Captiva is a small island community in Lee County, Florida with less than 400 full-time residents. There are only two vet clinics available on Captiva Island, but dozens more are available on the mainland if you’re up for a drive.
Some of the best amenities in this isolated island community can be found fifteen miles south in Sanibel. There you can find Bowman’s Beach: a gorgeous, secluded beach with human bathrooms, on-site grills, and a picnic area for cookouts. This beautiful white sand beach allows leashed pups to romp and play all day, and it’s a great shelling destination for humans!
If you’re not in the mood for the beach, try the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. This activity is great for pups who love car rides: it’s a driving tour through a wildlife refuge full of birds, manatees, dolphins, lizards, and more. You and your pup are welcome to exit your car at any time to get a closer look at the nature -- just make sure Fido’s on a leash!
For a delicious meal, drive just seven minutes from Captiva until you reach The Island Cow. This fun, laid-back restaurant has endless dining options: quesadillas, French toast, patty melts, and chicken fajita sandwiches are some of the most popular. Dogs are welcome on the covered outdoor patio and are almost always welcomed with cold iced water.
Bonita Springs is 42 miles south of of Captiva Island, but the drive is well worth it. Bonita Springs Dog Park is located at 11071 E. Terry Street. Its official name is Bark-n-Play, and that’s what’s on the sign that leads into this interesting dog park. This dog park has three separate enclosures. The signs say large, medium, and small. Large sculptures of a playful pup make this dog park a place to take some pictures in. The fully fenced enclosures have a mixture of natural grass and mulch. There are rock croppings which pups enjoy climbing on. The dog park also has water fountains designed for people and dogs. There are two waste stations supplied with bags in each of the three enclosures. Picnic tables and benches are scattered throughout the dog park.
Cape Coral is on the mainland and is about 30 miles from Captiva Island. Cape Coral has many dog-friendly things to do. Wagging Tails Dog Park is located at 5505 Rose Garden Road in the Rotary Park. This dog park has a large, fully fenced grassy area for leash free fun. Small dogs get their own space for safer play. There are places for human companions to sit while the pup plays. Water is available near the dog park. Wagging Tails is also used as a place for obedience classes. Use of the dog park is for members only. An annual membership can be purchased at the Rotary Park office.
Fort Myers is 32 miles north of Captiva Island. Fort Myers is a big city on the mainland that offers all kinds of activities and sights for people and their pups. Bonita Beach Dog Park is a strip of beach land set aside for dogs to play off-leash in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There are no amenities in this dog park. Visitors should bring their own water and doggie bags. This is a very popular dog park, so it is often pretty crowded with dogs. Nearby Buckingham Dog Park at 9800 Buckingham Road offers dry land and a completely fenced dog park experience. The dog park is a feature of Buckingham Community Park, which leashed dogs are allowed to explore with their owners.
Sanibel is about 10 miles south of Captiva Island. Sanibel offers many exciting things for dogs and their people to do. Gulfside Beach is open to dogs on leash. This beautiful beach allows dogs to feel the squish of sand under their paws and play in the surf. There are many shells on this beach for Fido to sniff out, or for a person to collect. A water fountain is available at the parking lot. There are picnic tables for those who bring a lunch or snack. There are no waste stations here, so bring your own doggie bags. Places to eat are plentiful in Sanibel. Holy Cow at 2163 Periwinkle Way serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It welcomes customer with dogs with outdoor seating.
Captiva Island has many places to eat since it hosts many visitors. People travelling with their dogs have many choices of dog-friendly restaurants. On one road, Andy Rosse Lane, a traveller will find many restaurants to indulge in. Mucky Duck, RC Otters, and Key Lime Bistro all cater to customers with dogs. They have outdoor tables, and welcome your pup to join you for one of their lunches or dinners. Green Flash is located on Captiva Drive and allows dogs with good manners to dine with their person on an outdoor patio deck. Green Flash has a fancy cuisine of mostly seafood.