Cabbage Key Inn Reviews | Cabbage Key Inn & Restaurant

Experience a Legendary Island Getaway on Cabbage Key in Florida

Posted on November 28, 2017
By Charity De Souza, Trips to Discover
Cabbage Key Inn Reviews, Cayo Costa

Nature lovers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life can pack their sunnies and flip flops and explore one of Florida’s best-kept secrets: Cabbage Key. Only accessible by boat, this island’s Old Florida ambiance combines the allure of boat excursions and secluded natural beaches with a famous dollar-bill bar.

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Star-filled nights, sun-lit days at Cabbage Key

Posted on September 21, 2016
Cabbage Key, Cabbage Key Inn Reviews, Fishing & Boating, Fort Myers, Interviews

A conversation with Fort Myers attorney and author John D. Mills

One of our favorite things about working at a family-owned island resort is getting to know our guests, even becoming lifelong friends with many of them. Take, for example, John D. Mills, a Fort Myers attorney and author of six legal thriller novels. A fifth generation local, John has been coming to our neck of the waters since he was a toddler. The Mills family fishing shack, burnt down in 1995, is a source of John’s fondest memories and how he got to know all of us at Cabbage Key. Our island cottages remind him of those childhood days and keep him coming back to us at least four weekends per year. Plus, he participates in two of our annual fishing tournaments – so we get to see him quite often.

We sat down with John to learn more about him and what he likes best about Cabbage Key. He was generous with his time, and with his interesting stories. In his own words:

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Room to Breathe on Cabbage Key

Posted on August 27, 2016
By Janet K. Keeler, VISIT FLORIDA
Cabbage Key Inn Reviews, In The Neighborhood, Recreation, Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant Reviews

Lounging on the dock of the Cabbage Patch Cottage on Cabbage Key is what a Florida getaway is all about. Luxury yachts and weathered flats boats cruise by, osprey perch on rustic pylons, and breezes riff off of the water. Mullet jump, box turtles get amorous, and the houses of exclusive Useppa Island across the water conjure Lottery win dreams.

Ah, time to breathe deeply.


Various lunch and dinner offerings served at the Cabbage Key Inn and Restaurant include bottom clockwise: A cheeseburger, Key Lime Pie, Fresh Gulf You Peel Shrimp, and center, a Cabbage Creeper, the inn’s version of the Pina Colada drink.

In the evening, I walk a dusty lane to the Cabbage Key Island Inn Restaurant & Bar. Cuban laurels laced with twinkle lights mark the place where I sip a Cabbage Creeper cocktail, a pina colada with a coffee liqueur float. I order a plank of smoked salmon with housemade dill sauce. And then a pile of cold, peel-and-eat shrimp billed as an appetizer but plenty filling for a meal. I vow to have a cheeseburger in paradise before I start the journey home.

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Cabbage Key Featured in National Geographic: 10 Reasons to Visit Fort Myers and Sanibel, Florida

Posted on August 20, 2016
By Gillian Kendall, National Geographic
Cabbage Key Inn Reviews, Cayo Costa, Fishing & Boating, Fort Myers, Nature & Wildlife, Pine Island, Sanibel, Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant Reviews

For a beach lover, the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel are a dream destination.

Sunset at Bowman's Beach.

A man walks at sunset down Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island, Florida. PHOTOGRAPH BY BILL GOZANSKY, ALAMY

Trouble in paradise: I’m at the tollbooth on the causeway that crosses to Sanibel Island from Fort Myers, Florida. There’s a six-dollar charge, and they don’t take credit cards. After fumbling through pockets, purse, and beach bag, I come up with only four crumpled one-dollar bills. But the tan booth attendant offers an authentic smile. “If you don’t have it, it’s OK,” she says, waving me through. “Someone ahead of you just paid it forward.”

Receiving a favor from a stranger is an unexpected welcome to the islands west of Fort Myers. But it’s just one of many things that make the area unusual.

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Talk of the Town: Was Cabbage Key Truly Jimmy Buffett’s Inspiration?

Posted on July 22, 2016
By Lisa Fleming, Naples Herald
Cabbage Key Inn Reviews

Q. Did Jimmy Buffett really write his song, Cheeseburger in Paradise, based on time spent on Cabbage Key?  What can you tell me about the island? Laurie Andrews, Naples, NY

A. To find out firsthand, I spent the day on Cabbage Key. The 100-acre island is in Pine Island Sound in Lee County, not far from Captiva and Sanibel.  There are no paved roads, and is accessible only by boat or plane!

Rob Wells III and his younger brother Ken oversee the restaurant on Cabbage Key as well as the family owned Tarpon Lodge and Restaurant on Pine Island.

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Florida coast offers great food, fun on, off water

Posted on May 29, 2016
By Bryan Hendricks, Arkansas Sportsman
Cabbage Key Inn Reviews

Cabbage Key is a short ride across Pine Island Sound on the Island Girl, or you can drive your own boat. It’s an interesting place for many reasons, not the least of which are all the $1 bills tacked to the walls. There’s about $70,000 worth, Cabbage Key manager Ken Wells said.

Commercial fishermen started the $1 tradition many years ago, Wells said. Money flowed when fishing was good, but fishermen understood that fortunes could sour the next week. They wrote their names on $1 bills and tacked them to the wall so they could afford drinks when money was scarce.

Over the years, visitors added to the $1 tableau.

Cabbage Key is also known — falsely, Wells said — for inspiring Jimmy Buffett’s classic, “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” They do serve a mean cheeseburger at Cabbage Key, but Wells said the song predates Buffett’s visit to the restaurant.

The real story, Wells said, is that Buffett dedicated the song to some Cabbage Key employees that attended one of his shows.

That’s no fun. We like the myth better.

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