Surviving the Summer: Staycation ideas

With the summer quickly approaching, WINK News is helping you get prepared with the best places to visit for a staycation.

The top places to visit include Tigertail Beach on Marco Island, Captiva as well as Fort Myers Beach.

One of those beautiful places to visit is an exclusive island only accessible by boat, and is invite only by a current member of the island.

“There are not many places as photogenic as Useppa Island,” said Rogan White.

And once you visit the 100-acre island, you quickly realize whit it’s so exclusive. Developer Barron Collier first bought the island in 1911, and built a home on the island. That original home is now the Collier Inn.

Just steps from the Collier Inn, you can walk along homes built in 1912, nestled next to a big Banyan, which is even older.

“People have been coming out here for, well the 10,000 years,” said White.

If you take a visit inside the little island museum, the history begins to come alive with pictures that show archaeological digs that uncovered Calusa Indian remains.

There are also glasses and the hotel registry found in the original island hotel, as well as uniforms belonging to fighters brought to the island as par of a CIA operation during the Bay of Pigs.

The only cars on the island are two fire trucks and a handful of full time residents, like Virginia Amsler.

“It’s awesome,” Amsler said. When asked how often she leaves the island, she jokes about leaving once a week to go to the mainland.

“Sunday I’ll get on a boat and go over to the mainland to get the New York Times,” said Amsler.

The island is one of the few places you can still find the island life, and the old Florida feel as well, but only if you’re willing to pay.

There is a public tour boat that runs daily to Useppa for $40 a trip, but it allows very limited access to the island. You can schedule a trip here.

If you would like more information visit the Useppa Island website here.

Useppa is a hotspot for yacht club cruises, which is the cover story of the June edition of Gulfshore Life Magazine about to hit newstands. You can pick up the magazine at Publix or Barnes and Noble.










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