How is it that I have lived in SouthWest Florida for so long and just now have discovered CABBAGE KEY?
Bonita and Fort Myers Beach are great but Cabbage Key, ahhhhhh; now there's an island. First of all, you can't drive there; accessible only by boat. And, it's a nice boat ride too, not out into the open sea of the Gulf of Mexico but within the confines of Pine Island Sound with lovely islands always visible for those who may fear venturing into deeper waters.
While pulling into the dock you pass several wonderful, older, white houses. One is simply a dollhouse, if I might use a real estate embellishment term. But, no, literally. The original owners (after the Calusa Indians, of course) of the island built several cottages, besides their main house and this smaller one was for their child to use as a dollhouse or playhouse. The main house (built in the 1920's) is now an inn and restaurant. I do love historic properties and I must say that they are few and far between in this stretch of Florida, so I was totally thrilled to discover these homes of character. The painted but worn-clean-to-the-wood, screen door alone made the trip worth it to me. I was happy that I had brought my film camera, just in case. Another highlight was the white, wooden water tower still in use. Writers, artists, dreamers and characters in general have called Cabbage Key home.
Currently, the biggest draw to the island is the "Cheeseburger in Paradise" theme, since it is said that Jimmy Buffet was singing about the inn on Cabbage Key. And, the fact that the walls are papered with signed dollar bills. The story goes that before the island was "discovered" the bar was mostly frequented by fisherman who may or may not have a dollar in their pockets the next time they stopped by for a beer. So, they would tape their dollars up on the walls of the bar with their names written on them to use as a credit for their next trip in, just in case. It was all interesting, needless to say.
Because all of Cabbage Key is privately owned, you and I won't be moving there anytime soon. but I am happy that at least they remain open to the public and that I do live within boating distance. If you are going to make a day trip of it, I highly recommend the Captiva Cruises as a way to depart from Captiva Island and comfortably cruise to Cabbage Key.
I highly recommend a trip to Cabbage Key to clear your head and re-start your inspiration. You too may fall in love.