Locally known as Keewaydin, is a special place. It serves as a sanctuary for wildlife and a recreational destination for local residents .....
Keewaydin Island is a primary barrier island located off the coast of Naples, in Collier County, Florida, United States.
It is managed by the State of Florida's Coastal Office, in cooperation with NOAA, within the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Keewaydin Island is monitored nightly for Loggerhead turtle nesting activity by The Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
Keewaydin Island is a unique barrier island in Florida that has no cars, roads, or bridges. It had a history of being the next developable barrier island, after Marco Island to the south was developed in the 50's and 60's and onward.
Keewaydin, where the environmentalist movement finally got enough momentum to stop the bridge to the island. As a result, Keewaydin remains primitive, with the only infrastructure being dirt pathways connecting the private docks on the eastern side to the houses on the western beach side.
Locals and visitors can relish the experience of a visit to a pristine barrier island and its ecosystem.
Most commonly known for the south tip of the island, where local boaters congregate at the end of the 8 mile long isthmus, where they can park their boat on the shore and enjoy people watching and the beach and scenery.
Since you can't drive to the Island, you will have to rent a boat, go on a tourist boat, visit with a private individual who has a boat, or call Hemingway Water Shuttle, a water taxi service.
Wildlife abounds and the island protects one of the largest and most important reserves called Rookery Bay.
Mammals such as Wild Boar, Bobcat, and White-tailed deer live on the island. The Gopher Tortoise which is threatened by habitat destruction finds sanctuary on this island, aside from the invasive Iguana which feeds on the tortoise's eggs.
I loved that we could easily go back and forth between the two sides of the island, both of which have completely different feels. We came by Hemingway Shuttle.
The shelling is fabulous with 7 miles of beach to walk while enjoying the birds, too.
You're sure to meet many interesting and friendly people who jump up to help with beaching or launching your boat. Unlike some beaches in the area, you're sure to see the full range...
We visited the island as a part of our tour with Eco Adventures. This is a pristine beach with lots of shells. We also saw a sawfish trolling the beach about 3 feet away from us. We arrived early in the morning and had most of the beach to ourselves
We visit the island via jet skis. It was fun to have lunch on the island from one of the "food boats" that tie up on the beach
We had rented a pontoon and made our way to Keewaydin for the day and it absolutely lived up to our hopes! Truly gorgeous beach - we could go out pretty far and it wasn't deep!
The water was turquoise and there weren't that many people on the beach! The kids enjoyed shelling, looking for little crabs, and building sandcastles....