Hurricane Ian hit the Florida coast on 9/23/2022. The cat 5 was the worst Hurricane since 1935. It destroyed Captiva and Sanibel Islands.
We spent a weekend just over the Causeway of the island before heading to the Keys. We visited the island 20 years ago before we were married. I remembered it to be such a beautiful area, so lush and tropical.
The photo above is of Matlacha Bat House park. The island is just north of Sanibel and the Bat house is gone. This little island was coined the most colorful beach town in Florida. This is what is left...
Sanibel and Captiva are mostly cleaned up. New construction can be seen everywhere. Very little is open in the area as of June 2023. The vegetation however will take many years to return to something resembling it's former glory.
The shelling here is arguably the best in the world.
The water is clear and calm.
The upside was there were no crowds and though accommodations were sparse, the price was a fraction of what it normally would be to visit. I am glad we chose to break up our road trip to the Keys and spend some time here.