Pelican Pass

Cayo Costa, FL

BEAUTIFUL CAYO COSTA

My favorite, unspoiled island in all of Florida is Cayo Costa.  Located south of Boca Grande and north of Captiva, this Florida State Park consists of nine miles of pristine beach and natural foliage as well as a campground with cabins.  It’s both a nautical and nature-lovers paradise and is the ultimate get-away for those who wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the rest of Florida.

The bay side of the island consists of sandbars and mangrove-lined shoreline.  One such sandbar is on Pelican Pass and is the focus of this post.  Pelican Pass is the main entrance to “Pelican Bay”; a favorite anchorage for cruisers looking for safety and relaxation. Pelican Bay is easy to navigate and has a comfortable depth. On the northern part of the pass entrance is a sandbar that is a very popular spot for boaters on the weekends.  

THE SANDBAR

The Pelican Pass sandbar is popular because it’s calm (boats entering and exiting Pelican Pass must go slow), doesn’t have much current and it has clean water.  The best side for anchoring and swimming in the water is the inside location.  The depth drops pretty quickly to overhead so it’s perfect for chilling on rafts (Lazy Bunz) and you don’t have to trim up the motor when beaching.  The pass-side is also good but it’s shallower and isn’t as ideal for swimming.  Also, the sand is coarse and made up of tiny shells so some may want to wear water shoes if they have sensitive feet.

BOAT RENTALS

The only way to visit Pelican Pass is by boat and that means either by owning one or renting one.  If you don’t own a boat then the area has some popular towns/locations where one can be rented.  The location I’m most familiar with is at Gasparilla Marina in Placida.  The marina is located at the foot of the Boca Grande Causeway and is about a 30 minute boat ride to Cayo Costa.  It’s an ideal location for those travelling from the north.  Other rental locations would be Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral and Pine Island.

LODGING

if you’d like to spend more time in the area and stay overnight, some of the most convenient places are The Innlet on Boca Grande, Tween Water’s on Captiva, South Seas on Captiva, Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island, Useppa Island, Cabbage Key, North Captiva Island and Little Gasparilla and Palm Island in Englewood.  

HOW TO ACCESS

Pelican Pass sandbar is easy to access from the intracoastal waterway.  Traveling north or south turn west at red marker “74”.  You’ll easily spot the pass and the sandbar.

THE BEST BOAT RAMPS TO ACCESS THIS AREA

If you’re in visiting beautiful Charlotte Harbor make sure to reserve some time to explore all that it has to offer.  Pelican Pass Sandbar on Cayo Costa is one of those places and makes a great “Lazy Location”.  

I utilize the service and benefits of Boat U.S.  They are a great organization that every boater should consider. You should too.  Click HERE to learn more. 

 

BOATING INFO

LAT/LONG:
26.69’32”N 82.24’39”W

SETTING:
Relaxing/Sandbar

SAND:
Granular Sand with Lots of Crushed Shell

BEST SPOT TO ANCHOR/BEACH:
Inside to north of sandbar

NEARBY RAMP:
Placida Boat Ramp & Pine Island Boat Ramp

CURRENT:
Calm

DEPTH:
Sandbar/Shallow

WAVES/WAKES:
Calm

FAMILY FRIENDLY:
Yes, but can have loud music or party boats at any time

WATER CLARITY:
Clear

BOAT RENTALS:
Gasparilla Marina

RESTAURANTS NEARBY:
Cabbage Key (boat only)

Barnacles (North Capitiva)

Miller’s Dockside (Boca Grande Marina)

Loose Caboose (Walking Distance from Boca Grande Public Docks)

NEARBY HOTELS:

The Innlet on Boca Grande

Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island

Palm Island Resort

Click on the 360 Video below for an immersive look at this location

If using a mobile device use the YouTube app for the optimal experience

Pelican Pass Sandbar Looking South

Pelican Pass Sandbar Cayo Costa  

 

 

 

 

 

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