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

Blowing Rocks Preserve Jupiter Island

A person emailed me about Blowing Rocks Preserve on Jupiter Island Florida and it has been a long time since I have been there.  Its a great place to watch nature at work, with blowing and slashing water.

The preserve was named for its rocky Anastasia limestone shoreline – the largest on the U.S. Atlantic coast. During extreme high tides and after winter and summer storms, seas break against the rocks and force plumes of saltwater up to 50 feet skyward. It’s an impressive sight.

Here is video to see the waves in action.

Here is little map of where the location is:

Its not a great place to go swimming because the rocks can be quit dangerous, so keep that in mind. Any feed back from any of you out there?
God Bless,
Johnny

Key Largo Hilton Grande

I found this video of the Key Largo Hilton Grande which is one my favorite resorts in Key Largo.  Nestled along the southern boundaries of the Everglades National Park, Hilton Key Largo Resort offers inspired accommodations. This is a true tropical- island paradise, where memorable experiences await. Located less than one hour south of Miami, this exotic Key Largo hotel and resort offers extensive nature trails, a private white- sand beach, exciting water sports, and unparalleled sunsets.

Watch this video I found on YouTube and you see the grounds of the is beautiful resort.

If you want to see more information on this resort < Click Here >
Any feedback on this resort?
God Bless,
Johnny

Top Five Things to Do in Key Largo

Key Largo is a famous Island in the Florida Keys. Its the first Island on your way down to Key West.  I always enjoy coming to this Island and the surrounding Islands of Tavernier and Islamorada which is called the Upper Keys by the locals.  My favorite activities for the Upper Keys are the following: 1. Swimming with the Dolphins Key Largo Tour, 2. Scuba Diving the Beautiful Coral Reefs 3. Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center 4. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and 5. Caribbean Watersports.

  1. The Swimming with the Dolphins Key Largo Tour is done by Dolphin World. This tour company provides the best of both worlds where you get to swim with the dolphins and snorkel the beautiful coral reef all in one package.  The dolphin program is a blast where you get to swim with them for 30 minutes and get a dorsal fin ride, belly ride, and foot push. Also, 1 1/2 hours boat trip to the beautiful and magical coral reef with mask, snorkel and fins.
  2. Scuba Diving the pristine Coral Reefs is a must for all certified divers. There not too many places in the continental United States where there are coral reefs that are worthy to dive on.  Some of the great places to dive here are famous wrecks, the Spiegel Grove and USCG Duane.  The Sea Dweller is a reputable dive center to dive with.
  3. Florida Keys Wild Bird Center’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release native and migratory wild birds that have been harmed or displaced, to provide or locate a humane shelter for those birds that cannot be released, and to educate the public toward the importance of coexistence with all wild bird species.  I love stopping here because its so interesting and the it free but they do ask for a donation.
  4. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a famous State Park on Key Largo. This state park is nice place to visit.  As parks goes, it a good place to get some nature, mangrove walks and beaches for swimming, camping if you want to sleep outside, and picknicking for those that want to eat their own food.  Also this park tells the story how it became one the first places in the United States where the surrounding waters and coral reefs were protected for future generations.
  5. Caribbean Watersports is one of the best places to get all your water sports needs met.  They have so much to offer from Parasailing,  Enviro-Tours into the Everglades National Park’s Florida Bay,  Sunset Cruises on Florida bay,  WaveRunners, Banana Boat Rides, Hobie Cat Sailboats, Kayaks,   and Stand Up Paddle Boards. If you have time in the Keys, you should take advantage of all this water fun, especially the Parasailing which is my favorite. You really get to see the Key Largo and the Everglades from so high up.

Well this is my list. Do you have activities list for Upper Keys? I would love to go have your feed back with any of your suggestions.
Happy Traveling!!
God Bless,
Johnny

Pro – Am Florida Golf Tournaments

You may have read my review of PGA National Resort and Spa and I mentioned within the article about their professional golf courses they had on the property. I wrote how I have never played a round of golf but wanted to go PGA National to learn how to stroke the clubs. But if you are competitive, you may want to find out what tournaments are out there in Florida for you.

Here is blog post from Tim McDonald. He starts with…
There are several golf tours in Florida, for pros and amateurs, often competing in the same field. You don’t hear much about them, which is a shame because I’m always running into golfers who want to know more about organized competition… < Read More >

I hope you liked his post. Has anyone out there done any of these tournaments? Any success out there?
It would be great to hear from someone.
God Bless,
Johnny