Captiva is a six-mile-long finger of land lined with powdery white beaches.
Originally part of neighboring Sanibel Island to the southeast, Captiva Island was severed in 1926 when a hurricane's storm surge created a new channel, Blind Pass. The channel filled in over subsequent years, but was reopened by dredging in the summer of 2009. Captiva is a barrier island to Pine Island (to the east of Captiva and north of Sanibel), however it is much narrower.
Captiva was homesteaded in 1888. A tiny cemetery next to The Chapel by the Sea has the grave of the original resident, William Herbert Binder (1850–1932), an Austrian.
Half the island is in private ownership, with "Millionaire's Row", luxury homes on gulf and bay side of Captiva Drive.
Roosevelt Channel on the east side of the island, is named for Theodore Roosevelt who fished there. South Seas Island Resort on the tip of Captiva, boasts 2.5 miles of beaches. Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, frequently visited; in fact, Anne wrote her famous “Gifts from the Sea”” while vacationing on Captiva. American painter and graphic artist, Robert Rauschenberg, established a permanent residence and studio on Captiva. Today it serves as a creative center that welcomes artists from around the world to live, work, and create.