Recreation | Cabbage Key Inn & Restaurant

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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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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Fort Myers Tip-Off Tournament Features Cabbage Key

Posted on May 23, 2022
Cabbage Key, Dining, Recreation

Special thanks to Jade Mallard, of the Fort Myers Tip-Off Tournament, and Captain Brian for stopping by Cabbage Key on their Fort Myers promotional tour:

Cabbage Key featured in Texas Lifestyle & Travel Magazine

Posted on May 19, 2022
By Daniel Ramirez, Texas Lifestyle Magazine
Cabbage Key, Nature & Wildlife, Recreation

Sunlight pierces the tree canopy as a couple holds hands as they approach Cabbage Key Inn and Restaurant

Take a Ride to Cabbage Key

Take a ride with Captiva Cruises, conveniently located in the South Seas’ Marina, and you’ll find yourself on Cabbage Key, a landmark destination with quite a few interesting residents. The island is home to the ubiquitous anoles – small lizards, either brown or black – strewn throughout the island’s paths and trees, but also to a robust gopher tortoise population. Neither reptile is shy, but they aren’t as curious as the third inhabitant of Cabbage Key – Florida’s famed manatees. There’s not an accurate way to describe the sheer magnitude of these gentle mammals, save to say that they dwarf all visitors, yet are docile enough to surface and say hello. And, throughout your time near the water, whether marina or open gulf, you’ll have no end of attention from dolphins, who call this part of Florida home.

This is an excerpt from the article #TravelTuesday: Stretch Out and Stay a Spell on Southwest Florida’s Captiva Island by Daniel Ramirez, originally published in the travel section of

Houston Style Magazine Online Features Cabbage Key & South Seas Island Resort

Posted on May 18, 2022
By Reginald Dominique, Houston Style Magazine
Cabbage Key, Local Attractions

Cabbage Key Island

For a one-of-a-kind shelling experience, your adventure Captiva Cruise choice maybe Cayo Costa State Park. Another island accessible only by boat, Cayo Costa State Park is considered to be one of the best shelling beaches in the world. With nine miles of beach, acres of pine forests and more than six miles of trails, visitors may enjoy shelling, fishing, birdwatching and snorkeling on this beautiful barrier island.

This is an excerpt from an original article Captivating and Exciting: South Seas Island Resort Awaits your Arrival by Reginald Dominique on

Worth the Trip: Animal Kingdom

Posted on August 6, 2021
By John Thomason, Boca Magazine
Cabbage Key, Captiva, Recreation, Reviews

Part of the ideal South Seas experience involves leaving the resort: The on-site Captiva Cruises features five-to-six-hour narrated voyages to nearby islands, including Boca Grande, Useppa and Cayo Costa State Park. I joined a cruise to Cabbage Key, a 100-acre speck purchased by its original owners for all of $2,500. We disembarked at the Key’s sole attraction: a historic home converted into an inn and restaurant, one of many places in South Florida attributed as the site where Jimmy Buffett wrote “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

Boaters first view a sign in Pine Island Sound that marks the channel leading to Cabbage Key, seen in the background.

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Samantha Brown’s Places to Love: Ft. Myers and Sanibel Island, Florida

Posted on May 23, 2021
By Samantha Brown, PBS
Cabbage Key, Recreation

Samantha kicks off her trip with a boat ride to the remote island of Cayo Costa, where she learns about the unique place, and finds some extraordinary shells. Hopping islands, Samantha meets Rob Wells, co-owner of the family owned Cabbage Key, who talks to her about being a steward of the island while showing Samantha his favorite spots.

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A Return To Old Florida: 6 Fantastic Experiences On Pine Island

Posted on March 2, 2021
By Fred Mays,
Cabbage Key, Dining, Fishing & Boating, Local Attractions, Nature & Wildlife, Pine Island, Tarpon Lodge

We all have those favorite vacation spots that keep bringing us back. It’s that feeling of peace and comfort that draws us again and again. That’s the way it is for me and Pine Island. I’ve been there four times and still want more.

There are any number of reasons to visit laid-back Pine Island off Florida’s Gulf Coast near Fort Myers. There is solitude and relaxation. Art galleries, fresh seafood, peace, and quiet are in abundance. There are no beaches, no hi-rise condos, not much traffic. But the biggest reason people come here is to fish!

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The 10 Best Florida Waterfront Restaurants for Boaters

Posted on December 29, 2020
By Lazy Locations
Cabbage Key, Fishing & Boating, Local Attractions

Due to population growth, finding good waterfront restaurants for boaters is becoming harder to do in Florida. These are the best ones to visit by boat.

Cabbage Key, Charlotte Harbor

Without a doubt, one of the best waterfront restaurants for boaters is Cabbage Key. Located on its own island in Charlotte Harbor, Cabbage Key is the quintessential “Old Florida” bar/restaurant and, supposedly, was the inspiration for Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise”. While you’re eating your cheeseburger, don’t forget to wash it down with their legendary “Cabbage Creeper”.


This is an excerpt from an article by Lazy Locations.

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