Matlacha Florida, pronounced “mat-la-shay is one of the five communities on Pine Island. The island is 17 miles long and 2 miles wide. Matlacha was once know as a fishing village, but in 1942 that all changed. A voter referendum banned net fishing to protect a species of fish that were getting caught with the mullet that were being targeted by the commercial fishermen. After the ban the fishermen of Matlacha shot holes in their boats and set them on fire. The fiery boats could be seen from Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island, this was the end of the small town’s commercial fishing business.
Fast forward to today. Matlacha is now known for their art galleries. The homes that the fishermen once lived in are painted brightly with all the colors of the rainbow. There are great seafood restaurants and lots of things to do. Here are a couple of recommendations for your visit to Matlacha.
Bert’s Pine Bay Gallery
Bert’s Pine Bay Gallery is a located in a historic cottage overlooking the Matlacha Pass. You can pick up some local art, stock up on some of Bert’s shirts, hats and other knick knacks. If you need a gift or souvenir, you will find it here.
CW Fudge Factory
Do you have a sweet tooth? Then CW Fudge Factory should be your first stop when arriving in Matlacha. They make their fudge right at the store. There is typically 35 flavors to choose from. If you are not sure what to buy, no worries, they pass out samples. Who knows, you might even find your new favorite flavor.
Gulf Coast Kayak
Although Matlacha isn’t considered a fishing village anymore, you can certainly find place to fish. Gulf Coast Kayak Fishing Charters Pine Island Sound was named one of America’s 25 best Fishing Spots by Field & Stream Magazine, Pine Island is an angler’s paradise. Their guided fishing trips include a fully outfitted kayak ready for you to reel in your days catches. In addition to their kayak fishing, they offer guided stand up paddle board and kayak tours.
[Tweet “@GulfCoastKayak1 Kayak fishing #nofishtaleshere”]
You are probably wondering where to eat. Give Miceli’s Restaurant a try. They have a good variety of food on their menu and the prices are very reasonable. Weekly specials, a great Happy Hour, water front dining and live music are some of the things they have to offer you. Try any of the seafood dishes, I hear they are all wonderful. If you are a wine drinker, go on a Wednesday for Wine Wednesdays, and get $10 off a bottle of wine. Now, that’s a good deal!
Those are just a few things that you can do while visiting Matlacha. For even more ideas check out TripAdvisor’s, Things to do in Matlacha. Let us know what your favorite thing to do in Matlacha is. We would love to hear about it.