Neighborhood Spotlight: Pine Island
Florida’s largest island off the Gulf Coast evokes a small-town ambiance where the community spirit is stronger than ever. Formed by coral rock, laced with canals and surrounded by mangroves, Pine Island is a place to celebrate outdoor activities and authentic Old Florida charm.
The bridge to Pine Island has reopened, ferries are operating and recovery efforts after Hurricane Ian are well underway. You won’t find traffic lights or big brand-name stores — but you will find scenic waterfront dining, tropical fruit farms and historical sites.
Across from a Calusa Heritage Trail is Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant, a classic fishing lodge that was transformed into a top dining destination. Dine on the catch of the day while listening to music and watching the sun set over Pine Island Sound. Just a stone’s throw (or a seashell’s throw) away from the lodge is Pineland Marina where Island Girl Charters can carry you to North Captiva Island and Cabbage Key Inn and Restaurant.
Travel north to explore Bokeelia, a laid-back area where fresh sea breezes meet tropical fruit farms and local farm stands. Dive into a basket of fried seafood and a bowl of hot chowder at Capt'n Con's Fish House, located right on the water. You can arrive at Lazy Flamingo by car or by boat and savor an order of fresh oysters and flavorful conch fritters.
Go south to St. James City to experience another side of the island. On your way you can pop into the Museum of the Islands (hours are limited) for a glimpse into the region’s rich heritage. Popular Galt Preserve has also reopened its nearly 5 miles of marked hiking trails that wind through pine flatwoods. At the edge of the island are casual waterfront restaurants that invite guests to dock their boats and dine on fresh seafood.
Any direction you choose to go, Pine Island’s laid-back charm will put you at ease. Keep checking our guide to what’s open on Pine Island as local businesses and outdoor attractions continue on their path to recovery.