Expand your island horizons and hop over to Matlacha and Pine Island for a day. After a scenic hour-and-a-half drive, you’ll discover the attractions, restaurants and activities that await, such as fishing, colorful art galleries, seafood aplenty and entire areas dedicated to nature and artistry. Here’s a few tips to make the most of your day on Pine Island and Matlacha.
If you get an early start and roll in right at sunrise, stop in at Perfect Cup for breakfast. If you are able to plan ahead, consider chartering a boat and head out on the Pine Island Sound for unprecedented fishing. Many local fishermen claim the Sound as one of the best areas in the world for catching redfish. However, large spotted sea trout, snook and tarpon can also be hooked as well, depending on the season.
While you’re there, the Pine Island Sound is also the perfect body of water for a self-propelled adventure. Rent a paddleboard, kayak or canoe and glide through calm waters surrounded by dense mangrove islands. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as manatees, dolphins, great blue herons, egrets and more.
Back on Matlacha, you’ll find art in all shapes and colors at two eccentric venues. The Wild Child Art Gallery features art pieces from over 120 Southwest Florida artists. Similarly, the Lovegrove Gallery and Gardens immerses its guests in a whimsical world of brightly colored paintings and sculptures in a lush outdoor environment. When the time is right to grab a bite, we recommend you head over to Bert’s Bar & Grill for cold drinks, live music and freshly caught seafood served in a casual oceanfront setting.
Authentic sunset sea-to-table dining experiences can be found all throughout Pine Island. At the Hooked Island Grill, guests can indulge in specialty dishes such as the mahi mahi and lobster ravioli. Seafood cravings can also be satisfied at the Tarpon Lodge, a 92-year-old fishing lodge renovated into a restaurant. It boasts a diverse menu of fare prepared with freshly caught fish and locally sourced ingredients.
When at last your adventure comes to a close and you retire to your Captiva hotel, sleep easy knowing you lived your day trip to the fullest.