From castles to natural wonders, Florida has many strange and beautiful sights for the curious traveler. If you are looking to add to your hidden gem bucket list, we have the perfect thing in mind. Hidden on the Gulf Coast, Useppa Island grows unique trees called Strangler Figs with long drooping roots that look as if they're melting in the hot sun.
This little slice of paradise is located north of Captiva Island on the west coast of the Sunshine State, about 2 hours south of Tampa. This remote isle is privately owned, accessible mainly by boat and seaplane.
To access the island, you must be a club member, guest of a member, or visitor via Captiva Cruises. You can book a Lunch Cruise to Useppa Island for an adventurous day trip, offered 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
You may spot Strangler Figs on your visit. Also known as Banyan Trees, these unusual plants grow tightly around other trees, hence the nickname "strangler." The fig flourishes while the host tree is placed in an elaborate chokehold.
These bizarre, many-limbed trees look like they belong in a Salvador Dalí painting. Climb onto the roots for a stunning view of Useppa Island.
Banyans are considered the world's largest trees by the amount of space they occupy. As their limbs and roots grow, the trees "walk," spreading further and further out from their bases.
Book your getaway to the island soon and roam among giant trees that you never knew existed.
Lunch Cruise to Useppa Island
Address: Marina locations at 11401 Andy Rosse Ln., Captiva, FL, and 5400 S. Seas Plantation Rd., Captiva, FL
Why You Need To Go: The trees on this unusual island will make you feel like you're in a fairytale forest.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.