Only 30 minutes from Fort Myers, Pine Island Florida is located between Captiva Island and Sanibel Island on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It is also connected to the metropolitan areas of Cape Coral and Fort Myers on the mainland. As being in the old part of Florida this island is disappearing. Pine island is the largest island in the Florida gulf coast. With natural environment this island offers three aquatic preserves, tropical plants, fruit groves and mangroves.
The atmosphere at this island is so peaceful. You can have plenty of fishing opportunities on this island. Water of Matlacha Pass and Pine Island Aquatic Preserve is best for people who love kayaking and canoeing. This beautiful island is boarded to Matlacha Pass and Matlacha Island. Only road that leads towards island is Pine Island Road, which passes through the old historic fishing community of Matlacha.
Pine Island Communities
Pine Island consists of 5 small communities. The nature and little history and attraction of these communities is given below:
Matlacha is a Census designated place in Florida. You will find art everywhere in this place, walking down the streets youâ€™ll see shops displaying beautiful artistic drawings. In this small place you will have small restaurants, fresh seafood markets and beautiful multi color galleries.
There are many small islands between mainland and Pine Island Florida. The bridge at Matlacha Island was built over years to connect small islands and road from the mainland to Pine Island. These islands separate Pine Island Florida from the mainland. Fishing is quite famous in this area and the fact that Matlacha Bridge has a nickname “World’s Fishingest Bridge.”
Pine Island Center
Few miles west through Matlacha you will come to a road known as Pine Island Center. This road connects the north end and south end of the island by making a two lane north south spine. Farmland, pine forests and marshes are available in large areas of this island. There are three small communities in this island which are Bokeelia, Pineland and St. James City.
To the north you will go through Pineland Road. Going west to this road will be able to visit little community of Pineland. Old fashioned post office is a sign that you are there. Pineland has only a population of 500 people, but it is rich in history. It is recognized as the oldest settlement in Florida. 1500 years ago, it was Calusa Indian village.
North of this island there is a village named Bokeelia. Old classic buildings and a long fishing pier at this village attracts many tourists. This small village is a mixture of small condos, several canals and mobile homes. This is also one of the best areas in Florida for boating. From this village you can have a beautiful view of Boca Grande, Cayo Costa and Charlotte Harbor. There are number of inns and rental cottages available at this village.
St. James City
From south of Bokeelia you will go down to St. James City which is located on the last tip of Pine Island Florida. It is also a small town but a little more active then Bokeelia. St. James City is a community with a mixture of waterfront mobile homes, Florida style houses on stilts and luxurious McMansions that would fit in upslace societies of Florida. This place is popular for fishing, boating and you can also have a great view of sunset from here.
Here are the best places and attractions to explore in to explore in Pine Island Florida:
Randell Research Center
Randell Research Center is a place that preserves history of Calusa Indians. It is also dedicated to archeology. It is the place to learn the history of this region and culture. Have a guided tour to gather authentic knowledge of this place. With a mile long trail you can visit canals, ancient shell mounds and many other archaeological sites. To have better view of this beautiful island you should go to observation platform of largest mound.
Tarpon Lodge and Restaurant
You can’t just say you are not hungry after having tour of this Island. To kill your hunger you should visit the historic Tarpon Lodge and Restaurant. It is a popular resort in this island which was built in 1926. They have different Lunch and Dinner Menus for their guests. There is also a kids menu in this restaurant. At its bar you can enjoy wine with your friends and family. At Tarpon Lodge and Restaurant both indoor and outdoor dining is available.
Alden Pines Country Club
To relax and do something different in this beautiful island then you should visit the Alden Pines Country Club. This golf course provides 18 holes in a natural atmosphere. Whether you are beginner or an expert you will have a great time while having challenging games in this course.
Bridge and Traffic
There is a small narrow bridge across Matlacha that goes through the village. It is a problem and salvation at the same time. The problem occurs during tourist season. At that time traffic is jammed in Matlacha and for miles and salvation there is no easy way to solve this traffic problem.
The road is 66 feet wide and if we try to widen it then it will destroy the village. Then goes to another solution of building another bridge that seems impossible too. As it will cost a lot of money and no one here is willing to spend this much money. That is why this island remains a less developed area from the rest of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
You will not find any named beach here nor will you have a big crowd. Pine Island is one of the biggest reasons why people like to visit this place. One of the most well known residents here is author Robert N. Macomber who used to live at this place but now lives on Captiva Island.
To sum up, Pine Island Florida is a great place for people who are looking to visit oldest communities in Florida. There are lots of things a visitor can do. You can go to Randell Research Center to have a brief knowledge of this areaâ€™s culture and history. Boating and fishing is one of the most popular things to do in this area. Matlacha Bridge on this island is nicknamed as “World’s Fishingest Bridge.”
Visiting small villages like St. James City and Bokeelia are also exciting. There is a Alden Pines Country Club from where you can have a good golfing experience. At last end your trip with dining at Tarpon Lodge and Restaurant. It is a popular resort on this island which was built in 1926.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Pine Island Florida close to?
Pine Island is a part of Lee County. It is Florida’s largest island which is located only minutes from Cape Coral and Fort Myers.
What is Pine Island known for?
Pine Island, known for its beaches, acres of palm trees. Fishing and boating is also popular at this island. Matlacha Bridge on this island is nicknamed as “World’s Fishingest Bridge.” A visit to the small village Bokeelia will always be on the list of best things to do in Pine Island.