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Celebrate Cayo Costa and taste a piece of paradise

By Staff | Oct 28, 2015

The Friends of Cayo Costa State Park will be hosting “Celebrate Cayo Costa Day” Nov. 7. The island day features a taste of Cayo Costa and the many features in paradise which comes with it. BRIAN WIERIMA

For many visitors to Southwest Florida, there is a hidden gem which can only be reached by boat, but once on it, a piece of paradise will be found.

That introduction to paradise, or better known as Cayo Costa State Park, will hold its Fourth Annual “Celebrate Cayo Costa Day” Saturday, Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is hosted by the Friends of Cayo Costa (FoCC), with affordable, all-inclusive tickets to feature a round trip boat ride to and from Cayo Costa (which is the only way to the island), with activities and lunch provided.

But most important of all, the day can be an introduction to some people to Cayo Costa, which quickly becomes either an annual or regular trip for them after taking in a slice of the island paradise.

“It’s a chance for people to get a taste of the island,” said Margi Nanney, who is on the FoCC board. “We’ll be having experts on the island explaining the history of Cayo Costa, as well as the native vegetation and wildlife.”

The history of the Calusa Indians on Cayo Costa will be an educational feature Nov. 7. Friends of Cayo Costa

As with most barrier islands, the beaches are the draw, but once people reach Cayo Costa, they find out it offers so much more than a relaxing time in the sand and surf.

“Cayo Costa does have seven miles of beach, and that’s usually what they want to see first when they come out,” Nanney said. “But then they start exploring all the trails and seeing all the wildlife and vegetation, along with some of the history.”

There will be tours of the island, nature and shelling beach walks, standup paddle board demos, palm weaving crafts, wildlife exhibits by CROW, Calusa artifacts from Randell Research Center and food offered.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $30 for children under the age of 12. Members of FoCC receive a $5 discount per ticket.

The ticket includes transportation to and from the island, all activities and a hot dog lunch. The event will take place rain or shine.

The art of palm weaving will be taught, as well. Friends of Cayo Costa

“People are totally amazed after visiting and hopefully, they will join as a member of Friends of Cayo Costa State Park,” Nanney said.

There will be four points of departure and for reservations at each location, please call: Bokeelia 239-283-0015; Punta Gorda 941-639-0969; Captiva 239-472-5300 and Boca Grande 239-472-5300.

Captiva Cruises, Tropic Star and Kingfisher Fleet tour boat services are offering the transportation.

It will be based on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information, visit the Friends of Cayo Costa State Park website at www.friendsofcayocosta.org or call Margi Nanney at 941-527-7865.

There will be events held underneath the chickee hut on Cayo Costa. Friends of Cayo Costa

There will be island hoppers going all around Cayo Costa Nov. 7. Friends of Cayo Costa