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Useppa Island, Bokeelia

(4.2/5 based on 70+ reviews on the web)
Useppa Island is an island located near the northern end of Pine Island Sound in Lee County, Florida, United States. It has been known for luxury resorts since the late 19th century, and it is currently the home of the private Useppa Island Club. On May 21, 1996, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, due to its archaeological significance. The Barbara Sumwalt Museum is located on the island.NameIn the early 1830s the island was variously called Caldez's Island, Toampe, and Joseffa. Records indicate that José Caldez, who had operated a fishing rancho on the island, called it Josepha's when he sold it in 1833. The name Useppa first appeared on a hydrological chart of the area in 1855.Like the nearby islands of Gasparilla, Sanibel, and Captiva, a folk etymology has developed connecting Useppa Island's name to the legendary pirate captain José Gaspar, also known as Gasparilla. A local folk story, extant in at least two versions, tells of Gaspar kidnapping a Spanish princess, with whom he becomes enamored. When she spurns his advances he kills her, but is overtaken by remorse and buries her himself on the beach. One version identifies the princess as Josefa, daughter of Martín de Mayorga, Viceroy of New Spain from 1779 to 1782, and indicates that her burial place of Useppa Island still bears her name in an altered form.
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Reviews
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  • My friend came from France just for a few days, so we didn't go far from Fort Myers where I live, but still I wanted to show her what I love about living in Florida. A short cruise from Captiva to Use...  more »
  • We had a great day trip to Useppa Island with Captiva Cruises. The boat ride over and back was pleasant and the boat guide was informative and entertaining. This is the only way to get on this private...  more »
  • While staying at friends in the Island we went to both the patio and dinner restaurants. Lunch outside is well worth it. Fried Chicken nights (Tuesdays, I think) are spectacular. Decent wine, beer & c...  more »