Day Trips to Great Places

Matlacha, FL

We visited the little artsy town of Matlacha, FL one day.  This town is full of eclectic art studios, shops and seafood restaurants.  There are lots of places to browse and be amused by the items on display or for sale. 

Colorful artist studio in Matchlacha

There was a trailer that had been painted by an artist that had her work on display at one of the galleries we went to visit.  There is no way to be incognito with this beauty:

Picture yourself in this little camper down at the keys drinking a luscious margarita!

We enjoy watching the various tv shows on tiny houses and were surprised to see that Matlacha had a tiny house village and the units were available for rent!  We thought that was pretty neat.  We’ve been living in our tiny house all winter!

Pine Island, FL

We drove out to Pine Island and explored the entire island.  It has a lot of landscaping businesses with palm trees being grown and for sale.  It also has a country club and golf course.  At one end of the island, in the town of Pineland there is a beautiful little area that looks out to Cabbage Patch Key Island.  You can charter a boat ride out to the island.  This is supposedly where Jimmy Buffett wrote some of his songs though there is some debate about that. 

This is a picture of Captain Cons fish house that is at the end of the island in Pineland.  We talked with a gentleman who said the food is really good.  It is the place to go to get something to eat or to book a boat tour. 

There is a nice pier that had public access for fishing and viewing.

There were lots of little fish swimming around in the water.  When we were at Sanibel Island pier before, we saw people using nets to catch these little fish to use as bait.

At the other end of Pine Island there is a lot of small bed and breakfast locations, as well as a couple of restaurants.  We got a kick out of this one:

Have a beer or two at the Ragged Ass Saloon!

Behind the buildings there is an extensive canal system for home owners to access the water.

Perhaps these are one of Jimmy Buffett’s coconut telegraphs that came over from Cabbage Patch Key:

We saw this beauty for sale on Pine Island:

This bus fits right in with the laid-back Florida lifestyle!

Check out the interior – whew!

Pine Island is a neat little place to explore for part of a day.  It is fairly close to our campground in North Fort Myers and the little town of Matlacha was unique and fun to see.

 Gasparilla Island State Park

We took another day trip and visited Gasparilla Island State Park.  This is a state park with beach access to the Gulf of Mexico.  There are 5 beach access locations and two lighthouses in the park.  It is a day use park only – there is no campground.  The island sits between Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico.  Gasparilla Island is part of a chain of barrier islands on the west coast of Florida.  The charming town of Boca Grande is prior to the entrance of the park at the end of the island.  It was built with wide streets and a center square with neatly landscaped houses that made it feel like a park.  It is a charming, low key place. 

The Boca Grande Lighthouse sits all the way out at the end of the island.  It is a large lighthouse with a gift shop and museum in the bottom lever.  This lighthouse is not open for viewing.


The water at the beach on Gasparilla Island was a beautiful shade of blue.  We did swim in the Gulf of Mexico.  We can’t say that we jumped in the water with as much enthusiasm as this person was doing, but we did enjoy the warm water.

The beautiful aqua blue gulf and the deep blue sky above the horizon!

The Range Lighthouse is the second lighthouse in the park.   It is open a few days a week, but unfortunately, we were not there on one of the open days.

We stopped at the beach near Boca Grande and took this picture of a hotel’s lounging area with access to the beach.

It was such a relaxing day at Gasparilla Island State Park.  We dabbed our toes in the sand, took a long walk on the beach, swam in the Gulf and relaxed. 

Relaxing in the Sun

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3 Responses to Day Trips to Great Places

  1. Gordon Sedgwick says:

    You sure do capture some beautiful photos on your travels!!

  2. Paul Passauer says:

    So jealous, looks beautiful, much better than the snow we have today

    • lkhearts says:

      Yes, we are trying to avoid that white stuff and the cold at all costs! This has been a crazy winter weather wise. Hope we have warm weather in May!

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