Pictures from Matlacha, Florida

Matlacha, Florida

Pictures from Matlacha

Matlacha and Pine Island Center are featured here. Pine Island, which is on the lower Gulf Coast of Florida, 125 miles south of Tampa is about 17 miles long and 4 miles wide. It is sheltered from the gulf by  the Sanibel-Captiva Islands and sits in the back bay waters. Population is sparse due to its "out-of-the-way" setting.

 

Matlacha is not on Pine Island but on a narrow neck of land leading to it. It is just west of Cape Coral, Florida and an old fishing outpost among the mangroves in the shallow back bay waters. As you can see from the photos, Matlacha is unremarkable. Old buildings with new paint are featured in the commercial area and the residential areas show flood-prone houses. Obviously this is an area to be evacuated in tropical storms. Even with its lackluster appearance, though, this is a great area for 3 things: fishing, sunrises and sunsets. 

 

The drive down to Pine Island Center is about 5 minutes from Matlacha. Pine Island Center is at the intersection of Pine Island Road and Stringfellow Boulevard. Going north on Stringfellow takes one to Bokeelia and south to St. James City. With an overall small population, Pine Island was never able to support larger commercial establishments. In the mid-nineties a grocery chain and pharmacy finally placed stores in Pine Island Center. This was a welcome relief for most residents used to making the long haul into Fort Myers for monthly shopping. This area is also unremarkable but its relatively cheap land and  crossroad's location keeps it growing.

 

Matlacha Pass

 

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"The world's fishingest bridge" spans Matlacha Pass. 'Snook Inn' as seen from the bridge.
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View of houses and fishing boats west side of Matlacha Pass.
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Matlacha is very small and quaint shops dot the drive through 'downtown'.  There are several picturesque restaurants at which to dine.

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Typical canals in Matlacha. Note flood plain elevation. This is an older area built before current guidelines.
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Typical residential street view in Matlacha.  
 
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Pine Island Center is about 5 miles from Matlacha and is at the crossroad for continuing on to St. James City (9 miles south) or going north to Bokeelia and Pineland (8 miles). It has a public pool, Museum of the Islands, library, and tennis courts as well as the island's only shopping facility, anchored by Winn-Dixie.
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Winn-Dixie shopping center. Coconut Palm farm. You'll see many tropical growers here.  
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Pine Island Center welcome sign. Why the name 'Pine Island'? It's filled with these... Pine Trees!

 

 
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