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Fun day trip to Useppa Island, FL with Houston friends

The cruise to Useppa leaves from Captiva Island, taking about an hour each way; the 10 am - 3 pm journey costs $45 per person plus $5 for parking and, with this group, was lots of fun

The cruise to Useppa leaves from Captiva Island, taking about an hour each way; the 10 am - 3 pm journey costs $45 per person plus $5 for parking and, with this group, was lots of fun

The guys look tiny under this huge banyan tree; Useppa Island is 1 mile long north to south, and up to 1⁄2 mile wide with a ridge up to 40 ft high in the middle of the island along the western side

The guys look tiny under this huge banyan tree; Useppa Island is 1 mile long north to south, and up to 1⁄2 mile wide with a ridge up to 40 ft high in the middle of the island along the western side

Chicago businessman John Roach built a hotel on Useppa in 1896; Barron Collier bought the island in 1911, and developed the resort, adding tennis courts and a 9-hole golf course; Collier made it his residence, from which he directed his real estate empire

Chicago businessman John Roach built a hotel on Useppa in 1896; Barron Collier bought the island in 1911, and developed the resort, adding tennis courts and a 9-hole golf course; Collier made it his residence, from which he directed his real estate empire

The island homes were not ostentatious by today's standards but probably still plenty expensive; our group did manage to play pickleball a couple of times during our visit to Cape Coral

The island homes were not ostentatious by today's standards but probably still plenty expensive; our group did manage to play pickleball a couple of times during our visit to Cape Coral

Useppa has an old Florida feel with a lush landscape and nary a Black family for miles; the island has a couple dozen very nice waterfront homes but you'll need a boat to get here (or take the cruise from Captiva like we did)

Useppa has an old Florida feel with a lush landscape and nary a Black family for miles; the island has a couple dozen very nice waterfront homes but you'll need a boat to get here (or take the cruise from Captiva like we did)

The Collier Inn was rebuilt after Hurricane Charley and offers rooms for those wishing to stay longer than just a day trip; the guys enjoyed their lunch in the dining room here (the outdoor patio was reserved for members only)

The Collier Inn was rebuilt after Hurricane Charley and offers rooms for those wishing to stay longer than just a day trip; the guys enjoyed their lunch in the dining room here (the outdoor patio was reserved for members only)

This Collier Inn registration book was among the items displayed at the Useppa Island Museum; Barron Collier, Useppa owner from 1911 to 1939, eventually developed much of Southwest Florida, and built the famous Tamiami Trail highway between Tampa and Miami

This Collier Inn registration book was among the items displayed at the Useppa Island Museum; Barron Collier, Useppa owner from 1911 to 1939, eventually developed much of Southwest Florida, and built the famous Tamiami Trail highway between Tampa and Miami

The cruise stops at Cabbage Key which has a few vacation home rentals; the big attraction is the Dollar Bill Bar (tens of thousands are taped to the walls) which has seen Ernest Hemingway, Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Buffett, Rob Lowe and Julia Roberts visit

The cruise stops at Cabbage Key which has a few vacation home rentals; the big attraction is the Dollar Bill Bar (tens of thousands are taped to the walls) which has seen Ernest Hemingway, Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Buffett, Rob Lowe and Julia Roberts visit

Cabbage Key was purchased in 1976 by Robert Wells, the Director of Admissions at High Point (NC) College, and his wife Phyllis; their family still owns 97% of the island with the couple's two sons and their families running the inn and bar

Cabbage Key was purchased in 1976 by Robert Wells, the Director of Admissions at High Point (NC) College, and his wife Phyllis; their family still owns 97% of the island with the couple's two sons and their families running the inn and bar

A pod of dolphins provided entertainment en route to Useppa; the island is located near the northern end of Pine Island Sound and just a few miles from Cape Coral as the crow flies (travel time by car to the Captiva dock was well over an hour each way)

A pod of dolphins provided entertainment en route to Useppa; the island is located near the northern end of Pine Island Sound and just a few miles from Cape Coral as the crow flies (travel time by car to the Captiva dock was well over an hour each way)

President Hoover introduced Mary Roberts Rinehart to Useppa in 1929; America's version of Agatha Christie, she vacationed here and was the nation's best selling author in the 40s   50s, and famously wrote about having breast cancer in the Ladies Home Journal

President Hoover introduced Mary Roberts Rinehart to Useppa in 1929; America's version of Agatha Christie, she vacationed here and was the nation's best selling author in the 40s + 50s, and famously wrote about having breast cancer in the Ladies Home Journal

Manatees at the Captiva dock; 1100  manatees died in 2021, that's about one-sixth of the entire manatee population in the SE US; harmful algae blooms have killed 95 % of the seagrass in the Indian River Lagoon which has contributed to manatee starvation

Manatees at the Captiva dock; 1100+ manatees died in 2021, that's about one-sixth of the entire manatee population in the SE US; harmful algae blooms have killed 95+% of the seagrass in the Indian River Lagoon which has contributed to manatee starvation

On August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley, a category 4 storm with 175 mph winds, came ashore at Useppa resulting in 62 homes with major damage, 13 days without electricity and a month-long boil water notice

On August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley, a category 4 storm with 175 mph winds, came ashore at Useppa resulting in 62 homes with major damage, 13 days without electricity and a month-long boil water notice

The new Collier Inn re-opened one year after Hurricane Charley; most island homes were repaired within 2 yrs with 2400  new trees planted; Charley caused 29 deaths in FL and $15  billion in damage

The new Collier Inn re-opened one year after Hurricane Charley; most island homes were repaired within 2 yrs with 2400+ new trees planted; Charley caused 29 deaths in FL and $15+ billion in damage

Cape Coral has the distinction of having the largest population of the Florida species of the burrowing owl with 1000  nesting pairs; they are nocturnal so during the day this one made his home at Bernie and Chuck's

Cape Coral has the distinction of having the largest population of the Florida species of the burrowing owl with 1000+ nesting pairs; they are nocturnal so during the day this one made his home at Bernie and Chuck's

Posted by VagabondCowboy 10:35

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