Tween Waters Inn in Captiva Island – A Quick Getaway

Needing a “breakation” and wanting a quick getaway, awe decided to go to Captiva Island for the weekend. There were 6 people in our party: my wife and I and our 4-year-old daughter, my mother-in-law and my wife’s grandparents. The Tween Waters Inn was the perfect place for my family because we were able to get a small suite that easily handled our group, offering 2 double beds and a pull out couch.

I had read about the legendary Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa of Captiva Island, Florida for many years and now I had a chance to try it. We were excited to relax on the Gulf of Mexico’s beaches, kayak on Pine Island Sound east, and enjoy everything the resort had to offer.

The resort is located between the Gulf of Mexico and Pine Island Sound and boasts 13 picturesque acres of luxury resort including an extensive stretch of sugary, white-sand beach named “America’s Most Romantic Beach” by Travelocity.

Dating back to 1931, what began as a collection of fishing cottages now includes 137 units and cottages that vary from standard guest rooms, studios and three-bedroom suites to two- and three-bedroom historic cottages. Decorated in a rustic luxury style, many of the 19 historic cottages are named after the resort’s famous past visitors including Anne Morrow Lindbergh, J.N. “Ding” Darling and Theodore Roosevelt.

While the rooms are comfortable and cozy, we came to ‘Tween Waters Inn for the miles of pristine beaches on its Gulf of Mexico side. Captiva and its sister island, Sanibel, are known to have some of the best shelling beaches in the world. You’ll see many guests bent in the “Captiva Crouch,” searching for the perfect specimens of shells for hours on end.

Hotel Location

Nestled on the beach, this Captiva inn is west of Fort Myers, Florida. The tropical drive from Fort Myers through Sanibel Island and then onward to Captiva Island is really beautiful with water views all around.  Tween Water Inn is within 1 mi (2 km) of McCarthy’s Marina and Captiva Chapel by the Sea. Alison Hagerup Beach Park and Captiva Beach are also within 2 mi (3 km).

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Tween Waters Inn Captiva Island FL

Property Features

At Tween Waters Inn, you can spend the day on the private beach and enjoy motor boating, then return for a meal at one of the inn’s 2 restaurants, the Crow’s Nest, which offers family-style dining, and Captiva House, which offers a fine dining experience. In fact, in the Crows Nest, they play live music at night and my wife and I had a chance to get away and enjoy a little alone time there and have some couple’s fun time as well.

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Hotel and Lodge – 4 – 6 person rooms

Room Amenities

All 137 rooms feature comforts like pillow top beds and premium bedding, while conveniences include sitting areas and refrigerators. Free WiFi and balconies are standard, as are flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. Parking at the inn is free for guests.

Each room has a nice big balcony and all windows have blackout drapes/curtains to keep it dark if you want to sleep late. Also, the rooms have coffee/tea makers, free newspapers, free toiletries and daily housekeeping.  The 1-bedroom suite we stayed in had a flat-panel TV in both the bedroom and living room. That was great and let everyone watch what they wanted.

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In the Suite Room – 2 Queen Beds and Pull Out Couch

Family-Friendly Amenities

The resort has a huge fresh water pool with a shade-covered children’s pool.  My 4-year-old daughter could not get enough of the kiddie pool and spent hours playing with the other children. If you plan to stay long, there is a laundry facility for your convenience.

Within walking distance, the resort has its own private beach on the Gulf of Mexico. My family and I rented 2 lounge chair-covered cabanas for only $15 for the entire day. This was great because it gave us plenty of shade and we were allowed to bring our own cooler there to keep our drinks nice and chilled. We spent 6 hours on the beach and did not get burned. It was really nice day and the wild dolphins jumping in the Gulf gave everyone extra entertainment.

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Tween Water Inn Private Room

Where to Eat

Guests are offered a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning. The buffet was nice but a little different than most breakfasts included at American hotels. They had a hostess great you and sit you down at your table and you had your choice of the free buffet or a paid breakfast. The free buffet had a huge fresh fruit station, with all tropical fruits freshly cut. There were fresh pastries and bagels to toast, yogurts, cold cereals, and freshly-squeezed orange Juice. It was a good selection to choose from.

If you want a hot breakfast, like eggs or pancakes, then you will need to pay for that. Breakfast ranged from $6 and up. Being early risers, my daughter and I enjoyed the breakfasts while my other family members slept in.

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Island Cow to Eat

For lunch and dinner, you can eat on the property or go out to the many restaurants in the area.  We really like the Island Cow because of the casual dress and the come-as-you are attitude. It is only 15 – 20 minutes from the resort by car in Sanibel Island. The restaurant has a whimsical, island-style environment which is perfect for adults and kids of all ages. At the Island Cow, you feel as if you are family. My whole family said this was the best place we ate while on vacation.

