Cabbage Key, Florida: Your Ultimate Old Florida Gulf Coast Island Getaway


Cabbage Key, nestled in the mesmerizing region of Southwest Florida, emerges as a hidden gem for travelers seeking a blend of history, nature, and the quintessential "Old Florida" vibes. This picturesque island, accessible only by boat, offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle, presenting visitors with a plethora of activities and experiences steeped in natural beauty and simplicity.

Exploring the Charm of Cabbage Key

Cabbage Key, a secluded island off the coast of Southwest Florida, offers an enchanting escape that blends history, nature, and the timeless allure of Old Florida. This idyllic destination invites visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in its rich heritage and natural splendor.

pineland marinaPineland Marina

Discovering the History of Cabbage Key

Cabbage Key's history is as captivating as its landscape, intertwining with the storied pasts of nearby Florida islands like Useppa Island and Boca Grande, and drawing visitors keen to delve into the rich heritage of the region. The island was once inhabited by the Calusa Indians, known for their large shell mounds, some of which still stand today, offering a glimpse into the lives of one of Florida's earliest civilizations. These mounds, primarily made of shells, fish bones, and pottery fragments, are not just historical artifacts but also a testament to the ingenuity of the Calusa people.

In the more recent past, Cabbage Key served as a retreat for early Florida settlers and famous figures. The island's storied history includes tales of pirates and fishermen, and it even inspired artists and writers with its pristine beauty. The Cabbage Key Inn, a central feature of the island, is steeped in history, rumored to have been a haven for writers like Ernest Hemingway.

Exploring the Nature Trail at Cabbage Key

The nature trail on Cabbage Key is a must-explore for any visitor. This meandering path takes you through a lush, tropical environment, rich with native Floridian plants and wildlife. As you walk the trail, you're likely to encounter an array of birds, from majestic ospreys to playful pelicans, making it a paradise for birdwatchers and a delightful experience for visitors from all over FL. The trail also offers stunning views of Pine Island Sound, and the dense canopy provides a welcome respite from the Florida sun.

Cabbage Key

Enjoying the Old Florida Vibes at Cabbage Key

fishing shacksFishing Shacks

Cabbage Key captures the essence of Old Florida charm. The island's lack of cars, its rustic wooden buildings, and the absence of paved roads contribute to a sense of stepping back in time, reminiscent of the quaint charm found throughout Florida islands. The iconic water tower, a landmark of the island, offers panoramic views of the surrounding waters and islands. The winding paths, flanked by old-growth trees and flowering plants, lead visitors on a journey of discovery, where the pace of life slows down, and the modern world seems a world away.

The ambiance of Cabbage Key is that of unspoiled tranquility and simplicity. It's a place where you can disconnect from digital distractions and reconnect with nature and history. Whether you're exploring the historical sites, wandering the nature trail, or simply relaxing in the shade of an old oak tree, Cabbage Key offers a unique and memorable experience that harkens back to a bygone era of Florida's rich and diverse history.

useppa

Indulging in Unique Dining Experiences

Savoring the Famous Jimmy Buffett “Cheeseburger in Paradise”

The Cabbage Key Inn and Restaurant, a historical landmark, claims fame for inspiring Jimmy Buffett's "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Dining here is a must, not just for the cheeseburger but also for their sumptuous key lime pie.

cheeseburger in paradise
cabbage key restaurant

Unwinding at Cabbage Key Inn

The Cabbage Key Inn, with its quaint rooms and cottages, offers comfortable lodging that complements the island's serene atmosphere, serving as an exemplary accommodation for those looking to experience the essence of island life near Fort Myers. The inn’s charming décor and friendly staff make for a perfect island stay.

little bokeelia island

Getting to Cabbage Key and Nearby Attractions

Planning a Boat Ride to Cabbage Key

Access to Cabbage Key is primarily by water, with regular boat services from Pine Island, Captiva, and Fort Myers. The boat ride itself is a scenic journey, offering stunning views of Pine Island Sound.

