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Tikis behind Sandy hook Matlacha

Neighborhood Spotlight: Matlacha

Remaining true to our resilient spirit, Matlacha is emerging from the damage caused by Hurricane Ian one day at a time. Matlacha (pronounced “mat-luh-SHAY”) has always had a unique sense of self, encompassing the vibe of an Old Florida fishing town in an artsy, colorful way.

Located on the way to Pine Island in Matlacha Pass, this quaint, island town is accessible from the mainland by car. What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in personality. Bert’s Pine Bay Gallery is offering its locally made art and funky souvenirs in pop-up shops and online, while longtime favorite Island Visions is moving to downtown Fort Myers.

Restaurants are reopening on Matlacha as well as surrounding areas like Pine Island, Bokeelia and St. James City. Head to the waterfront to order a pound of peel-and-eat shrimp and other casual favorites at Miceli's Restaurant. The Perfect Cup is a low-key coffee shop that serves freshly roasted coffee along with a full breakfast and lunch menu. At Blue Dog Bar & Grill, the menu highlights items sourced directly from local anglers, Florida farmers and craft brewers. CW Fudge offers delicious treats, truffles, candies, popcorn, gifts and more.

Kayaking Sunset

Matlacha is also known for its beautiful waterways, making it a popular destination for boaters and kayakers. Set out on a guided excursion from Gulf Coast Kayak to find your next adventure. Matlacha Community Park is a popular drop in point for kayakers and boaters.

There’s more coming, so keep an eye on our continuously updated guide to what’s open in the Fort Myers area.