Nearby Activities

There are a few different companies that offer parasailing. We didn’t try that but enjoyed watching parasailers as we lazed on the beach. Ecotours offers all sorts of personal watercraft rentals. Plus, you can get a guided kayak tour through the mangrove islands.

The inn’s state of the art fitness room offers aerobic classes and, if you feel a little competitive, there are tennis courts to use. You can also rent bicycles and ride on a private road from Captiva to Sanibel – no cars to worry about. And for all of you avid fisherman out there, you can either rent a boat or get a fishing charter to catch the big one.

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Family Fun on the Beach

Spa Services

For those that want to get pampered, the resort offers manicures and pedicures, body treatments and facial treatments.

Pets

Pets are allowed for an extra charge of USD 25.00 per pet, per night, plus a deposit of USD 25.00 per day. This is really nice because there are so many pet lovers out there. Only specific rooms allow pets so you will need to book the right room early. There are some restrictions to apply for the pet-friendly rooms and you will need to ask the resort directly.

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Sanibel and Captiva Island – A great place for a family vacation

My family’s breakation was just what everyone needed, and we’ve all agreed we will go back. As I was talking to other guests, many said they make Tween Waters Inn an annual family vacation destination. I can understand why… the great service and family-friendly atmosphere would make anyone come back again and again. If you want to check out room rates, < Click this link >

Flamingo Gardens – An old Florida Hidden Gem

Are you looking for something to do that is family friendly and does not cost you an arm and a leg. Then you might want to consider Flamingo Gardens in Davie Florida. I had a chance to spend an afternoon with my family and we have lots of fun, from the Wildlife Encounter Shows, Narrated Tram Tours, Botanical Gardens, Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, Museum, and well stocked Gift Shop.

WILDLIFE ENCOUNTER SHOWS

We headed right away to the live presentations featuring several of Florida’s native wildlife, such as birds of prey, small mammals, and reptiles, with interesting facts about the species and their relationship to the environment. These shows are presented daily at 11:30, 1:30, and 2:30 weather permitting. My 4 year old daughter lost interest here after awhile but my wife and I enjoyed it.

Welcome to Flamingo Gardens

Welcome to Flamingo Gardens

NARRATED TRAM TOURS

We took the narrated tram ride through the back 46 acres consisting of a mitigated tropical rainforest, wetlands area, and a native hammock including some of the last natural jungle growth in South Florida. The tour is fully narrated, lasting approximately 25 minutes, leaving every thirty minutes from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, seven days a week, weather permitting. This was the last activity we took and after a hot day the cool breeze from the drive was appreciated. We love seeing all the natural tropical plants and trees.

Come Smell the Flowers Flamingo Gardens

Come Smell the Flowers Flamingo Gardens

BOTANICAL GARDENS

The Wray Botanical Collection and Arboretum at Flamingo Gardens consists of 15 acres with over 3000 tropical and sub-topical plants and trees. The Arboretum is home to 18 “Champion” trees, the largest trees of their species as designated by the Florida Forest Service, including the largest single-trunk tree in the Florida. Specialty gardens include the Croton Garden, Butterfly Garden, Hummingbird Garden, Florida Wildflower Garden, Bromeliad Garden, and Children’s Garden. You won’t believe all the amazing and huge trees to explore and take photos of the family.

Wild Life at Flamingo Gardens

Wild Life at Flamingo Gardens

EVERGLADES WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

The Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary at Flamingo Gardens provides residence to permanently injured and non-releasable birds and animals. It has the distinction of being the largest collection of Florida native wildlife in the State with over 85 native species including alligators, bobcats, panthers, otters, eagles, peacocks and, of course flamingos. It also contains one of the largest free-flight aviaries in the country and one of the premiere River Otter breeding programs.  The animals seemed like they were well care for and my daughter really enjoyed them.

Big Trees at Flamingo Gardens

Big Trees at Flamingo Gardens

WRAY HOME MUSEUM

The centerpiece of the gardens is a natural hammock of 200 year-old Live Oak trees dripping with species orchids and epiphytes. Amid the trees is the historic Wray Home Museum, built in 1933 by Floyd L. and Jane Wray as a weekend retreat. It is the oldest residence in Broward County west of University Drive. The building was restored in 1991 to depict a typical South Florida country home of the 1930’s and is open to the public with guided tours from 10:00am to 5:00pm seven days a week.

So if you are looking for an attraction that has stood the test of time, then you need to come to Flamingo Gardens.

Flamingo Gardens
3750 South Flamingo Road
Davie, FL 33330-1614

PHONE
954.473.2955

If you have been there, please give us a comment of your own. WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!! You can comment below.

