Florida has countless unique and beautiful keys that belong on your bucket list. You can take a day cruise to Cabbage Key, an island that has been around since the last ice age. This remote isle will transport you back in time to when the mammoths roamed.
Cabbage Key is a private island located off the coast of Fort Myers by the popular Sanibel and Captiva Islands. It's about a three-hour drive south from Tampa, plus a short cruise. It's a charming little key at just 3,500 feet long.
The island formed around 10,000 B.C. and is considered an "ice age sand dune" because it has stayed at least partially above sea level since the most recent ice age. It was inhabited by the Calusa who managed to survive 200 years after the Spanish first arrived.
You can visit Cabbage Key and experience its beauty for yourself. Captiva Cruises offers a Lunch Cruise to the island so you can take a day trip, and you're likely to see wild dolphins during your cruise too.
You can also ferry with Captiva Cruises to the nearby Useppa Island, an unusual destination with massive "melting" trees. This island is also remote — yet another hidden tropical paradise accessible mainly by sea and worth exploring.
In addition to dolphins, Cabbage Key has colorful shells, sunbleached driftwood, and turquoise waters to admire. Gopher tortoises roam the key, so keep an eye out for these friendly island residents on your visit.
It's also known as Jimmy Buffett's inspiration for "Cheeseburger in Paradise," possibly referring to the island's famous burger served at Cabbage Key Inn & Restaurant. The restaurant is covered wall to wall in autographed dollar bills.
If you're ready to explore this little slice of paradise, you can reserve your ferry with Captiva Cruises here. You can also check out photos of dolphins jumping alongside the cruise on Instagram here.
Lunch Cruise to Cabbage Key
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily
Address: 11401 Andy Rosse Ln., Captiva, FL, and 5400 South Seas Plantation Rd., Captiva, FL
Why You Need To Go: Cruise to this historic island in Florida and step back in time, taking in beautiful sights.
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.