Sea Oats offers complimentary fishing poles, tackle, bait boxes, nets, and a variety of fishing locations for the angler in you. From the beach, guests can cast their lines to catch snook, sea trout, whiting, sheepshead, flounder, mackerel, and pompano. Off the dock, anglers have the chance of catching redfish, snook, sheepshead, black drum, snapper, and many other species. If you’re skilled enough to catch something, Sea Oats has a freshwater cleaning station should you choose to keep your fish. You will constantly see fish jumping, but these are herbivore mullet fish that will not take your bait. To this day, scientists are still unsure as to why they are constantly jumping, but it is not unusual to see a line of 50+ mullets swim by. If you somehow manage to catch one, we don’t recommend them for eating but they make excellent bait.
As a Sea Oats guest, you can rent up to ten of our open-top kayaks, singles, or tandems, which can accommodate up to two adults and a child. Our equipment is in new condition and stored indoors, and we have plenty of clean life vests in an assortment of sizes. The best place to launch is from the beach behind the property, which allows you to explore Buck Key and the surrounding waters. Our favorite outing is a paddle down to the lagoon or hurricane hole on Buck Key. For those who are unfamiliar, hurricane holes are locations where boats can take shelter from the brunt of hurricanes. Ours has high freshwater content, and the entrance is hidden so we provide a map and directions. Once you’re in, you can explore the lagoon and return home or take the mangrove trail, which feels like you’re immersed in a rainforest. The trail is dotted with small shell mounds leftover from the Calusa tribes who inhabited what is now Buck Key. After successfully completing this paddle, you and your group will feel like you starred in an episode of Survivor!
FISHING TOURS/BOAT TOURS
We are happy to arrange a fishing and/or boat tour for you and your group. Depending on the size of your group, in most cases we can arrange for you to be picked up at our dock. Rest assured, we only use our vetted captains. Personally, we recommend a nice combo tour that has a little fishing followed by lunch. And, as you will spend most of your time in Pine Island Sound’s protected waters, there are no large waves. As a bit of added fun for guests of all ages, it is quite common to encounter pods of dolphins in the sound who like to chase the boat wakes. All of our captains are very patient and while we don’t guarantee a catch, it is highly likely. You can also speak directly with your captain about stopping for lunch at Barnacle Phil’s on North Captiva or my favorite Cabbage Key, which is rumored to be the inspiration for Jimmy Buffett’s Cheeseburger in Paradise. Behind the bar you can actually see pictures of the young Mr. Buffett.
If you have a specific event or tour in mind, we’re happy to help you arrange something unique. Spring Baseball Training? No problem. We have relationships with the front offices for the Twins and Red Sox and can arrange for tickets and transportation to and from the game. If you prefer nature outings, we can provide a private or group tour of the Everglades with transportation. Maybe you’re looking for a shopping tour of the outlets and dining on the water… Again, let us know what you’re thinking and we can plan it for you. Chances are we’ve done it before.
The unique “U” shape of Sea Oats’ estate surrounds the pool and protects it from the elements during winter months. We keep the pool temperature at 82°F and offer commercial loungers, outdoor sofas, and chairs for your comfort. There is also a pool bar and BBQ, creating the option to set up an appointment with a chef and bartender.
Sanibel and Captiva Islands are home to numerous boutiques and shopping plazas, as chain stores are limited. If national chain retailers are desired there is also outlet shopping off the island, with one outlet immediately off Sanibel and another approximately 40 minutes away. To help optimize your time we can assist you in hiring a personal shopper to guide you through the many options.
While Sea Oats doesn’t have its own golf course, we would be more than happy to arrange a game for you nearby. Sanibel Island is home to three courses and Captiva has one of its own. While the islands are known for some great entertainment offerings, golf, unfortunately, is not yet a contender.
