Living the top-rated life on Captiva Island at ‘Tween Waters Inn

Recently, Coastal Living magazine published its 2018 list of 20 Best Places to Live on the Coast. Captiva Island made the top 10. My only surprise at that was: It should have placed number one. But of course we’re talking about a board of “experts” who don’t know Captiva Island like I do. And the scope, after all, is worldwide.

IMHO opinion, Captiva Island tops out even if you can only live there for a week or three days. Especially if you are living it up at ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa, with its prime location balanced between Gulf of Mexico sunsets and Roosevelt Channel sunrises.

In that way and place, the sun dictates how you live on Captiva Island. I like to start with a morning coffee on the marina docks, where I can watch the bustle of morning boaters raring to get out on the water. Ospreys squawk and scold at all the commotion. Manatees and dolphins play undisturbed around the mangroves. Captiva Island comes alive.

In between, there are two swimming pools, a pool bar, a spa, tennis courts, and dining to see you to the other side: the Gulf side, where long beach walks, seashell hunts, and sandy snoozes bring you to the magnificent, near-religious finale of solar adieu. Sunrise, sunset. If that isn’t the way to live life to its fullest, what, I ask you, is?


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!




The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Here Is January!

During the winter season on Sanibel and Captiva Islands in Southwest Florida life is simply cool and as easy as a breeze.
Aside from the temps and the weather we enjoy every year at this time, life around the Islands also gets a little busier and a lot more fun. Because of the beautiful environment found from one end of the islands to the other, in January the last of our winter residents and neighbors that call the area home each year, arrive and settle into their homes and condos. The grocery stores get active, traffic increases for cars, bicycles and pedestrians, and the most popular restaurants are serving full houses during the winter season.
People are out and meeting each other. Outdoor eating is popular day or night while the temps are cooler. Talk to a fisherman or boat captain and you can learn about the fresh fish and seafood they are catching in season and how they love to have it prepared to eat.
This time of year we are seldom hot or over heated and therefore everyone seems more relaxed and comfortable in the midst of day-to-day activities and special outings. There are lots of people, families and couples here for shorter holiday visits. Smiles are up, and car windows are down. Locals are wearing light jackets and maybe socks. Visitors are enjoying the beach and the Gulf of Mexico, and likely getting an easy tan while the sun is not so strong.
The breeze picks up in winter, so trips around the islands and walks on the beach are not sweltering but cool and don’t require a hat except to keep your head warm sometimes. This means a long sleeved, cotton coverup with or without a hood is all you need to stay comfortable outside. Cardigans are the best because they are easier to take off or put back on as needed.
409660_480695841987647_698914864_nDon’t let the heightened activity fool you. The area is a paradise especially during the winter. Plus there are a lot of community events and activities to take in and things to do this time of year. Browse a couple of the local papers that are published weekly and you can get a quick idea of when and where things are happening. Art and artists, nature activities galore, great music, pubs, cafes, fine dining, premier shopping, local theater, clubs, and groups get active. Most weekends there is an annual event or a unique gathering planned and ready to add to your calendar.
Unique flowers and foliage bloom in the winter season here and many people find them interesting to learn more about. Animals get active early in the day and are spotted more often while they are seeking the sun to warm up. The golf courses get busy, as well. At night places like the Crow’s nest at ‘Tween Waters Inn feature music and entertainment along with dancing more nights each week.
When the days are cooler remember the temp outside is usually around the temperature of your air conditioning turned low after the day warms up. Find a place in the sun and out of the breeze to stay the warmest. Winter is a dry season for Florida and it seldom rains but if it does then go shopping. You won’t be disappointed by the kind of things that are available in the shops around town.
The very worst case scenario will be that it gets really chilly… or ‘burr it’s cold’ in island terms for just a little while and never for too long. So remember no matter what the exact temp is during your stay, everything is going to be alright.
It’s January here and it’s time to get outside and enjoy!

