Have you been searching for a special place to enjoy on the weekends, during family vacations or maybe even longer? Paradise… without passport required.
I never imagined an island lifestyle as close… and yet completely tucked away…. as the paradise I made my reality not long ago. It’s a story that can be yours, too.
On a 2014 boat trip through Florida’s westernmost Intracoastal Waterway… my family and I literally stumbled upon paradise. Useppa Island – a small private island club near Fort Myers.
We were first overwhelmed by the island’s natural beauty, and lush vegetation my wife compared to Hawaii. Gracious southern homes on sugar white beaches and sailboats on kool-aid blue water… it felt like fantasy island. We joined the Useppa Island Club immediately and soon bought our own home.
Just four months after that first visit, we moved to Useppa and home-schooled our children for eight months. Even with an off-the-grid lifestyle, the island’s new high-speed internet meant the priceless opportunity to operate my business while still relaxing at home close to my family.
Even more than the natural beauty, we soon fell in love with the people. The like-minded, accomplished individuals there who took a genuine interest in my entire family made it a very simple choice to invest and commit to this remarkable Useppa Island community.
We quickly came to value the privacy of a remote island, and brought others to join us for holidays, summer vacations and long weekends throughout the year. Grandparents come along on alternate holidays, and my wife plans girl’s weekend getaways. While special to share, the laidback island lifestyle best of all allows my wife and I the chance to throttle back, rest and reconnect. Returning to the real world, we’re recharged and equipped to inspire others to be an even better version of themselves. A bit of Useppa’s island spirit is always with us.
Part of the joy of our own experience is sharing it all with family and friends. The only thing more fun than catching an epic fish is watching a loved one do the same. Inshore or offshore fishing never grows old in waters anglers dream of the world over.
From bands playing poolside to pig roasts at the Collier Inn, golf cart drive-in movies on the beach to programs at the Useppa Island Historical Society, there is no shortage of cultural events and leisure activities. Even the annual island Easter egg hunt and Santa’s arrival by boat means just another excuse for a party-and another cocktail with newfound friends who soon feel like family.
Girls’ weekend indulgences can include everything from premier shopping at Boca Grande, brisk workouts at the island fitness center or even walking the “pink path” (a rosy-colored sidewalk that runs the length of the island), relaxing poolside after massages, lunch at the historic Collier Inn and ending the day with cocktails at Cabbage Key with a toast to the unmatched sunsets there.
This unique island environment makes it possible for our children, Maxwell, 12, and Annah, 9, to venture out from under our wings and enjoy the thrills of childhood. While they ride bikes, kayak, sail, play tag and find adventure on the playground with other island kids, my wife and I are able to spend time with our friends.
There is truly no other environment I’ve found that offers more peace of mind for my own safety and that of my family: a disconnect from stress, the pressures of obligations and responsibilities. In a world where that sense is growing rare, a place like Useppa Island becomes only more special.