Captiva Island is a barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico. Its north south configuration favors currents that deposit beautiful shells upon our shores that are many a shell collector’s dream.

Evidence of humans on Captiva dates back thousands of years. The Calusas made the Captiva area home and their shell mounds can still be seen today. Juan Ponce de Leon discovered the area in 1513 while searching for the Fountain of Youth.

While the origin of our island’s name is shrouded in mystery, one fanciful tale goes back to the 1800’s where pirate Jose Gaspar used it as a prison for his female captives awaiting their ransom to be paid. Thus legend has it that the name Captiva was born.


The modern history of Sanibel Island began in 1832 when the first settlement was established by the Florida Peninsular Land Company but never really flourished. William Herbert Binder arrived in 1888 making him the first known settler here. His grave is still preserved at the Chapel by the Sea on Chapin Lane where other early grave sites can be seen.

The island has long been a favorite of celebrities like Charles Lindbergh, Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy Jr. Visitors worldwide clamor to collect shells, see the vivid sunsets, shop the galleries and boutiques, dine in our fine restaurants or to just chill out on our pristine beach rated #1! Thank you for visiting our island.

Cartoonist Ding Darling’s historic fish house and studio glimmers at sunrise.


The mailboat arrives on Captiva in 1955.

Welcome to

Captiva Island


But who exactly was Andy Rosse? Andy was born in England in 1903 and arrived in Tampa soon after. At 16, he was hired at a fishing camp near Gasparilla Island and honed his skills net fishing.

In 1924 he married his wife Dessa, moved to Captiva in 1926. In 1935 Andy worked for Tween Waters Inn as a fishing guide until he bought his own dock in 1940 for $800.

The Captiva Grocery Store was located at Andy’s Fishing Pier until Andy made arrangements with cartoonist Ding Darling to move the store to where it stands today: The Island Store on the corner of Andy Rosse Lane and Captiva Drive. Andy’s Pier is now McCarthy’s Marina. Rosse died in November of 1984

There’s one required activity when anyone visits Captiva Village and that’s to meander down the heart of the island which is Andy Rosse Lane. Here you’ll find a eclectic mix of elegant homes, restaurants, unique shops and marina that ends at one of the world’s top beaches. This small lane pulls together all the fun, quirkiness and perfect vibe to chill in a palm lined tropical setting.

You can rent a kayak, a bike, parasail or join in the local Marching Mullet Band to celebrate the breathtaking sunsets. If you have the munchies, stop for an ice cream cone or down a cold beer while listening to live music somewhere on the lane.

Head down to the marina for all sorts of fun on the water in all sorts of crafts. If you need a place to stay, stop in one of the realty offices offering rentals from quaint to fancy. Now get going and have a good time in the Village! Some links to check out:


To Have A Good Time!

It Takes A Village...

Strolling along Andy Rosse Shady lane.

One of many glorious sunsets seen off Captiva’s beach.


Operating hours may vary as we are working artists and creativity can happen at any time!   Call 239-395-2266