Old Florida, the words conjure up the very essence of Southern Charm, Hospitality and Grace. That is what we found waiting for us at the Tarpon Lodge in Pineland, Florida. It is a quiet peaceful island community off of the shores of Cape Coral and a century away from the light speed of everyday life.
The Tarpon Lodge was the lodging host for the Kayak Fishing ClassicS latest tournament, the Pine Island Master Slam Classic which was held on July 14. In addition to being at the old lodge which was established in 1926, the ClassicS staff was there for a photo shoot with artist Steve Whitlock. Steve’s famous art work hangs on the walls at the Tarpon Lodge and his unique style blends right in with the Old Florida lifestyle of the lodge.
Captain Pat Horrigan, the national director of tournaments for the Kayak Fishing ClassicS had never stayed at the old lodge before and was very impressed with the allurement like atmosphere of a dream fishing location. The grounds have the look of a well kept golf course bordered by Royal Palms and the Pine Island Sound. The heavy timbers supporting the raised guest lodging stir the imagination of a time gone by. The entrance into the lodge and restaurant enchant with nostalgia and reminds one that this is the kind of place that Hemingway would have enjoyed and written about.
The huge tarpon over the fireplace further secures the fact that this is an Old Florida fishing lodge however it has a great deal of class and taste. This is the kind of place that your grandfather and his buddies would have stayed in order to validate their fishing stories that you grew to be so fond of. The Tarpon Lodge is the kind of place that when you sit down, you just don’t want to leave.
The restaurant consists of a few rooms that overlook the water as if painted by a skilled artist. The food is of course, fantastic without being overly fancy and is bested only by the service. There is of course a small, wooden standup bar, common to the era that will take you way back in time just to look at it. Everything has its place and is punctuated by the precise playing of an acoustic guitar by a very talented musician seated inconspicuously in a corner. Native wooden floors further accentuate the Old Florida Charm of the lodge and a time stood still.
The rooms in the lodge are large and spacious as well as very comfortable. Service is second to none and very good at knowing what you want and need without your asking, impressive. There are several boat slips that are included with your stay and there is a marina next to the lodge with boat ramp, bait shop and service. There is also a kayak launch point next to the Tarpon Lodge which is part of the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail.
The surrounding waters are dotted with numerous Mangrove islands and there are many beautiful grass flats with resident snook, redfish, trout and tarpon. There are several top fishing guides at your disposal and you can enjoy a dip in the pool when you return to the lodge.
We highly recommend a stay at Tarpon Lodge who can also take care of any family events such as wedding or birthday parties. You will find the Tarpon Lodge to be all that we found it to be and much more than we can express. To learn more about the Tarpon Lodge please visit them at www.TarponLodge.com you will be glad that you did.
Note: There is a $25 charge plus tax for overnight dockage/trailer parking.