As season winds down we all yearn for the chance to get away; a great place to enjoy for the day or longer is Cayo Costa State Park located on Cayo Costa Island, located west of Cape Coral and north of North Captiva Island. The island is nine miles long and has natural, untouched beaches.
Cayo Costa is only accessible by private boat. Captiva Cruises offers ferry service from several different places including Captiva Island or you can go via the Cayo Costa Ferry out of Bokeelia on Pine Island. The fare on the Cayo Costa Ferry is less than $40 round trip and includes the park entrance fee. The 45-minute ride is relaxing and the Captains provide informational and entertaining rhetoric.
The beaches of Cayo Costa will take your breath away at first sight. The aqua blue waters, white sand beach, sunshine and very few people melt the stress away. Favorite activities are shelling, walking the beach, walking trails, biking trails, bird watching, dolphin watching and just relaxing.
Cayo Costa State park does not offer any electricity but does have full bathrooms, outdoor rinse showers, potable water, camping, ranger station, bike rentals and a small convenience store. For more information on what to bring for your day trip go to www.floridastateparks.org/park/Cayo-Costa
Your day will end with a relaxing ferry ride back to reality, where the sign leaving Cayo Costa’s Pelican Bay says “Resume Normal Operations.”
Once back on land there are a many interesting things to do and see on Pine Island.
I always like to stop at the Old Pineland Mango Grove and get honey and jams made by the owners. This orchard boasts that they have never used any pesticides on their grove so their mango’s, jellies, jams and chutney are delicious. And, they have their own beehives – you have to try the Mango Blossom Honey!
Pine Island is also home to many tropical tree farms and there are many local homes that will give you a chuckle, like the one with the RV built in the middle.
Local artistry abounds in Matlacha within the brightly colors shops that line the street.
Hope you enjoy the magic of a day trip to Cayo Costa as much as I do!