Punta Gorda is a small town on the southern shore of Peace River and Charlotte Harbor. Some of the best sailing in Florida, good shopping at the Fisherman’s Village with quaint shops and a bar called Harpoon Harry’s. Just south of Punta Gorda is a road off I-75 called Pine Island Road. This leads to an Island (surprisingly called Pine Island!) that has towns like Matlacha, Bokeelia and St. Mary’s (where the Ragged Ass Saloon is located), but our destination would be a dock at Pineland Marina that would lead us to Cabbage Key which can only be reached by boat. A water taxi makes a 20 minute ride across Pine Island Sound to Cabbage Key. It’s home to the Old Florida restaurant where legend has it that Jimmy Buffet was inspired to write “Cheeseburger in Paradise”. The Cabbage Key Inn is quite remote, but a fun ride on a water taxi charter.
To reach Pine Island is about a two hour day trip from Clearwater or Tampa, Florida. The day trip from Orlando would be about 3 hours. A day trip from Fort Myers would be about an hour.