Exploring the islands of Southwest Florida: Useppa

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USEPPA ISLAND, Fla. – Throughout the month of July, WINK News This Morning and Captiva Cruises have teamed up to showcase some of Southwest Florida’s hidden treasures.

Useppa has been around and inhabited for thousands of years, from Calusa Indians to current residents that call the island home. Useppa has a unique history and rich culture, first gaining notoriety as a vacation destination for world class tarpon fishing in the late 1800s.

The island gained its reputation as a destination, after Chicago Businessman John Roach built a hotel on the Island in 1896. Useppa was later purchased by Barron Collier in 1911, which he developed into a resort to include tennis courts and a nine-hole golf course among other amenities.

The CIA even leased the island in 1960 as a training and advance location for the Bay of Pigs Invasion, stationing up to 20 people on the island. Throughout years of history and several Florida hurricanes the island has changed shape and style but still stands today.

Currently Useppa is a private island and club with 110 private residences and club buildings that serve a variety of seasonal and full time residents. The island is also home to a life size chess board, regulation croquet field and the Barbara Sumwalt Museum that showcases the islands rich character and past.

Useppa is a private island and club only accessible by boat or helicopter and not open to the public. However the public does have the chance to visit the island daily through charters offered by Captiva Cruises.

To book a trip to Useppa via Captiva Cruises, click here or call 239-472-5300. Useppa is located in Lee County Florida, West of Pine Island and North of Captiva Island.


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