset and you’ll see them roadside.


Head to Wildlife Drive at Ding Darling to see this Florida must-see. Look for a dark snout (and some of their back) sticking out of the water, and swimming slowly. Gators love sunning themselves on the water’s edge; rangers will rope off this area with yellow tape. Keep your distance.


Frolicking and jumping, these mammals are magical! Look for them at the onsite marina or swimming right off the beach. Or, take a dolphin tour and see them up close.

Sea Turtles

Loggerheads are most common, and late spring to October, they come here to nest. Females crawl up the beach at night, lay eggs, cover them, and return to sea. In 60-75 days, hatchlings emerge. If you see a big turtle at night, observe from a distance and don’t shine a light. You can also spy tracks in the morning (see photo)! So far this year, 163 nests on Captiva and 504 on Sanibel have been recorded. Nests are marked with sticks and yellow tape. Please do not approach (but you can take photos)!


I hope you get to see all of these island favorites, and more. Oh, and look for bright pink Roseate Spoonbills while you’re here, too. (They hang out on Wildlife Drive at low tide.)


Celebrating Earth Day at ‘Tween Waters Inn

'Tween Waters Inn Captiva Island Pool Hotel
Geothermal technology is quietly at work while you enjoy the pool at ‘Tween Waters Inn.

Although we only celebrate Earth Day once a year, every day at ‘Tween Waters Inn there are lots of green initiatives taking place. Some have even nicknamed the resort “Green” Waters Inn due to its many ecological efforts.

For starters, the Olympic-size pool is heated and actually cooled (in the summer) using geothermal technology. “We can keep our pool a consistent 84 to 86 degrees year round while benefiting the environment and reducing costs,” said Chief Operating Officer, Doug Babcock. Geothermal is non-polluting and much cleaner, too. The system has been in use for nearly five years.

Guests can also do their part to “go green” by choosing to do little things throughout their stay. To conserve water and energy, guests are encouraged to use their bath towels and bed linens more than once. Recycled cards can be found by the beds and faucets advising of the program.
Throughout the property, you’ll find LED lighting and reminders to keep porch lights off. This time of year, keeping porch lights off and window blinds closed at night is an island ordinance, designed to protect nesting sea turtles from becoming disoriented. April 20th is the start of sea turtle nesting season, so it’s “Lights Out for Sea Turtles.”

During sea turtle nesting season, keep porch lights out and blinds closed at night (they need to find moonlight on the water, not false light on shore).

If you’re looking for something fun and free to do with your kids to celebrate Earth Day, head to the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Saturday, April 18, 2015. From 10 am to 3 pm, kids can talk trash, make crafts (soda bottle flower pots and plastic bottle jelly fish to name a few), there’s even free bike rentals if you pick up at Tarpon Bay Explorers. For more info on Earth Day at the Refuge, click the link or call 239-472-1100 ext. 236.

Stay green!


Coffees, Ice Cream, Smoothies & More at ‘Tween’s Beans Coffee Shop

This is Amin, one of the baristas at 'Tween's Beans Coffee Shop.
This is Amin, one of the baristas at ‘Tween’s Beans Coffee Shop.

Last weekend, I met my brother Jeff and his family at ‘Tween Waters Inn for a little rest and relaxation. We were catching up over cheeseburgers at the Oasis Pool Bar (sitting at that hidden high top table mentioned in Michele Anderson’s blog), enjoying the warm, March weather when the afternoon sleepies started to set in. The cure? A walk across the pool deck to ‘Tween’s Beans Coffee Shop.

Walk on over for daily happy hour and more at 'Tween's Beans Coffee Shop.
Walk on over for daily happy hour and more at ‘Tween’s Beans Coffee Shop.

This is so much more than the place to pick up and return your pool towels. Think of it as your window of great opportunity. The menu features about 40 choices of milkshakes, fruit smoothies, and illy Italian Gourmet Coffees and Teas. And for those of us adults who prefer a little mo in our Jo, your friendly barista can kick it up with a shot of your favorite top shelf liqueur. (Frangelica for me, please.)

My son Devon and his cousins get an afternoon pick-me-up at 'Tween's Beans.
The cousins get an afternoon pick-me-up at ‘Tween’s Beans.

For the kids or kids at heart, sip a frozen Banana Split, a Burst O’Berry or a Cookie Monster (made with ice cream, Oreos, and chocolate syrup). Baristas Chelsey and Amin will take great care of you and are more than happy to make you a custom creation – just ask.

Did someone say Happy Hour? You bet. Every day from 3:30-5:30, you’ll find ‘Tween’s Beans drink specials. You’ll also find an assortment of ice cream treats, along with shirts, hats, beach toys, and those Tervis tumblers that I love so much. (Seriously, they are the ideal souvenir – they’re indestructible and they’re guaranteed for life!) So, stop by ‘Tween’s Beans Coffee Shop, and see what fun you can stir up.

My brother Jeff and his family snagged the corner table at Oasis Pool Bar for lunch at 'Tween Waters Inn.
My brother Jeff snagged the corner table at Oasis Pool Bar.

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.

‘Tween Waters Inn Tree Lighting Ceremony

Christmas Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony

Can we do this every year, Mama?” asked my youngest son as we stood on the beach with sand between our toes. It was 2012, the fiery sun had just set and the sky was turning dark — which meant it was finally time for the grand lighting of the ‘Tween Waters Inn Christmas tree! Families were cheering, live music was playing, and kids were dancing right out of their colorful Crocs. The excitement was contagious!

