You don't have to travel to a faraway tropical island to get the feel of your very own private island paradise. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.
A sunset like the one in the image above on Florida's southwest coast is priceless, right?
Hardly. To view it from that particular vantage point from the waters off of Ft. Myers, you have to pay for the privilege.
"We're not a resort. We're not a bed and breakfast. We're just a very unique destination for our members and owners and our guests," says Tim Fitzsimmons, president and CEO of the Useppa Island Club.
Members of the Useppa Island Club pay a $1,600 initiation fee and $146 monthly dues to be apart from the mainland, 15 minutes by boat, on a bridgeless, car-less atoll.
"It’s fun," says J.P. Feustler, a member of the Useppa Island Club. "The kids love it. It’s very nice. It’s relaxed. We bring as many friends as we want. It's great fishing, good drinks, nice weather."
Property owners, on the other hand, can cough up an average of $2 to $3 million for a home on the secluded spit of sand.
Or, you might be invited onto Useppa, as I was. A long-standing "Get Acquainted" program allows prospects to feel it out.
Another way to get a glimpse of the jungly 100-acre island is on board daily cruises from Captiva Island.
"Our passengers have lunch at the historic Collier Inn, get a chance to walk around the island, go to the museum," says Richard Finkel of Captiva Cruises.
The impressive little museum details the island’s history, from its sportfishing roots, to its use as a staging ground for the Bay of Pigs invasion.
While the club's membership requirements are closely guarded, it appears to be loosening up the laces of its docksiders.
"We used to call it Gilligan's Island, lovely," Feustler says.
For more information, visit www.useppa.com or www.captivacruises.com.