Family Friendly Summer Vacation in Florida | South Seas Island Resort

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by Isabel Laessig (Isabel Foodie) · 5 comments

in Favorite Places, Holidays, Inspiration from my Kids

I was told once that we only get 18 summers with our children.  While that really spoke to me when I first heard it, my children were young at the time and I’m not sure if I truly understood the impact of that statement.  Now that I have one in college and one who graduated from high school this weekend, those words have such a profound effect on me.  Summer vacations became more precious to me as my four children grew older.

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Our Perfect Family Friendly Summer Vacation must meet these criteria: 

  1. Can we get there by car from Tampa Bay?  This is huge for us.
  2. Does the resort have accommodations where we can all stay together in a villa or condo? Usually a huge savings so we don’t have to book two rooms.  Mom and Dad enjoy getting up and enjoying coffee while the kids sleep in.
  3. Does the resort feature an equipped kitchen? For a large family like us, eating breakfast and lunch in equals huge savings.
  4. Is there enough to do and keep everyone entertained?  But not too much to do that it takes away form family time. We want to enjoy each other.
  5. Can the boys golf?  Yes, we plan our vacations around golf.  My boys don’t think it’s a vacation unless you can play a round of golf.
  6. We are beach lovers too.  The perfect family friendly summer vacation must include sand and water.
  7. Being a Foodie, the food scene is very important to me.  I want to leave  my vacation with a memorable culinary experience that will leave me counting down the days until I can come back for more and hopefully inspire me to try new recipes when I get home.
  8. This Mama and her daughter like a day at the Spa…  I want a Calgon take me away moment… far, far, away.
  9. Can Ron and I relax and truly turn it all off?  We love being surrounded by beautiful sunsets, water, sand and margaritas.
  10. Will we leave with family memories that will last a lifetime?
Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

South Seas Island Resort is a Family Vacation Spot filled with Nature everywhere you look:  I was invited along with Ron, Reis and Riley as guests of the South Seas Island Resort to enjoy a family getaway.  From the moment we checked in, I felt like I had left Florida and entered a Caribbean destination.  Imagine 2.5 miles surrounded by water, nature and beautiful landscaping everywhere you look.  As we ditched our car for a golf cart, I started to feel my shoulders relax a little more and I started to crave a margarita.  I mentally started to think of our vacation checklist and wondered if this resort could possibly meet our expectations.

Dolphins everywhere we looked

Dolphins everywhere we looked

We found Paradise at South Seas Island Resort:

  1. South Seas Resort, Captiva Island is approximately 3 hours from Tampa Bay
  2. When we opened the door to our beautiful 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom villa, overlooking South Beach, I was in heaven.  I kid you not, this is the kind of place that big families like ours can only dream about.  Beds for everyone and no fighting for the bathrooms – Score! 
  3. My kids laughed at my excitement when I saw the kitchen.  Full size refrigerator, microwave, stove AND… granite counter tops.  But that wasn’t the best part.  What really excited me was the large table with 6 chairs in the dining area.  We could spend time around the family table, eating, conversing and playing cards.  I tell you, this place was made just for us! 
  4. There was so much to do that literally the boys didn’t know where to start.  The pool, the beach, fishing, sailing, boat rides, water slides, golf, ice cream shop, trolley rides, miniature golf, shelling, snorkeling, arcade, volleyball, relaxing and so much more! 
  5. Oh thank heavens, there is a golf course.  It was one of the most scenic golf courses we have ever encountered.  What could be more beautiful than golf course meets the calm waters of  the gulf? 
  6. The beaches, took your breath away. We had our choice of hanging out at the South Beach right behind our villa or heading north to Sunset Beach.  We were immediately drawn to Sunset Beach.  Ron and I enjoyed the music, a couple of margaritas and read while the kids swam, played volleyball and enjoyed smoothies. Sunset Beach was not only a favorite in the middle of the afternoon, it was our favorite spot to watch the sunset.  Their Wish Upon A Star Sunset Ceremony is adorable and attracted families every evening. 
  7. This Foodie and her family loved the Food Scene at South Seas Resort.  I loved that there were enough dining options right at the resort that we never had to leave. 