Identifying The Prize Shells In Your Bucket

When a shell is unbroken and naturally colorful, it’s considered a prize shell in my book.
The private beach at ‘Tween Waters Inn offers guests a beautiful stretch of shelling coastline on one of the most famous beaches in the world. You will find all kinds of shell species recognized as native to the Southwest Florida, Gulf of Mexico area. Best of all, shelling on Captiva, Sanibel, and other barrier islands in the area is as simple as walking along on a nearby beach or as adventurous as boating to an uninhabited island.
When the day is done, the bucket of shells you collect will include more or less of many common shells. While some are more prized than others, all of them may become your favorites. The Junonia shell with it’s bold, brown spotted pattern on a white shell with a distinctive spiral shape, once housed a live mollusk or sea snail creature inside. It has a reputation for being the Prize shell to find on local beaches. The Junonia is ‘the’ shell you just have to hold or pose with to capture a keepsake photo for all time.
My shell favorites like the Banded Tulip or the Lightening Welk found around the islands, are the ones I can count on finding most often. There’s also the Cat’s Paw, Turkey Wing, Auger, Cockle, Conch and Scallop. The Shark’s Eye Moon shell, Apple Murex and Olive. These are all the shells we can generally find without a doubt. My husband, Eric is enthusiastic about helping me find the beauties that come in all sizes and colors. The feature photo for this post includes many of the shells I named.
For lots more information visit the popular, world-famous website that was created by island resident, Pam Rambo. Here you can find photos and descriptions for the shells named above and so many more you are likely to find. Check with the Front Desk and the staff can guide you to exciting shelling boat trips, the Shell Museum and of course lots of stores. And remember, most importantly be sure to enjoy!
Photo of a live Fighting Conk shell temporarily on the beach and destined to go back into the water. 

Savoring Your Island Favorites And Relaxing Go Hand In Hand

frozen_margaritaGetting away from it all, visiting new or familiar places, a little fresh air and simply taking it easy does wonders for an appetite that may have been sagging.

Visitors to the Islands often report that they start to let go of their stress while traveling along the Sanibel Causeway and taking in the beautiful views. It’s only natural that an appetite for their favorite foods always seems to follow as they get settled in for a visit.

On Sanibel & Captiva Islands food options are numerous with so many unusual island places and menus to enjoy. Ask the locals for popular suggestions and in no time, I know from experience that the hamburgers and grouper sandwiches served at Tween-Waters Inn are sure to be recommended as the best around the islands.

We all know that the hamburger is a favorite food for almost everyone, add a fresh grouper sandwich available in SWFL unlike so many other places and the combination is a perfect choice for land lubbers and sea farers alike, adults and children. Make this suggestion to any travel group you’re with and you’ll get lots of enthusiastic responses from the crowd saying, “okay, that sounds great.”

scamp-grouper-mycteroperca-phenaxWhile the salt air, the Gulf of Mexico view and the relaxed, island environment may peak an appetite, it’s the great food prepared just right at Tween-Waters Inn that satisfies the senses. Visit this link to view the Oasis Pool Bar OR Crow’s Nest menus ahead of time. Paired with a fresh, frozen fruit drink with or without a rum spike from one of the Tween-Waters bars, and you’ll feel heavenly.

When your meal is done and you are on the way to enjoy islands sights, nature, and the beaches, you’ll be happy I shared the great reputation of these savory favorites with you. Unless of course you already know… Lots of people do!

Most importantly, enjoy.



Plan To Stay Cool When The Sunshine Is The Brightest!


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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Relax Completely In One Of 19 Vintage Cottages

rotation-4-300x300Do something just a little different this trip and delight yourself in a new way at ‘Tween Waters Inn.

Thinking back over the years, my time spent staying in a cottage almost anywhere was a treat! The ‘Tween Waters cottages are all one-of-a-kind. Originally constructed in the 1930’s, they are fully refurbished and individually appointed to ensure a special, beachfront holiday for all of the guests who stay in them today.

The setting, poised between the Gulf of Mexico beach on Captiva Island on one side and the serene, back bay boating waters on the other, enhances their cottage charm even more. Imagine… Nice huh?!

There are nineteen different cottages, painted in cheerful, tropical colors dotted around the resort. The size and room layouts range from one room to three bedroom and they have beautiful baths and convenient kitchen amenities. Some have screened in porches, others have sunny decks and they have all the comforts of a cottage home you will love.

  • Consider the Osprey two bedroom, the Heron one bedroom or the Pelican one bedroom overlooking the beachside of the resort with a view of the Gulf and just steps away from the sand. There are three, gulf front cottage groups that are perfect for multiple parties, too.
  • The Jasmine one bedroom or the Tarpon three bedroom are located on the east side of the resort where they look over the back bay waters and the picturesque, ‘Tween Waters Marina.
  • Sitting be’tween the water on either side, you’ll find the shadiest cottages that are also closest to the pool. They share a lush courtyard, outdoor love seat swing, and they are named for the tropical plants and trees that make this spot around the resort so special: the Frangipani, Bougainvillea, Orchid, and Jasmine.

Visit this link to view an Interactive Map of ‘Tween Waters Inn that offer the names, size, location and photos for each cottage.


After you check them all out, you’ll see for yourself how delightful and different staying in one of the cottages will be on your next trip. Make your reservations early for the historically popular and world-famous cottage you prefer!

