The Cabbage Key Inn Restaurant is located on a little island with no cars, and not even a single paved road. This historic restaurant sits up on an Indian shell mound, giving it excellent views of Pine Island Sound. The entire island is a secluded paradise and is only accessible by boat. If you don’t have a boat you can still get there by ferry from Bokeelia on Pine Island which is about an hour and a half south of Sarasota.
Walk inside, and you’ll quickly realize how unique this historic restaurant is. There are several areas to choose from, including a bar that has been serving this area for more than 60 years. The whole restaurant exudes rustic charm. In the bar and formal dining room, there are beautiful Cypress floors and working fireplaces. Replicas of game fish, antiques, and photographs showcasing the area’s history decorate the walls. In the main dining area, the walls and ceiling are covered with thousands of dollar bills, signed by past visitors. If you ask your server for a marker, you can sign your own dollar bill and leave your mark as well. The open-air main dining room looks out on the water and lush tropical trees, covered with moss and flowers. It really is a spectacular view for nature-lovers.
The menu is full of delicious seafood, sandwiches, and burgers. There is a rumor that this restaurant inspired Jimmy Buffet’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise” song. Don’t forget to end your meal with a tasty and refreshing slice of key lime pie.
There is a short hiking trail to an observation/water tower for a great view of the island and surrounding water and before you depart, don’t miss the gift shop for that perfect Florida souvenir.
The Cabbage Key Inn Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner 365 days a year. Reservations are appreciated. To ask a question or make a reservation at the restaurant, call (239) 283-2278.
For more information visit their website at Cabbage Key Inn Restaurant.
Boat tours are available from several spots along the Gulf Coast and here are a few to check out:
Tropic Star of Pine Island http://tropicstaradventures.com
Island Girl Charters http://www.islandgirlcharters.com
Captiva Cruises http://www.captivacruises.com
Fort Myers Boat Tour http://www.fortmyersboattour.com