Sea Oats is able to offer your group one chair per guest, up to 30 guests. Beach umbrellas, coolers, a beach cart, sand toys, boogie boards, and more are also available for your use. Best of all, enjoy some peace and quiet on our beach, as we are more than a mile from the nearest public beach. Guests can take walks on the beach and have lunch at a nearby restaurant, or bring their own. For those who prefer not to get sand between their toes, we also have loungers available on the dock. You will notice some areas on the beach that are roped off, which often means there are sea turtle nests marked off for their protection. Sanibel and Captiva are two of the most desirable hatching locations for sea turtles in North America.
Sea Oats’ location overlooking Buck Key is perfect for viewing all of the area’s beautiful wildlife and flora. Depending on the time of year you can watch dolphins swimming nearby, manatees hanging out by the dock, and an occasional sea turtle sunning itself at low tide. The islands are also home to many beautiful birds, including roseate spoonbills (which are often mistaken for flamingos), ospreys, eagles, herons, egrets, pelicans, and many, many others. Enjoy your morning coffee or evening drink while watching this incredible show.
Sanibel and Captiva are known for some of the best shelling in North America. Sanibel, because of its east-west orientation and low shelf, is the better of the two. Of course, we’re happy to direct you to the best locations for shelling and will provide all the right equipment. It’s not as much fun, but you can also stop at the numerous shell stores on Sanibel and buy them…and save your back.
Ever popular, Sea Oats is proud to offer stand-up paddleboard rentals. Make no mistake; ours are the real deal, fiberglass boards that are stable and lightweight. Go for a paddle in our backyard or launch from the beach. Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing sports and it’s easy to see why. Our area is great for paddleboarders, offering protected estuaries so that there is no worry about surf or boat wakes. Choose your route depending on personal ability or let us help you.
Enjoy a game of tennis anytime during the day or into the night on our lighted court. We have adult and kids’ racquets on hand, free of charge. We also offer a complimentary sleeve of new balls for the best in-game experience possible. There is seating around the court for spectators, along with a drinking fountain. Our personal favorite is a late-night game of tennis ⎯ always exhilarating. If you’re looking to take your game up a notch or are just beginners looking to learn, we have preferred pros (former tour and/collegiate players) who will help you fine-tune your game at a very reasonable price.
Sea Oats has its own lighted half court for you and your group to enjoy a game of hoops. Balls included, of course.
Simply set up the net on our property or the beach for a fun group game of volleyball.
Sea Oats offers an assortment of sports equipment that includes, but is not limited to, badminton, Pro Kadima, soccer balls, bouncy balls, cornhole toss, ping pong, and more.
WHAT TO SEE
Captiva and Sanibel Islands are known for their natural beauty and dedication to land and environmental preservation. Almost two-thirds of Sanibel is undeveloped, with the majority of that being refuge lands. You will not find high-rises on either island, nor will you find traffic lights. The carpets get rolled up early on both islands and while there are restaurants and bars, you will not find clubs. Life definitely moves at a slower pace on the islands.
J.N. DING DARLING NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is located on the subtropical barrier island of Sanibel in the Gulf of Mexico. The refuge is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States, and is world famous for its spectacular migratory bird populations.
BAILEYS-MATTHEWS SHELL MUSEUM
Now in its 20th year, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island is the only museum in the United States that is solely devoted to shells and mollusks
CLINIC FOR REHABILITATION OF WILDLIFE (CROW)
For more than four decades, CROW has cared for sick and injured wildlife in the area. After rehabilitating the animals, CROW releases them back into the wild. Visitors can tour the 4,800-square-foot wildlife hospital and facility to see some of the great work they do for local animals.
For an unmatched wildlife experience, visit Everglades National Park. Offering a variety of sawgrass prairies, tropical hardwood hammocks and pinelands, swamps, and Florida Bay and Gulf Coast estuaries spanning 1.5 million acres, the Everglades are an ecosystem like no other.
THE FORD EDISON WINTER ESTATES
For visitors to Fort Myers, the winter estates of these two great inventors are an interesting must-see. Take a tour of the gardens, laboratories, homes, and more.