Florida’s Gulf Coast: Hotels, restaurants and things to do

Posted on December 15, 2023
By Alicia Watts, Cosmopolitan
Cabbage Key, Reviews, Tarpon Lodge

John Coletti//Getty Images

Look no further for a relaxing, wholesome and feel-good trip

If you’re a fan of low-key, chain-free restaurants and hotels, protected wildlife, island hopping around secluded beaches and making real memories in a slice of paradise, Florida’s Gulf Coast could be calling your name. Here’s our travel guide of the best places to stay, where to eat and drink and what to do while you’re there. Basically, here’s what your adventure could look like.

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Dock & dine in style: Discover Fort Myers’ best waterfront restaurants

Posted on October 6, 2023
By Travelweek
Boating, Cabbage Key, Dining, Fort Myers, Tarpon Lodge

Inhale those fresh Gulf breezes and feel the warmth of the sun on your face as the day unfolds before you.

All throughout Fort Myers’ islands, beaches, and neighborhoods, you can go straight from an exhilarating boat ride to an amazing meal while overlooking the water.

You’re invited to experience a local legend. Cabbage Key Inn sits on its own 100-acre island and has been feeding guests for decades. Hop aboard a charter or book your own private boat to reach this remote restaurant famed for its cheeseburgers, fresh seafood and frozen Key lime pie. Its defining feature is the thousands of dollar bills taped to the restaurant’s ceilings and walls, and you’ll likely spot tortoises and other wildlife roaming the walkways outside.

Feel the charm of an Old Florida landmark at the Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant in Bokeelia on Pine Island. This historical 1926 house overlooks Pine Island Sound and is surrounded by a restored boathouse, bungalow-style cottage and comfortable Island House. Enjoy a leisurely lunch or exquisite evening meal at Tarpon Lodge Restaurant, where you can dine on the catch of the day, prized Gulf pink shrimp or other locally sourced favourites.

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Travelweek.

Tarpon Lodge and Cabbage Key: The Best of the Gulfshore 2023 Award Finalists🏅

Posted on May 5, 2023
By Tarpon Lodge
Awards, Cabbage Key, Tarpon Lodge

We are excited to share that Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant and Cabbage Key were finalists in 17 categories in Gulfshore Life Magazine’s Best Of rankings. And we’re even more thrilled to announce that we WON the following:

Tarpon Lodge:

  • Best Hotel/Resort
  • Best Kept Secret
  • Sunset View

Cabbage Key:

  • Best Boating Destination
  • Best Boating Access
  • Key Lime Pie

These honors are a result of community and guest votes which means we could not have done it without you! We take pride in our history and we strive to provide the best “Old Florida” dining and getaway experience for our guests. After the year ⛈ we’ve all had, your votes mean the world to us and our wonderful employees. Thank you for contributing to this achievement. 🥰

Tarpon Lodge Restaurant among the 15 best waterfront restaurants in Florida, as chosen by USA TODAY Network writers

Posted on March 29, 2023
By USA Today
Dining, Reviews, Tarpon Lodge Restaurant

Everybody loves a great waterfront restaurant with spectacular views and Florida has many of them.

These are the special occasion kind of places where you can dine while enjoying a spectacular sunset or sip on a margarita while watching dolphins frolic in the ocean.

Just in time for spring travelers, a team of USA TODAY Network contributors throughout the Sunshine State chose 15 waterfront restaurants that are perfect to visit any day of the year, especially during the cooler springtime.

The included restaurants reflect contributors’ favorite oceanfront restaurants and charming eateries which hug the Sunshine State’s beautiful bays and rivers.

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Overnighting in old Florida, at Pine Island’s Tarpon Lodge

Posted on January 4, 2023
By Susan Glaser,
Cabbage Key, Pine Island, Reviews, Tarpon Lodge

A sapphire blue pool reflects a serene sunset scene at Tarpon Loge.

The pool at sunset at Tarpon Lodge, an old-Florida retreat on Pine Island in Southwest Florida.

PINE ISLAND, Florida – There are no sandy beaches on this Florida island, no high-rise condo complexes, no fancy stores.

What you’ll find instead on Pine Island, just west of Fort Myers: a mostly rural atmosphere with exotic fruit farms and some of the best fishing in the state.

There’s also a unique old Florida place to spend the night, the Tarpon Lodge, with 22 overnight rooms and cottages, many with views of the Pine Island Sound.

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10 Incredible Things to do in Pine Island Florida! That You’ll Love!

Posted on August 19, 2022
Local Attractions, Nature & Wildlife, Recreation, Reviews

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Pine Island, Florida – you’ve come to the right place!

In this blog post we’ll look at all the best things to do in Pine Island, Florida – to keep you busy during your trip or vacation!

Whilst Pine Island might be a small place, there are so many options for the best things to do in Pine Island, Florida – and we know you’ll love the suggestions below!

So, let’s get into it!

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Tarpon Lodge: The Best of the Gulfshore 2022 Award Finalist🏅

Posted on May 23, 2022
By Tarpon Lodge
Awards, Cabbage Key, Tarpon Lodge

Best of The Gulfshore 2022

We’re Proud…

to have been selected as a FINALIST in Gulfshore Life’s “Best of the Gulfshore” 2022 awards for Best Hotel/Resort, Best Seafood, Best Business Lunch, Best Date Night Restaurant and honored to have WON

  • Best Sunset View
  • Best Kept Secret

In case you missed it, our sister property, Cabbage Key was voted Best Boating Destination.

Thank you for your support. You bring out the best in us!

Team Salt Life Takes Over Tarpon Lodge

Posted on February 6, 2022
By Team Salt Life
Dining, Nature & Wildlife, Recreation, Tarpon Lodge

“This trip was nothing short of amazing. The staff was accommodating, the food was delicious, and the weather was absolutely perfect. To cap it off, the captains put us on some great fish.”

This was Salt Life team member Ryder DeVoe’s thoughts after visiting Tarpon Lodge alongside fellow team members Astrid DeGruchyAlex VandegriftColton Hester, and Shawn Jackson. Each guest had a glowing review of the property, location, and arguably most importantly, the fishing.

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Have You Heard About Matlacha, Florida?

Posted on May 23, 2021
By Southern Living
Lodging, Matlacha, Recreation, Tarpon Lodge

This colorful coastal village looks as if someone flew over South Florida and dropped a crayon box.

Smiling man plays kettle drum on the dock at Bert's Bar and Grill

Photo Credit: Robbie Caponetto

Think of Matlacha (pronounced MATT-luh-SHAY) as Mayberry meets Woodstock. Locals in town—and on the island that shares its name—offer the kind of warm welcome you’d expect from a small Southern town. But Matlacha’s proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and its chill island vibe attract outdoor adventurers, as well as free-spirited artists and entrepreneurs who have set up shop here.

Come in July and you’ll have the run of the place, with many spots open for limited hours; show up between December and April and the joint will be jumpin’. Either way, stop by Bert’s Bar & Grill, snag a table outside on the dock, and get acclimated (

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