Whether you are a local or down on vacation, spending the day boating to Cabbage Key is a must. The island is only accessible by boat, but don’t worry; there are also multiple ferry options to get you there. Cabbage Key restaurant is located on top of an Indian shell mound, giving you a panoramic view of Pine Island Sound as you enjoy its open-air dining. If you’re stopping for the day, there are trails to hike and a water tower to climb that offers fantastic 360-degree views. Take advantage of the resident gopher tortoises; you can see them cruising the hill to the restaurant. Before leaving, check out the gift store by the docks to bring back something from this tiny island. If you want to spend more than a day, they also have quaint cottages to rent, some including docks to bring your boat.
One of my favorites that I always seem to have is their clam chowder soup. It’s perfect. And as for my beverage of choice, the Cabbage Creeper is the only way to go. I think next time, I will be bringing back a gallon; yup, you can buy an entire gallon to go. I have tried replicating it and have not even come close.
If you cannot visit this quaint little island, check out their sister property, Tarpon Lodge, on Pine Island. This 1926 lodge brings the old Florida charm to the present day. Dining along the shores of Pine Island Sound and listening to live music while watching the sunset, you won’t be disappointed. Across the street, you can visit pre-Columbian mounds of the ancient Calusa and hike the Calusa Trail.
Although it has been four months, we are all still recovering from Hurricane Ian, and the welcoming of guests is always appreciated. Here you can see some recent images from Cabbage Key, along with what it looked like before Ian hit. Ian may have taken a lot from us, but our resilience is not one of them. The trees are already starting to grow back, and the flowers bloom. It may take some time, but southwest Florida will be back to all its beauty.