The Pointe Restaurant featured delicious Carribean Cuisine and was our favorite lunch spot.   The view from the second floor porch was spectacular.  I am still craving their lobster salad.  When I think of lobster salad, I think of chopped lobster in a mayonaisse sauce.  Oh no, not here.  This beautiful salad came with clementines, pumpkin seeds and an entire perfectly marinated and grilled lobster tail.  

Harbourside Grille, was perfect for dinner and surprisingly, also for breakfast.  I admittedly am a buffet snob, but this buffet was right up my alley.  Fresh fruit, salmon, parfaits, made to order eggs, pastries and so much more.  If you are going to splurge, I would highly recommend this breakfast buffet.  For dinner, we loved dining inside and then heading out back for a drink on the patio overlooking the marina.  Did I mention that I had one of the most amazing Grouper dishes ever? Black Grouper with Fried Green Tomatoes and Crawfish Remoulade,  it was to die for!  I was also impressed by their great wine list. The desserts will leave you drooling…. one of the most amazing Panna Cottas. You may want to save the Harbourside Grille for date night with the hubs, sans the kids.

Scoops and Slices was immediately a favorite with our boys.  What could be better than wall to ceiling candy, old fashioned ice cream and oven baked pizza?  This was a great place for an afternoon treat and perfect for the night that we didn’t feel like getting dressed for dinner.

√√√ This Foodie gives the food scene high praises. 

8. While the boys enjoyed golfing with their dad, I enjoyed the peace, quiet and serenity of The Casperson Spa.  I would highly recommend an afternoon of pampering for every mom on vacation.  You will leave here feeling like a million bucks and inspired by the affirmation of the day! 

9. Were Ron and I able to relax and enjoy each other’s company?  Oh Yeah!  Our favorite spot may have been Sunset Beach.  We loved the laid back atmosphere, great music, beautiful sunsets, and the dolphins.  Every time you looked at the water there were dolphins jumping up and greeting us.  I have never seen so many dolphins in one area. 

10. South Seas Island Resort is the perfect family friendly summer vacation spot that will create memories that the kids will never forget.  I loved the fact that there was enough to keep everyone busy, but not too much to do.  We never felt a need to leave the resort, instead we enjoyed each other and nature… this place was truly paradise. 

Family Friendly Ratings:  Reis 9, Riley 9.5, Ron 8.5, Isabel 9 *we can’t wait to come back with Alexandra and Ronnie

Snorkeling fun

Snorkeling fun at  Costa Cayo Island

Family Favorite Spots: Reis,  H2Whoa Water Park Riley, Costa Cayo Island and Shelling Cruise |Ron, Sunset Beach |Isabel, The Culinary Experience, I loved the food at The Pointe and Harbourside Grille

Still craving Black Grouper and Fried Greek Tomatoes

The milion dollar view of the Marina from Harbourside Grille … made for a great evening.


Get more information the South Seas Island Resort Website: |Facebook:  |Twitter: |Instagram: @ssislandresort

Book your Summer Escape Package and receive $50 or more in hotel credits Plus kids eat free at breakfast.

Disclosure:  We were invited as guests for a family fun getaway by South Seas Island Resort.  All opinions are my own. 

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole May 28, 2013 at 11:00 am

What a fabulous vacation and what a fun and unique vacation spot. I guess I know where my next vacation might be ;)


The Ninja Baker May 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm

South Seas Island looks enchanting! Thank you for the vicarious vacation =) Especially love the dolphins.


Laura Dembowski May 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Your vacation sounds amazing! I love the slideshow of pictures!


Katie June 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm

This sounds like such a great location! I have been meaning to find a place for me and Justin to take a “staycation” in Florida somewhere – maybe I’ll have to look into this one!


JustJoannie June 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm

I was considering visiting that area. Last family reunion, we all stayed in Martha’s Vineyard Rentals. There were so many activities from museums to crabbing. The whole family loved it, and we’re looking to do a similar trip again in the future. Maybe we’ll check this out next!


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