If you’ve never experienced the ‘Tween Waters Inn Tree Lighting Ceremony, it happens each year on the Friday night after Thanksgiving (and it’s not just the huge Christmas tree that officially lights up, it’s all the holiday lights at ‘Tween Waters Inn), you simply won’t ever want to be anywhere else on that evening. Ever.

The entire event has a Disney-like quality with the synchronization of music and lights, the festive atmosphere, stately palms wrapped in green twinkling lights, the jolly man himself (Santa in a golf cart!), and a sea of joyful faces. Oh, and the fireworks! This is why my answer was, “YES, son! We can definitely do this every year!”

Christmas Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
Be a part of the magic at the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony at ‘Tween Waters Inn.

‘Tween Waters Inn annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will happen on Friday, November 28, 2014. The fun begins at 4pm and culminates at 7pm with their fantastic fireworks finale. This is a free event and it’s open to the public.

If you can’t make it to the Tree Lighting Ceremony, plan to visit any weekend in December to partake of Captiva Holiday Village. They’ll be golf cart parades, a lighted boat parade, sunset arias (live opera) on the beach, caroling, and much more.

‘Tis the season to experience all the sparkling wonders of Captiva and ‘Tween Waters Inn. Hope to see you there!


Tween Waters Inn Christmas Holiday
Don’t miss the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at ‘Tween Waters Inn.

Fall Fun Around ‘Tween Waters

There is so much happening this month on Captiva and at ‘Tween Waters Inn. First of all, October is the start of the fall season and that brings great rates (like stay two or more nights Sunday through Thursday and get an additional free night)! October is also when the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge has its annual “Ding Darling Days.” It’s an entire week of FREE eco-activities like tram tours, kids crafts, hot dogs, life-size puppets with Heather Henson (Muppets’ creator Jim Henson’s daughter), scavenger hunts, wildlife encounters, and much, much more.

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of Ding Darling Days at the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge and ‘Tween Waters is proud to be a sponsor.

The ‘Tween Waters Inn is proud to be a “Great Egret Level” Sponsor of this event – celebrating its 25th anniversary this year! You won’t want to miss it.

Since the 2014 theme for Ding Darling Days is “Let’s Go Outside,” I wanted to share some of my favorite family things to do outside right here at ‘Tween Waters Inn. Of course, you know that you can hang out at the beach, swim in the Gulf, hunt for seashells and frolic at the pool. But here are a few things you might not know about that will get your kids excited to get outdoors, especially in this gorgeous fall weather.

Rentals like canoes, single and double kayaks, and even motorboats are available at the onsite marina. You can paddle in the bay and see all kinds of wildlife, including manatees, especially this time of year. These gentle giants will sometimes swim right alongside your watercraft! Keep your eyes open for dolphins, too. What a thrill!

Onsite rentals for canoes, kayaks, bike and motorboats are right onsite at 'Tween Waters Inn.
Onsite rentals for canoes, kayaks, bike and motorboats are right onsite at ‘Tween Waters Inn.

If you’d rather just sit back and let someone else do all the work, then Native Guides is for you (and me). Give them a call to schedule a few hours of fishing, snorkeling, shelling or a picnic on one of the out-islands—you just tell them what you’re interested in and they’ll make it happen. Best of all, it’s the same price for one person or six. It is truly an unforgettable way to spend time with your family—and oh that fall weather!

From my family to yours, we wish you a happy autumn and we hope to see you around Captiva soon.



How to Keep Cool with Hot Family Fun at ‘Tween Waters Inn

'Tween Waters Inn Captiva Island Pool Hotel

It’s summertime! For our family, that means it’s time for Michael and I to pack up the kids, and several bottles of sunscreen, and head to the ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa. With its location on a barrier island that jets into the Gulf, the average high temperature is 85°F, but come June, July and August, that number creeps up to about 90°. Although the Gulf breezes keep things comfortable, there are plenty of ways to keep your cool around the resort.

Poolside, Gulf side, bay side – what’s your pleasure? After hitting the free breakfast buffet, my boys Dustin and Devon beg us to take them over to the beach to swim and hunt for shells. The Gulf of Mexico is warm and welcoming in summer and depending on the wind, you could find yourself jumping waves or floating on shimmering water as smooth as glass. Many times, we’ve seen dolphins right off shore. Love that!

If your gang is more adventurous, you can rent stand-up paddleboards and kayaks right onsite and paddle on the bayside. You might just find yourself alongside a manatee, or three.

Fresh water fans can head to the Olympic-sized pool that just happens to have a full-service pool bar and grill at the deep end. Here’s an Innsider tip: purchase a ‘Tween Waters Tervis tumbler at the resort and have it filled at the pool bar with your favorite frozen concoction for free. Devon prefers a strawberry daiquiri, virgin of course. Tervis tumblers (non-breakable, guaranteed-for-life drinkware) make the perfect souvenir. They’re easy to pack, lightweight and you’ll use them forever.

The newest addition to the pool deck is the shaded toddler wading pool. Your little ones can splash for hours without fear of sunburn. Now that’s a bright idea.

Sunny regards,