Fine food, history found at island restaurant

Posted on September 14, 2016
By Carol Orr Hartman (Special to The Eagle) , Pine Island Eagle
History, Restaurant Reviews, Tarpon Lodge Reviews

Looking down on beautifully plated seared white fish with diced red tomatoes and golden flower

The Florida of today doesn’t reflect the tenacity of those who first settled the area, and it is difficult to find vestiges of early Southwest Florida. Before the Matlacha Bridge was built, the only access to Pine Island was by boat, and to build without power or easy access showed the commitment to this area by early residents. As time evolved, less and less properties have maintained a true history as that of Tarpon Lodge, 13771 Waterfront Drive, offering a view into the past.

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The path of history begins right next door

Posted on August 18, 2016
Calusa Indians, History, Pine Island, Pine Island Beauty, Tarpon Lodge

We have always been fascinated with the rich and storied history of our community. Working at Tarpon Lodge has allowed us to share these unique and exciting facts with our guests who are curious about the area and how it all began. While not historians or archeologists, living and working in proximity to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Randell Research Center has given us a lot of information to pass on. For the history buffs out there, here’s what we have learned:

Juan Ponce de Leon

The very famous Juan Ponce de Leon, whom we all learned about in elementary school, “discovered” Florida in 1513, supposedly while searching for the Fountain of Youth. I put discovered in quotes because apparently there was already a large population here – this was the home of the Calusa Indians.

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10 Reasons to Visit Fort Myers and Sanibel, Florida

Posted on August 10, 2016
By Gillian Kendall, National Geographic
Fishing, Nearby, Pine Island, Recreation, Tarpon Lodge Overview

A man walks at sunset down Bowman's Beach on Sanibel Island, Florida.

For a beach lover, the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel are a dream destination.

Trouble in paradise: I’m at the tollbooth on the causeway that crosses to Sanibel Island from Fort Myers, Florida. There’s a six-dollar charge, and they don’t take credit cards. After fumbling through pockets, purse, and beach bag, I come up with only four crumpled one-dollar bills. But the tan booth attendant offers an authentic smile. “If you don’t have it, it’s OK,” she says, waving me through. “Someone ahead of you just paid it forward.”

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Florida coast offers great food, fun on, off water

Posted on May 29, 2016
By Bryan Hendricks, Arkansas Sportsman
Fishing & Boating, Restaurant Reviews, Tarpon Lodge Reviews

Southwest Florida has an entirely different vibe because tourism is not the center of its culture. Tourism is woven into its fabric, and its environment is authentically native.

My base during my kayak fishing extravaganza was Tarpon Lodge, an early 20th century fishing camp that evokes images of old Florida. Its whitewashed exterior houses and understatedly lavish rooms are scrupulously clean. It is the cleanest place I have ever stayed. It’s comfortable and it is warmly welcoming. Miss Laura and I stayed there last year as well, and its high quality was consistent.

The lightning show from late-night storms was spectacular from my balcony.

The Tarpon Lodge restaurant offers a diverse selection of surf and turf options, including a filet mignon so tender that it practically falls apart at the touch of a fork. You’ll be wobbling at the end of the entree, and the desserts will deliver the knockout blow. The head waiter, Frankie, is a master at his craft.

This article originally appeared on and has since been archived.

Historic stays on Pine Island Sound Part 1: Tarpon Lodge

Posted on May 20, 2016
By Jimmy Jacobs, Atlanta Outdoor Travel Examiner
Fishing, Pine Island, Recreation, Tarpon Lodge, Tarpon Lodge Reviews


Pine Island Sound is located just northwest of Fort Myers, Florida. The body of water is fronted on the inland side by Pine Island and to the west by Sanibel, Captiva, North Captiva and Cayo Costa islands that separate its waters from the Gulf of Mexico. The passes connecting the sound to the Gulf are veritable highways for tarpon and other game fish at all times of the year. Also the mangrove-lined islands, creek shores and inland lakes are magnets for snook and redfish.

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Tarpon Lodge featured in Destination Spotlight by Living Local Florida

Posted on April 14, 2016
By Living Local (The Buzz by Gina)
Restaurant Reviews, Tarpon Lodge Reviews


There are places in Southwest Florida that no matter how long you’ve lived here; you may have never experienced. Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island is one of those gems.

Off the beaten path, it has a rich history and a great reputation as a launching point for all kinds of water adventures. Dating back to the 1920’s, the property has been a private residence, a rehab facility and now a casually elegant fishing lodge.

For decades the location has been popular for sports fishing, Tarpon in particular. That was the inspiration for the name when the Well’s family, residents of SW Florida since the 1970’s, bought the property in 1999.

The bright white lodge is a beacon in the middle of lush green grass, swaying palms, blue skies and lapping water of the Pine Island Sound. With the feel of a bed and breakfast the lodge has wooden floors and a fireplace in the cozy bar for those rare evenings when there’s a chill in the air. Eight rooms spiral off the lounge.

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Fishing for Tourists

Posted on May 2, 2014
By Jean Gruss - Business Observer
Tarpon Lodge Reviews

Robert Wells III says visitors are looking for historic inns that offer a glimpse into Florida’s past. - See more at:

One of the keys to the success of Tarpon Lodge is its name. Evoking Florida’s past as an untamed destination for big-game fishermen, Tarpon Lodge on secluded Pine Island has filled its rooms every weekend from President’s Day to Easter. The average waterfront room rate is $185, equivalent to what some hotels on the better-known island of Sanibel charge.

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