I can tell you without a doubt, I will. Summertime in Florida is the perfect time for a shady cottage near the pool or one that is only steps from the beach and salty water. Most importantly, get ready to enjoy…


Stroll Along: Relaxed Shelling On Captiva Island

My husband, Eric and I both enjoy shelling. He is more industrious about it then I am and he finds many of the best shells, too. I was raised in Florida and shelling in my book is a strolling pastime. Many people prefer to walk briskly or long distance for good health, but it’s also true that you will miss some beautiful shells along the way. Sometimes it’s good to stroll…
BeachbirdsshellsThe private beach at ‘Tween Waters Inn is one of the best places in the world to shell. Really, it’s truly a world-class beach and renowned. The beach setting on Captiva Island when we were shelling together was quiet and the beach was peaceful. The island coastline runs beside the famous, Gulf of Mexico. This is one of those places loved for many good reasons, and that includes because the water on the west coast of Florida is usually calmer and warmer than in other places.
Along the shoreline, gentle waves roll in and roll out bringing sand and shells to the surface 24/7. The new shells are wet and glisten in the sun after they are washed up. When just moments before, they were tumbling on the sandy bottom underwater and safely out of sight. Ask around the resort when high tides and low tides are expected so you can get into the rhythm of the Gulf and pick up timing tips.
Shelling enthusiasts often find the very best shells in the shallow water ankle deep from the shore. Some like my husband, gently mine for the shells in the sand with a bucket or a shovel-full at a time. Digging in the sand is a way of locating the shells that are temporarily covered up between tides that pull and deposit more and less sand on the beach on a regular basis. When we finds great ones but they are alive, we always toss them back. There are plenty more uninhabited ones ready for collection.
As I stroll along, I spend my energy gazing over the shells in the wet sand. I’m looking for pops of color that attract my attention. I always keep an eye on the water’s edge, where some shells come and go as soon as one wave arrives and the next wave leaves. Higher up on the shore I also check out the shells that are paler, often broken, and sometimes bleached by the sun. It’s surprising how many good things I find among the seemingly forgotten ones, too.
It you find yourself on a spontaneous shelling adventure without a container for your shells, use your shirttail in the front to hold what you find. I travel with bandanas and have used them to hold a sack of shells to carry home many times. Avid shellers use fine mesh bags with strings. Some of the littlest shells are perfect but small, and a joy to collect in tiny jar. Mesh shelling bags will let you rinse off the shells in the surf without risking a wave rolling in and carrying away your find. It happens, especially when you have too many in your hand at one time and want to rinse them.
Shelling always gives me time to pause and ponder all kinds of good things and to simply ‘om-out’ from everyone and everything else around. I get some sunshine, plus a little exercise walking in the sand, strolling the shore, and a good stretch when I’m bending over or “stooping” to pick up the shells. When you sit down to relax, take a few minutes to sort your shells. This is how you get an idea of what can be found, the ones you like the most, and which ones you must leave behind.
Trust me! No sheller can carry them all home every time. Anyway, it’s always nice to leave some around for the next sheller that comes along. Most importantly, use the time to enjoy!

Culinary Gladness Served With A Side Of Sparkling Gulf Beach



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.



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!


Take A Relaxing, Getaway Bicycle Tour Of Captiva Island

It’s a beautiful sunshiny day ahead and you’ve got some time to enjoy the scenery.

So, now is a good time to head down to the ‘Tween Waters Marina and rent a bike for the day. Pack up your beach-life belongs, maybe a towel and a fresh t-shirt, wear tennis shoes and bring flip flops.


Check with the front desk, Oasis Pool Bar or Captiva House Restaurant and you can order a picnic lunch that’s ready to travel. Grab some bottled water and you’re off. When you leave, turn right out of the ‘Tween Water Inn driveway entrance. You’ll be on famous, Captiva Drive that runs parallel to the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico water.

The road will turn right again and you’ll be headed toward town… or let’s say, into the heart of the village. To your left you’ll find the Chapel By The Sea and the Captiva Island Historical Society Gallery. On the right you’ll begin to ride along the bay side of Captiva Island. A little further down the road you’ll find grocery shopping at the corner of Andy Rosse Lane, and see other retail storefronts where you may want to stop. Stay on Captiva Drive and you’ll eventually arrive at another beautiful stretch of beach.

The sun rises and sets here the same as everywhere on Captiva Island. Take your time and take it easy, and when you’re ready, head home riding back the way you came. You can’t get lost, and you’ll get just the right amount of exercise, no too much and not too little. There are longer bike tours to take and after this tour you may be ready, or not, to try one… if so, check with the front desk for good information.

It’s true that there’s no place like home… You’ll likely remember this no matter when you get back to the place you affectionately call home while you’re staying here with us. Aww thanks, we love having you at the ‘Tween Waters Resort, too. Enjoy!