Matlacha is Colorful

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matlacha pine island

matlacha pine island

The man-made island of Matlacha provides a colorful and spirited destination, filled with Caribbean-style shops and galleries and the decades-old charm of an old fishing village. A popular location for kayakers to visit, the community also houses an eclectic mix of places to visit and to see.

There’s little doubt that the islet of Matlacha supplies a true small town vibe, located just to the west of Fort Myers, on a small island to the east of Pine Island in Matlacha Pass. Constructed when early settlers dredged up oyster beds to build a bridge and causeway, residents began moving to the area around the time of the Great Depression.

These days, with only around 700 total residents that call the location home, it’s actually part of the Cape Coral-Fort Myers greater metro area, though the feeling of living in and visiting Matlacha is unique all its own. Still connected to the mainland by bridge, fishing remains a favorite pastime of the region, though it’s no longer simply a fishing village.

The popular Mango Mania festival, held each July, regularly now draws people to the area, as do the interesting shops and boutiques that call the island home. Void of much traffic, tiny Matlacha is also an ideal location for cycling and running, with the favored Calusa Heritage Trail providing hikers the opportunity to wind past historic features and ancient mounds.

The old Tarpon Lodge, dating back to the early 1920s, supplies boating and fishing day trips, while hungry diners delight in the plentiful offerings of fresh seafood, especially fresh Mullet, plus dockside dining and live music for entertainment. As well, the area is known for its traditional Florida-style cottages and a playful, island-like lifestyle that offers an interesting and unique twist to other locations and attractions in the Southwest Florida region.

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