Cabbage Key | Cabbage Key Inn & Restaurant

FORT MYERS: Classic cars and snappy songs highlight Florida destination

Posted on April 2, 2024
By Dave Pollard, Edmonton Journal
Cabbage Key, Fort Myers, Reviews

Fort Myers waterfront

Night falls on the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers. PHOTO BY DAVE POLLARD /Toronto Sun

Classic cars and snappy songs.

And, maybe, if you’re lucky, a cheeseburger in paradise.

Yes, Fort Myers and the surrounding area, including Captiva and Sanibel islands, has all that – it was the winter home of Henry Ford (and Thomas Edison, for that matter), hosts the annual Island Hopper Songwriters Fest, and nearby Cabbage Key was allegedly the inspiration for one of Jimmy Buffett’s more well-known songs – and more for Canadian snowbirds to discover … if your timing is right.

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This Remote, 112-acre Island Is One of Florida’s Best-kept Secrets — and It’s Only Accessible by Boat

Posted on March 27, 2024
By Caroline Eubanks, Travel + Leisure
Cabbage Key, Reviews

Cabbage Key, Florida, has attracted famous guests like Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffett.

Aerial view of Cabbage Key ,Florida


Set off the coast of Fort Myers lies a 100-acre island that feels like it has been preserved in amber. It’s the type of “Swiss Family Robinson”-style retreat that represents a bygone Florida and has attracted famous writers and heiresses — not to mention presidents Carter and Kennedy.

The 112-acre island on the Pine Island Sound was first inhabited by the Calusa people and Cuban fishermen. And in 1875, it appeared on maps with the name Palmetto Key.

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Overnight on Cabbage Key, for a cheeseburger (and more) in old-Florida paradise

Posted on February 20, 2024
By Susan Glaser,
Cabbage Key, Recreation, Reviews, Tarpon Lodge

Looking down the long dock towards the quaint dollhouse cottage at Cabbage Key.

A cottage for rent on Cabbage Key, a Southwest Florida tourist destination named for the many cabbage palm trees on the island.

CABBAGE KEY, Florida – There’s no beach here, no pool, no high-rise condos.

What you’ll find on tiny Cabbage Key: an historic lodge, nature trails, a terrific restaurant that (perhaps) inspired Jimmy Buffett, and most strikingly, an old-time Florida vibe that’s fading fast elsewhere around the state.

Cabbage Key is a small island – just 112 acres – located in Pine Island Sound, west of Fort Myers. Its first inhabitants were the Calusa Indians, who left behind a large shell mound that has served to protect the land for centuries.

The island developed as a tourist destination in the 1930s, accessible only by boat, an off-the-beaten path spot where you could get away from it all (except from the mosquitoes, which also seem to have great fondness for the place).

It’s still that spot.
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Florida’s Gulf Coast: Hotels, restaurants and things to do

Posted on December 15, 2023
By Alicia Watts, Cosmopolitan
Cabbage Key, Reviews, Tarpon Lodge

John Coletti//Getty Images

Look no further for a relaxing, wholesome and feel-good trip

If you’re a fan of low-key, chain-free restaurants and hotels, protected wildlife, island hopping around secluded beaches and making real memories in a slice of paradise, Florida’s Gulf Coast could be calling your name. Here’s our travel guide of the best places to stay, where to eat and drink and what to do while you’re there. Basically, here’s what your adventure could look like.

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Dock & dine in style: Discover Fort Myers’ best waterfront restaurants

Posted on October 6, 2023
By Travelweek
Cabbage Key, Dining, Fort Myers, Recreation, Tarpon Lodge

Inhale those fresh Gulf breezes and feel the warmth of the sun on your face as the day unfolds before you.

All throughout Fort Myers’ islands, beaches, and neighborhoods, you can go straight from an exhilarating boat ride to an amazing meal while overlooking the water.

You’re invited to experience a local legend. Cabbage Key Inn sits on its own 100-acre island and has been feeding guests for decades. Hop aboard a charter or book your own private boat to reach this remote restaurant famed for its cheeseburgers, fresh seafood and frozen Key lime pie. Its defining feature is the thousands of dollar bills taped to the restaurant’s ceilings and walls, and you’ll likely spot tortoises and other wildlife roaming the walkways outside.

