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News Story
Updated: 03/12/2014 08:00:01AM

Useppa, a private paradise

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SUN PHOTO BY CHRISTY FEINBERG

The beautiful Collier Inn on Useppa Island offers postcard-like views of Pine Island Sound. Barron Collier bought the island in 1911.

SUN PHOTO BY CHRISTY FEINBERG

Useppa Island is a peaceful, private island near Cabbage Key.

SUN PHOTO BY CHRISTY FEINBERG

A gopher tortoise walks toward a house on Useppa Island, where residents drive golf carts or walk. There are no cars on the island.

SUN PHOTO BY CHRISTY FEINBERG

Useppa Island is a private island, accessible only by boat. Those wanting to visit can do so via Boca Boat Cruises, based on Gasparilla Island.

SUN PHOTO BY CHRISTY FEINBERG

This playful dolphin flips in the wake of Boca Boat Cruises on a recent trip to Useppa Island.

SUN PHOTO BY CHRISTY FEINBERG

Boca Boat Cruises escorts guests to a small island in Gasparilla Sound, where thousands of white pelicans migrate each winter. Some are already heading home.

SUN PHOTO BY CHRISTY FEINBERG

A dolphin leaps in the surf as another dolphin photobombs.

SUN PHOTO BY CHRISTY FEINBERG

Bring a camera on a trip to Useppa Island as dolphins may put on quite a performance.

SUN PHOTO BY CHRISTY FEINBERG

A giant chess board awaits players near the beautifully manicured croquet field.

SUN PHOTO BY CHRISTY FEINBERG

Useppa Island sustained heavy damage from Hurricane Charley in 2004, but the island's landscaping has recovered and looks beautiful.

SUN PHOTO BY CHRISTY FEINBERG

Keep an eye out while riding out to Useppa Island. You may see an active osprey nest like this one occupied by mother and chick.

Live like a tourist

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Useppa Island, with its Caribbean- esque beauty and sirens- worthy history, lures guests and then bids them farewell with lottery-ticket fantasies.

The island is a private, members-only club, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience that tax-bracket lifestyle … for a few hours.

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