It’s no wonder Sarah Rapp loves what she does. For the last 10 years she has worked as a Broker/Realtor and advertising agent for rental properties throughout Southwestern Florida. As the owner of her own company, Beach Vacation4me, Sarah has worked for 8 years in North Captiva and 2 years in Boca Grande and owns a private residence in North Captiva…although she divides her time between Boca Grande and North Captiva.
And who wouldn’t love dividing their time between these gorgeous barrier islands?
Sarah recalls her first visit to North Captiva, “I loved the natural beauty – it’s still somewhat untouched and family oriented.”
And untouched they are – North Captiva is only accessible by boat and there are no cars on the island, vacationers instead opting to navigate around the island by golf cart, bicycle and boat.
Boca Grande has a land bridge making car travel an option, however many still choose to get around in golf carts or on bike.
“For some people, the fact that they have to be without their car in North Captiva is a bit too much,” says Sarah. “So Boca Grande is the next best fit.”
Peak season for both of these lush US islands runs from March through the first part of April. However, both of these locals have great weather year-round, so go ahead and plan your trip for the off-season when you can enjoy warm weather and great rates on vacation rentals! And if you’re concerned about hurricanes, they are no reason to miss out on a great tropical escape. Sarah recommends getting travel insurance if you’re planning your trip anytime between August and November.
Once in Boca Grande, vacationers have many options of activities – one of Sarah’s favorites is to head out on one of the many bike paths that wind through the city. Sarah has also found that Boca Grande has some of the best shelling of anywhere Sarah has been, saying “They’re magnificent”
She also recommends stopping by the charming Gasparilla Inn & Club for dinner and drinks. The club has a variety of dining options ranging from The Main Dining Room (open for breakfast and dinner daily), The Pink Elephant, or “The Pink” as many call it (a more casual option for lunch, dinner and drinks), or the popular BZ’s lounge where patrons can lounge on the sofas and chairs and sip one of the Inn’s signature drinks: Gaspartinis, Mojitos and Planter’s Punch.
North Captiva and Boca Grande are only about a 40 minute boat ride apart from eachother – close enough to plan a day trip from one to the other.
Sarah’s North Captiva Picks
- The Boat House Restaurant and the Island Club – chef David Kivel serves up delicious surf & turf eats, making this a great restaurant to go for a romantic dinner or to celebrate a special occasion while on the island.
- Mango’s Island Grill & General Store – a great place to stop by for breakfast or lunch, grab your food to go or enjoy it on Mango’s waterfront patio.
- Andy’s Seafood Market – in Matlacha, an old fishing village on the mainland before you take a boat over to North Captiva Island, has great fresh fish for vacationers to buy and take with them to cook at their vacation rental house.
- Dennis Realy, owner of North Captiva Charters, is the island’s “Best Kept Secret” and a master fisherman. According to Sarah, “He knows his stuff – red fish, tarpon, shark, whatever you want to catch, he will cast and then hand you the rod. I’ve never fished and not caught something!”
- Visit Boats and Fun run by father, Alberto Barbero, and son, Matias Barbero, who Sarah refers to as “Mr. Fun,” for jet ski, kayak, wakeboard and boat rentals, banana boat and inter-tube rides, and scuba & dolphin excursions. “Matias is always smiling, always happy,” says Sarah. Boats and Fun “has really created a great shop – you can go by and ask them when the tide is, what’s going on around town, anything.”
Vacationers who stay at one of Sarah’s North Captiva rentals that is managed by the Island Club also get to enjoy a guest membership (and all of the amenities that come with it!) to the North Captiva Island Club Resort. The club offers tennis courts, a huge pool, fitness equipment, day excursions, a pool bar that also serves up milkshakes for the kids and more. The staff of the North Captiva Island Club will also help assist with groceries and luggage!