Exploring Pine Island Sound

cayo costa

Pine Island Sound, surrounding Cabbage Key, is a haven for boating, fishing enthusiasts, and kayak lovers, with options to explore nearby state parks like Cayo Costa. The sound’s calm waters are ideal for kayaking, paddleboarding, and observing dolphins.

Exploring Nearby Islands, Captiva and Useppa

A side trip to the neighboring islands like Captiva and Useppa reveals more pristine beaches and historical sites, making for a fulfilling day trip.

cayo costa

Visiting Nearby Fort Myers and Sanibel

Proximity to Fort Myers and Sanibel Island opens up more avenues for exploration, from the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers to the renowned beaches of Sanibel.

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Unique Experiences and Activities on Cabbage Key

Engaging in Boating and Water Activities

Cabbage Key’s location makes it perfect for a range of water activities. Visitors can rent boats, go fishing, or embark on a kayaking adventure around the island, engaging in the quintessential Florida boater lifestyle while exploring the beauty of Cabbage Key and its surrounding areas.

Discovering Wildlife and Nature

The island’s natural setting is a sanctuary for various wildlife species. It's not uncommon to spot dolphins, manatees, ospreys, and the occasional tortoise during your stay.

cabbage key
cabbage key

Exploring Cabbage Key’s Dollar Bill Bar

The Dollar Bill Bar is an iconic spot on Cabbage Key, known for its walls adorned with signed dollar bills left by visitors. It's a unique tradition that adds to the island's charm.

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Planning the Perfect Cabbage Key Getaway

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Arranging Transportation to Cabbage Key

When planning your trip, consider the boat schedules and charters available to ensure a smooth journey to the island.

Choosing the Ideal Time to Visit

While Cabbage Key is beautiful year-round, the best time to visit is during the cooler, drier months from November to April, when the weather is ideal for outdoor activities.

Embracing the Relaxing and Unforgettable Experience

Cabbage Key is a place to disconnect from the digital world and immerse yourself in the tranquility of island life. Whether it’s lounging by the beaches, exploring the natural trails, or simply enjoying the sunset, Cabbage Key offers an unforgettable experience for those seeking relaxation and simplicity.

Cabbage Key stands out as a timeless jewel amidst Florida's Gulf Coast islands. Its blend of history, natural beauty, and Old Florida charm makes it an irresistible destination for travelers looking for an authentic island experience. Whether you're a history buff, nature enthusiast, or just seeking a peaceful retreat, Cabbage Key promises a memorable getaway.

cayo costa

What is Cabbage Key Florida Island?

Cabbage Key Florida Island is a small island located off the coast of Florida in Lee County. It is known for its quiet and tranquility.

How do I get to Cabbage Key Florida Island?

Cabbage Key Florida Island is accessible by boat. You can take a boat from Pine Island to reach the island.

What are the main attractions of Cabbage Key Florida Island?

Cabbage Key Florida Island is known for its beautiful beaches, cottage-style restaurant and bar, and the historic Indian shell mound. The island offers a peaceful and charming environment for visitors.

Are there any restaurants on Cabbage Key Florida Island?

Yes, Cabbage Key Florida Island has a famous restaurant and bar known for its delicious food. One of the popular dishes served at the restaurant is the "cheeseburger in paradise," made famous by Jimmy Buffet.

Is there any accommodation option on Cabbage Key Florida Island?

Yes, Cabbage Key Florida Island offers rooms in the inn for visitors who wish to stay on the island. The inn provides a cozy and comfortable experience for guests.

What are some nearby attractions to Cabbage Key Florida Island?

Some nearby attractions to Cabbage Key Florida Island include Cayo Costa State Park, Gasparilla Island, and the Tarpon Lodge. Visitors can also explore the Barrier Island and enjoy activities like cruising and water taxi rides.

Can I visit Cabbage Key Florida Island without a boat?

No, Cabbage Key Florida Island can only be accessed by boat. Visitors can take a boat from Pine Island to reach the island.

Is Cabbage Key Florida Island a popular tourist destination?

Yes, Cabbage Key Florida Island is a popular destination for tourists, especially those who seek a peaceful and secluded getaway. Many visitors come to experience the quiet and serene atmosphere of the island.


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