Feel the charm of an Old Florida landmark at the Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant in Bokeelia on Pine Island. This historical 1926 house overlooks Pine Island Sound and is surrounded by a restored boathouse, bungalow-style cottage and comfortable Island House. Enjoy a leisurely lunch or exquisite evening meal at Tarpon Lodge Restaurant, where you can dine on the catch of the day, prized Gulf pink shrimp or other locally sourced favourites.

This is an excerpt from an article originally published by Travelweek.

Cabbage Key among the 15 Best Things to Do in Lee County, FL

Posted on June 3, 2023
By Rice Ocampo of Travel Lens
Cabbage Key, Dining, Fort Myers, Lee County, Recreation

Lee County is your ultimate beachfront destination on the Gulf Coast within southwestern Florida.

Founded in 1887, this county is more famous for its sandy beaches, historic homes and estates, quirky galleries and museums, and islands. It got its name from Robert E. Lee, who was an American Civil War general who helped the country reunite.

Aside from its noteworthy attractions, the county also offers access to an impressive water channel, including the Imperial River and the Gulf of Mexico. It’s also home to a variety of collegiate opportunities, what with the Florida Gulf Coast University within the property. Keep your beachfront vacation simple and elegant by choosing to travel to its county seat, Fort Myers, or any of its cities, including Cape Coral and Bonita Springs.

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Cabbage Key and Tarpon Lodge : The Best of the Gulfshore 2023 Award Finalists🏅

Posted on May 11, 2023
By Cabbage Key
Awards, Cabbage Key, Tarpon Lodge

The Best of The Gulfshore 2023

We are excited to share that Cabbage Key and Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant were finalists in 17 categories in Gulfshore Life Magazine’s Best Of rankings. And we’re even more thrilled to announce that we WON the following:

Cabbage Key:

  • Best Boating Destination
  • Best Boating Access
  • Key Lime Pie

Tarpon Lodge:

  • Best Hotel/Resort
  • Best Kept Secret
  • Sunset View

These honors are a result of community and guest votes which means we could not have done it without you! We take pride in our history and we strive to provide the best “Old Florida” dining and getaway experience for our guests. After the year ⛈ we’ve all had, your votes mean the world to us and our wonderful employees. Thank you for contributing to this achievement. 🥰

Old Florida alive and well on Cabbage Key

Posted on January 4, 2023
By Barbara Linstrom, Special to Florida Weekly
Cabbage Key, Fort Myers, Hurricane Ian

Overlooking a hurricane damaged Cabbage Key towards Useppa from The Tower.

Towards Useppa from Water Tower

If you want some reassurance that Old Florida survived Hurricane Ian, take a trip to Cabbage Key. There you’ll find warm hospitality and a very welcoming vibe among the islanders. After all, the locals on Cabbage Key are the staff and family that run the historic inn.

At 112 acres, the island is accessible only by boat and is one of the smallest inhabited ones in Pine Island Sound. Cabbage Key lies to the west of the undeveloped barrier island of Cayo Costa. That’s where Ian finally touched shore with sustained winds of 150 mph on Sept. 28, 2022.

“Landfall was about a mile and a half from us,” says Cabbage Key manager Scott Lepson. “We were in the eye for at least an hour.” At 33-foot elevation, atop a Calusa shell midden, the 1926 structure was built to endure and accommodate the Southwest Florida climate. In fact, the inn resumed its long tradition of welcoming boaters by serving food and drinks within 18 days after the storm.

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This Chain of Islands in South Florida Is the Perfect Summer Getaway

Posted on May 31, 2022
By Olivia Young, Thrillist
Cabbage Key, Cayo Costa, Fort Myers, Pine Island, Sanibel

Life is an island highway.

Island hop till you drop.

When you strip away the omnipresent Disney and admittedly-pretty-funny Florida Man stereotypes that plague the Sunshine State, you just might see America’s southeasternmost extremity for what it really is: a subtropical-to-tropical paradise. Here you’ll find 1,350 miles of convivial coastline, an effervescent ecosystem teeming with nature not found anywhere else in the States, and a melting pot of (not all gray-headed) thalassophiles blissed out on the salt life.

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The Best Themed Restaurant in Every State

Posted on May 23, 2022
By Caitlin Flynn, Eat This, Not That!
Cabbage Key, Restaurant Reviews

Craving a side of fun with your meal? Check these out!

There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing a restaurant—the quality of the food, the price point, and the location are typically at the top of the list. But sometimes the full experience is the real draw, which is why themed restaurants are so popular.

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