Florida Bucket List

We are all familiar with this concept of the bucket list, it’s a list of things to do before you bite the big one, an inevitable fate we all must come to grips with, but why be down about it, instead be like thousands of Americans each year and get out there and complete that list. All those long anticipated activities that you just never quite got around to, but always wanted to do. But what if you don’t exactly have your own bucket list, but still want some great ideas to fill in the pages so to speak. Well that what this article is all about, giving you some great ideas about some really cool and exciting activities to add to your own bucket list. << Click Here to Read My Story

Florida Bucket List Photos

Come for the Turquoise Waters, White Sand Beaches, and Tons Of Fun in Panama City Beach

You know those vacation destinations that seem too good to be true? Well, Panama City Beach, Florida is one of those destinations. With over 27 miles of white sand beaches that stretch along the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach offers two state parks, beautiful beach access points, great restaurants right on the water that serve up fresh seafood all day and night, and a host of attractions that entertain people of all ages. The waters around the city are famous with divers and fisherman who take advantage of the dozens of artificial reefs offshore, and the water sports and nightlife provide fun from sunup to sundown.

If you’re headed for Panama City Beach on holiday, here are some of the awesome attractions we suggest you check out.

Everybody Loves a Yacht Party    

Solaris Panama City BeachHow would you like to dine, dance and cruise the beautiful waters off shore on the SOLARIS, the area’s only dining and entertainment yacht. The yacht offers three decks to explore and tantalizing cuisine prepared by private chefs. Up on the sky deck, take in the sunset and watch the heavens fill with shimmering stars that will act like a disco ball as you dance the night away. The SOLARIS can also be rented out for weddings and private events.

There’s a Big One Out There With Your Name on It

A fish that is, so you might want to hop on board the Osprey, a 22-foot cape Horn designed for fishing the shallowest flat but also capable of maneuvering open bay waters and coastal beaches. Spend the day fishing for trout, tarpon, jacks, redfish, flounder and even sharks. Fly fishing is also available during the summer and early fall.

Get a Birdseye View

If you spend any amount of time on the beach you’ll no doubt notice the helicopters flying overhead. This is a great way to enjoy a scenic tour of panama city beach helicopter toursthe city from a totally different perspective. You can see schools of fish, rays, dolphins, and, if you’re lucky enough, you might even see a pod of Manatees. Most flights range in duration and price and can run the entire length of the beach and even around Shell Island. Or, if you’re so inclined, you can charter a helicopter for a custom tour, which would cost more but be well worth it.

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Blue Dolphin Tours gives you the chance to swim with playful bottle-nose dolphins in their natural habitat. Take a super fast and super fun boat out that has been specially designed to find and interact with the dolphins. Many larger boats will carry groups of people of up to 150, but Blue Dolphin Tours carries only 6 passengers, including children, so the whole experience is much more intimate. While out and about, you’ll also be able to discover other fantastic wildlife in the region like pelicans, herons and many underwater creatures.

Extreme Go carting Anyone?

Race City Panama City BeachRace City is the place to go to tear around the track with friends or family. And not just one track, but 6 different ones to choose from. When you’re done racing, you can visit their indoor arcade, haunted house or their bumper boat rides. And, because each attraction is priced separately, you can save money and only hit the ones you really want to enjoy.

Don’t be surprised if on the last day of your vacation, you find yourself calling your travel agent and booking your next trip to Panama City Beach, Florida!

Visit Key Largo and Discover Paradise on Earth

Known as “The Dive Capital of the World,” Key Largo is one of those places that makes you pinch yourself because when you’re there, you’re sure you’re dreaming. Not only is the area ridiculously beautiful with pristine beaches, crystalline water and lush mangrove forests, there are also a plethora of activities. From diving to snorkeling, swimming, kayaking or deep sea fishing, you’ll never be bored in this tropical paradise.

Catch a Big One!

Experience a fishing adventure of a lifetime. Climb aboard one of Fins & Feathers Charter boats and head out to the deep blue waters to try your hand at reeling in a sailfish, swordfish, marlin, tuna, snapper or a wahoo. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned fishing pro or complete novice, the guys at Fins & Feathers will make you feel comfortable and give you all the help you require so your time out at sea is a blast.

An Underwater Adventure Awaits

Diving in Key Largo

Diving in Key Largo

Since Key Largo is “The Dive Capital of the World,” it’d be crazy for you not to head underwater. Horizon Divers offers diving and snorkeling classes for divers of any skill (or no skill at all). No matter what level you’re at, you will surely thrill at getting up close to all kinds of underwater life that live among the reefs, as well as exploring sunken vessels that lay on the ocean floor. Horizon Divers is a certified PADI and TDI dive center that offers freshwater rinse stations, gear rentals and personal storage. The staff is committed to your personal safety and enjoyment at
every turn.

