To experience the definition of old Florida, all you have to do is take a drive to dine at the Tarpon Lodge at the northwest tip of Pine Island. You’ll meander through a pocket of restaurants and galleries in Matlacha as the landscape transitions to more rural tropical foliage and native scrubs; an occasional glimpse of water in Pine Island Sound.
Islands in the Sun: 80 miles and a world away from Sarasota!
Over the past 10 years and dozens of articles, this weekend staycation was among the most memorable. It’s not for what it had, it’s more about what it didn’t have. It’s about a weekend that got better by the hour—but not for the usual reasons.
We drove south from Sarasota on Interstate 75 and began angling toward the coast just after Punta Gorda, arriving about an hour later. We checked into a place called Tarpon Lodge, a quaint Old Florida resort on the banks of Pine Island Sound.
Florida has long been known as one of the country’s most popular vacation destinations. Whether it’s the cool vibes of South Beach, the oodles of family fun that can be found in Orlando or the wild wetlands of the Everglades, there really is something in Florida for everyone.
But, for those looking to get off the beaten path just a little bit, Pine Island is the place to be. Today’s guest contributor, Fred Mays from North Texas Active Life,is here with some great recommendations for finding active travel on Pine Island. From fishing to kayaking to just taking it easy, this is the spot to be! Read More
Island Dining on the beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel
Tarpon Lodge’s Fettuccine with Key West Pink Shrimp & Prince Edward Mussels
Tucked away inside of a historic lodge on Pine Island, this four-star restaurant serves a range of continental cuisine for lunch and dinner with a side of Old Florida charm. Accessible by car and boat, it offers guests an upscale dining experience — compatible with live music on most Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights — while still maintaining a casual island vibe. Guests can take in the beautiful waterfront views of Pine Island Sound from both inside of the restaurant as well as out on its patio while savoring an array of fresh seafood, succulent steaks and even a daily vegan special. Menu highlights include the Blue Crab & Roasted Corn Chowder and the Fettuccine with Key West Pink Shrimp & Prince Edward Mussels.
This article excerpt originally appeared in the August-September edition of Sunseeker Magazine.
For ultimate relaxation, Tarpon Lodge offers sunset dinners, mangrove views, fishing and more.
How does ESPN’s popular host of Reel Talk Radio (99.3) and longtime fishing guide Capt. Rob Modys romance his bride of 22 years after her intense season promoting our destination worldwide? (JoNell Modys is the PR and communications manager of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB.) Why, he takes her fishing, of course!
“We’ll start with a relaxed sunset dinner at Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island,” he says, “and then retreat to the lodge’s most romantic accommodation, The Cottage, overlooking Pine Island Sound. We’ll have drinks (and, in my case, a cigar) on the front porch before turning in for the night. We’ll be on the water by first light, watching the sun rise over the mangroves. Sunrises are often more beautiful than sunsets, and the birds and dolphins are active and hunting for breakfast. We’ll fish till around 11, and then bring our catch back to the four-star chef to cook up for lunch before we head for home.”
Several excellent fishing guides work out of Tarpon Lodge, Modys says, and summer is an ideal time to practice your fly-fishing skills, “especially for redfish, tarpon and sea trout.”
I recently had the opportunity to stay at Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island, Florida for a fishing tournament. The event was hosted by Maverick Boat Group; the manufacturer of my Hewes Redfisher as well as Pathfinder, Cobia and Maverick boats. The lodge is a place I’ve always wanted to visit but for some reason, never found the time. This time I didn’t pass it up!
Whew! Now that busy season in SWFL has ended, I’ve finally emerged from hibernation and took a much-needed staycation. A quick one-hour drive from Naples and we wound up at Tarpon Lodge and Restaurant in Pineland, FL. I can say with confidence that this trip was the most relaxing weekend I have had in MONTHS! Read More
Spring has sprung and as nature awakens and unfolds in all its glory, it makes perfect sense that Earth Day is recognized in April. There is a lot of talk about climate change, water quality and protecting our environment these days. Farming is a hot topic as well.
Ask almost any grape farmer, aka winemaker, and they will tell you the foundation for an exemplary bottle of wine is in the vineyard. That being said, not all winemakers take as much care as others when tending to their vines, using pesticides and even adding chemicals to the juice.
Guest columnist, food and beverage manager of Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island.
All the wines selected for this month’s Grand Case are produced in ways that are respectful to the earth, the planet, the grapes and vineyard employees. This means winemakers and owners employ some kind of farming and/or production method such as organic, sustainable, biodynamic, SIP, etc.
Environment is important to Shohreh Durkin, food and beverage manager of Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island. She has a reputation for hosting entertaining wine dinners and tastings at the historic waterfront lodge and joins me in putting together this diverse case of wine.
Tarpon Lodge’s almost 100-year-old Pine Island setting still stuns with its Old Florida charms, and with a local, seasonal menu that’s always fresh.
The genteel setting of Pine Island’s Tarpon Lodge calls to mind scenes of old Florida — gin and tonics on the porch, fresh fish on the menu, elegantly dressed diners looking up from their plates to catch the last rays of sunset.
Which is exactly how co-owner Rob Wells wants visitors to feel.
Traveling has always been one of the great joys of life. I’ve been blessed to be able to travel and have visited 15 countries and 31 states so far.
I’ve seen spectacular vistas, breath taking mountain ranges, sugar sand beaches and turquoise waters. But when someone asks me where my happy place, I always tell them it’s Pine Island and Cabbage Key without any hesitation.
Don’t get me wrong I love Florida and traveling the world but there’s something that always brings me back to Pine Island and Cabbage Key.