Holiday lights on Captiva Island — Photo courtesy of Captiva Holiday Village Snow and ice don't have to be the your winter holiday theme. Head to sunny southwest Florida, where Captiva Island uses the shimmery Gulf of Mexico and nightly sunsets to infuse visitors with holiday spirit. The island's annual "Captiva Holiday Village" extravaganza packs fun events into every pre-Christmas weekend on this friendly barrier island, where cars are barely needed, if at all. Walk to Captiva's beach for nightly sunsets - an island tradition - or wander into the many galleries, restaurants and shops lining tiny but welcoming Andy Rosse Lane.
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USA TODAY 10Best
An Island Christmas
// By Libby McMillan
About Libby McMillan
A longtime travel journalist, Libby chose her beautiful city after a nationwide search for a new hometown. Greenville's amazing downtown, four mild seasons, varied terrain, friendly residents and countless nearby waterfalls made it a winner.
Libby previously spent 20 years in Florida, what she calls “the only place in the world where you drive north to reach the South.”
An avid college football fan, Libby has deep ties to the University of Oklahoma but graduated from rival Texas. She’s lived in Austin, Boston, Nashville, San Francisco and Captiva Island, Florida, including 4 happy years on a houseboat.
Read more about Libby McMillan here.