In search of a romantic genuine getaway? One in all our favorites is a go to to Cabbage Key situated on the Gulf Coast close to Ft. Myers. It is the laid-back paradise Jimmy Buffett made well-known when he met the proper cheeseburger, a piano and a chilly beer after a day of superior fishing. Cabbage Key’s an “outdated Florida” island the place the impressed rocker is reported to have written the famed track “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”
Those that go to Cabbage Key, search “genuine” Florida. (Or, a chilly, frosty beer.) It is a membership, a ceremony of passage, a badge of “authenticity.” I had by no means visited the island and knew it was time to expertise the ambiance of this legendary island hideaway.
One small element. You must get there by boat. Just a few choices you need to make: Both take your personal vessel, which I extremely suggest or seize an island taxi leaving Pine Island Marina. However a ship trip is a mere 12 minutes from Pine Island. Or for those who favor to depart from Captiva, Punta Gorda or Boca Grande, occasion boats go away every day. The island might be discovered close to Channel Marker 60 within the Pine Island Sound.
Arriving at Cabbage Key, guests are greeted by a harbormaster who oversees the small marina and boathouse. Noticed alongside the harbor are outdated white picket cottages and some non-public houses. Named for the abundance of cabbage palms, the Cabbage Key Inn & Restaurant and surrounding buildings had been constructed by thriller author Mary Roberts Rinehart and her son in 1938. Little has modified since then. An outdated refurbished water tower looms close to the restaurant. Royal Poinciana timber and wonderful palms dot the panorama. Ospreys and bald eagles soar overhead.
The primary focus is the Inn and restaurant which sits excessive on a Calusa Indian mound. Boaters arrive all through the day to benefit from the informal eating. Visitors can eat on the patio – in or open air however do not miss the gathering of famed greenback payments taped to the ceilings and partitions inside. Our server reported that there are over 70,000 greenback payments on the partitions, with written names, sayings and graffiti. The custom began years in the past when a business fisherman, flush with money, taped a number of payments to the wall, guaranteeing he would manage to pay for to return for extra libations. Well-known celebrities are reported to have tacked their similar to John F. Kennedy, Ernest Hemingway, Jimmy Carter and others.
We stayed in a single day within the appropriately named Doll Home, probably the most widespread cottages. It was just like these from my earliest childhood recollections – hardwood flooring, a screened-in porch, window A/C items -with a full mangrove view and delicate breezes.
By night, and after the boaters retreated, the island is quiet and we mirrored on what it will need to have been like when the Rinehart’s lived right here. As Florida’s island outback, the mosquitoes, alone, will need to have been an fascinating problem. Admiring all of the cabbage palms, one native plant stood out greater than others. It was the exceptional abundance of evening blooming cereus, that are cactus flowers that open after darkish. The skinny, spiny cactus wraps itself round timber and yield massive buds which might be spectacular when open (see story images).
The expertise on Cabbage Key’s all about boating and fishing. In case you are on the lookout for a seaside cease, contemplate the close by Cayo Costa, an unspoiled island with miles of open seaside and nature.
Cabbage Key’s a “should” for genuine vacationers – whether or not stopping for lunch or staying the evening and a pleasant reminder of “outdated” Florida and its previous. Sigh.