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Grill Out on Vacation

When I think of summer, my first thoughts are sunshine, swimming, and grilling on the barbecue. It’s hard to beat an afternoon of splashing in the pool, anxiously awaiting those hot-off-the-grill burgers. It’s like a rite-of-passage this time of year. That’s why as soon as school got out, we headed to Sanibel for a stay at Beachview Cottages, part of Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts, and indulged in all of the above.

My spouse, Michael, is known as the grill master in our circles, and his lemon chicken is approaching legendary status. Since Beachview Cottages has grills on site for guests’ use, he was grilling up a storm. (I love that!) All the grilling utensils you need like tongs and long-handled spatulas are available to loan at the front desk, no charge of course. And if the resort has charcoal briquettes on hand, you’re welcome to them.

Grilling out on vacation is easier on the budget, too. You can bring your own groceries if you’re driving to the resort or visit one of the grocery stores on the island, like Jerry’s or Bailey’s. You can also pick up all the sides you need, ready-made.

Not a griller? You can cook in the kitchen of your cottage or choose to dine out. West Wind Inn is right next door, and their Normandie’s Seaside Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; their Upper Deck Pool Bar is open 11am to 8pm.

As a side note, each resort property of the Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts (‘Tween Waters, Castaway Cottages, West Wind Inn and Beachview Cottages) have onsite grills available.

Happy grilling and happy summer!

Beachview Cottages unit with bbq grill.

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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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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,

Jill~

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