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A Royal Escape – Fulfill Your Prince or Princess Fantasy at Useppa Island

useppaLast week, we learned that the “royal couple” is finally on their honeymoon. Yes, Wills and Kate have jetted off to the exclusive Seychelles Islands where they’re enjoying sparkling turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. Oh, the life of a princess!
With a two-year-old daughter, I actually spend a lot of time thinking about princesses — we just watched Disney’s new princess movie, Tangled, and I have to say, that princess has some gusto! OK, full disclosure; my daughter lost interest half way through but I couldn’t stop watching…and I did shed a few tears towards the end.  So sometimes I get caught up in the fantasy! I mean, who doesn’t want to live happily ever after?  And yes, sometimes I want to be whisked away to a private island just like Princess Kate. I mean, a private island with no bridges, no cars, no crowds? Sign us up, right? Well, today, think of me as your Fairy Godmother.
I’ve found an exclusive private island called Useppa that is the place in Florida to take your royal escape.  It’s located just north of Sanibel and you have to get there by boat because there are no bridges that lead to the island and there are no cars on the island.  You must be a member to utilize the island, so there are also no crowds. There are only 850 club members…and you can make that 851.
No bridges, no cars, no crowds? No problem on Useppa Island.
Coincidentally, the island was named after a Spanish princess, Joseffa. Eventually, local dialects eventually morphed Joseffa into Useppa and that is how it attained its unique name that it goes by today. Useppa has had many famous visitors throughout its history, including the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Herbert Hoover and Shirley Temple but you don’t need to be a prince or princess (or “little princess” in Shirley Temple’s case) to visit today. Useppa is having a Summer Special that allows people like myself to sample all that the island has to offer for the wee price of $500. For this small cost, you and your guests get full access to the island from June – September, whether it’s just for the day where you come enjoy the white, sandy beaches or whether it’s overnight where you stay on your boat in the marina or stay at the island’s quaint Collier Inn.  Instead of getting a Sanibel Island rental, stay at Useppa!
Another Useppa perk? This island is located just south of the Boca Grande, so if you are looking to do some Tarpon fishing, this is a great base. My Prince Charming will be thrilled about that!
The island has several restaurants and bars with outstanding views and dining options from casual “bar bites” to fine dining. You’ll definitely want to linger over big bowl of Bahamian Conch Chowder; a long-standing favorite dish of Island Club members and their guests.
Useppa sounds like a wonderful boating destination and a great place to fulfill my fantasies of vacationing like a princess. Hmm…maybe I should get one of those white bikinis like Princess Kate wears. Nah…after last night’s Spaghetti Bolognese, I better stick with my pooch-friendly tankini.
Private island? Yes, please. Itty, bitty bikini? Nah, I’ll leave that up to the real princess!
To reserve your summer membership at Useppa Island or for any questions, call the Membership Director, Terry West at 239-283-4227.