Experience a Dolphin Encounter of a Lifetime

Take your family and head for Dolphin World, a marine education and dolphin swim website. Dolphin encounters here are like no other. You’ll swim with them in a natural lagoon that opens to natual salt water from the ocean. You can either have a structured hands-on swim in shallow water, or snorkel freely alongside them out in the open water. Either way you go, you’re sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Have a Wild Time with Some Pretty Awesome Birds

Florida Wild Bird Sanctuary

Florida Wild Bird Sanctuary

The Florida Keys Wild Bird Center is on a mission, and that is to rescue, rehabilitate and release native and migratory birds that have been harmed or displaced, as well as to provide a humane shelter for those birds not able to be released. The Center also educates the public on the importance of respecting all wild bird species. Time spent at the FKWBC is both thrilling and rewarding as you’re able to get up close to some of the most beautiful and interesting birds like ospreys, frigatebirds, laughing gulls, pelicans, screech owls, great white herons and double crested cormorants.

As Close to Flying as You’ll Ever Get

Speaking of birds, get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful ocean, and maybe even see some dolphins frolicking offshore, as you soar high above on your solo or tandem parasailing adventure. Head to Caribbean Watersports which offers some of the best sky-soaring flights available in the Keys. The company has been in business for over 20 years and their captains are PAPO certified. And the best part is, you take off in the boat… you land in the boat, so you never have to get wet. This is good for those of you with hairdos that cringe at the very sight of water.

With so much natural beauty and so many incredible attractions available, you’ll find leaving this slice of paradise harder than you thought.

Have Fun on Beautiful Singer Island

The first record of a settlement on Singer Island dates back to 1906 with Inlet City. Inlet City was a spontaneous community of fishermen and squatters, most of whom came from nearby Riviera Beach and the Bahamas. Fishermen were attracted to the island as a place to dry the cotton nets that they used in those days, and for its proximity to the fertile Gulf Stream (the waters of the Gulf Stream are closer to land on Singer Island than any other place in North America!). So Singer Island has come a long way from those days and now one of the most relaxing and sort after beach destinations in Palm Beach.

There is so much to do, that is why we wrote Have Fun on Beautiful Singer Island <<< Click Here to read our story about the island. Hope you like it.
God Bless,
Johnny

What to Do and See in Daytona Beach

If you have not been to Daytona Beach in awhile, then you need to put this famous beach on your summertime calendar. Beside driving on the beach with your car, you can have so much to do here. I came here the Spring Break of 1980 and it has grown up so much since then and we wrote a story on what to see and do in Daytona Beach. <<< Click Here to Read

You need to read this story to get a better idea of the fun you can have here in North Florida. If you have some great insider travel tips in Daytona Beach, please post something here!

God Bless,
John

Snorkeling in Key Largo John Pennekamp State Park

John Pennekamp turns 50 and celebrates all the wonders of this amazing state park in the Florida Keys. I discovered this park in 1980 when I came to go scuba diving on its many reefs. Now that the park is turning 50, it looks as good now as it did way back when. The park has so much to do that we wrote a story on the park and all it has to offer, from snorkeling, which many people do, glass bottom boat rides, beaches, camping, and so much more.

Snorkeling in Key Largo and John Pennekamp State Park Story <<< Click here to read the story we wrote. Within the story, there is a great youtube video to see about and all it has to do there.

To celebrate the 50 years, I am sure you have a John Pennekamp story to share? We would love to hear from you.
God Bless,
Johnny

Gulf World – A famous Panama City Beach Attraction

Do you love dolphins, sea lions, penguins, sharks, rays, and other animals. Or should I just say are you an animal lover? If you are and visiting the Panama City Beach area, you need to visit this and exciting attraction. Gulf World has been pleasing crowds since 1969 and I had a chance to review and experience the dolphin swim and shows there.

I had a great day and you should read my story I wrote. Also, I posted some photos too and I hope you like them. If you have been to Gulf World, I would like hear  your opinion toodolphins gulf world and children panama city florida. < read my story >

Happy Thanksgiving,
Johnny

St. Augustine, Florida’s Oldest City

Historically, St. Augustine was established in 1565 by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, and is the oldest permanent European settlement in the continental United States. For 235 years it was the political, military, and religious capital of the Province of Florida from which Spain exercised jurisdiction over a vast geographical region. We all think that the oldest settlements are from the 1700’s but no, Florida has St. Augustine, which have to visit if you come to Northern Florida.

I especially love all that you can do in the area, some of the best B&Bs, restaurants, and attractions in the state. Check out my experience in St Augustine and what I thought of the area.<Click Here to Read More>

Please make a comment of your experiences of St. Augustine too!
God Bless,
Johnny