Drive across Sanibel Island and eventually it becomes Captiva Island (if there was a bridge, I missed it). Captiva offers a number of cute shops and restaurants. We stopped for a breakfast of crab cakes Benedict on the porch of RC Otter’s Island Eats. It felt like one of those secret family-owned eateries you find on a Caribbean island.
We were on our way to South Seas Island Resort’s Q-Dock to board a Captiva Cruises’ voyage. Captiva Cruises sails to several islands in Pine Island Sound. With a terrific storyteller on the microphone we set out on a gorgeous 70-degree day in January for a couple of hours. We saw dolphins hopping along the side of our boat numerous times, though this was not billed as a dolphin cruise. We had a destination: Cabbage Key. ($40, captivacruises.com)
Cabbage Key is an island that can only be accessed by boat (or seaplane or helicopter). You can rent cabins there, but most people come for the restaurant. They’ve been coming there for more than 80 years. The main rooms, part of an old house with fireplaces and hardwood floors, opened to the public in 1933. The walls and ceilings are covered in dangling dollar bills that look something like seaweed growing from living walls.