Matlacha FL Homes & Real Estate
There's a quaint little fishing village in southwest Florida with a cool vibe and a whole lotta color goin' on — and a real bucket list thing for art lovers.
Matlacha (mat-la-SHAY)… It rolls off the tongue with as much twang as you're willing to give.
The tiny and colorful hamlet of Matlacha FL is so compelling as you drive into town, it’s best to just find a parking space and start walking.
It’s not a huge place, but there’s enough to see and do for the day, and more if you stay and get out on the water, or explore the surrounding parts of Pine Island, St. James City, and Bokeelia.
Matlacha Island is a small spit of island between north Cape Coral and Pine Island, and a perfect little town to chill out for the day in an atmosphere that's uniquely its own. It’s a tropical destination worthy of a good Florida road trip.
Think 'Florida Fish Camp meets Andy Warhol in Key West’ and you’ll get the idea. Matlacha stands out among the many quaint seaside towns in southwest Florida as the free spirit in the family.
On a map, you’ll see that Matlacha is a stone’s throw from the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva, but that’s as the crow flies. Getting to Matlacha from Sanibel is easy if you have a boat. If you’re driving, however, plan on a one hour trip from Sanibel to Ft. Myers to Cape Coral, and up the back way.
If you’re visiting Naples or farther down in Marco Island, Matlacha makes an easy day trip — it’ll take you an hour and a half to get here, just in time for lunch!
RECENT HISTORY OF MATLACHA
In the 1990's, coming off some major changes which impacted the town's livelihood of commercial fishing, the sleepy town of Matlacha Island took a new direction and reinvented themselves as something unique and unexpected. Residents literally took a paint brush and palette, and reenergized their town with bright, tropical colors. Today the town enjoys a reputation as a funky arts community that fishes, a lot.
But you won't find a trace of neutral, organic design or South Beach chic, or the whitewashed beach style of neighboring Sanibel or Captiva just a stone’s throw away. And you definitely won’t find any fast-food restaurants or chain stores.
No, Matlacha packs a vibrant punch of raucous, in-your-face color, where neon beats pastel and seashells become sculpture. Each time I visit, it's jazzier than the last — even the telephone poles are painted!
THINGS TO DO IN MATLACHA
Matlacha is part of the Everglades ecosystem, and like most of the waters around the islands of southwest Florida, Pine Island and Matlacha Pass are teeming with so many varieties of fish, colorful wading and shore birds. So, it's no surprise anglers have long regarded the area as some of the best fishing in the world.
Whether from your own boat or rental, or from the bridge - also known as "The World's Fishingest Bridge" - there's always a great place to drop a line.
I can't think of a better place than Matlacha to explore the waters of southwest Florida. Kayakers, boarders and others could easily spend days on the calm inlet backwaters and exploring the natural world teeming with fish and wildlife.
You can sit at a local cafe enjoying your lunch of cold beer and fried grouper bites (out of this world!), huge schools of fish hit even bigger schools of minnows and smaller bait fish along the surface of the back bay off the restaurant's deck. More than a dozen fishing boats and small water craft will pass by in the course of an hour on the way out to Matlacha Pass. Around here, being on the water is what it's all about.
Shop The Matlacha Art Galleries
Something happens to you when you come to Matlacha - the slow pace, the funky vibe - not sure which. You're forced to relax. And spending the afternoon browsing the shops, antique stores, and galleries seems the perfect way to unwind.
The whimsical storefronts fit the quaintness of the town - every sleepy fishing village could really use a good dose of color!
A favorite of the galleries belongs to local artist Leoma Lovegrove, the outside of her lime green and pink gallery perfectly offsetting the vibrant, multi-colored canvases she's famous for. Look for the quirky white mannequins on the roof and her signature white-glove sunglasses.
Right next door is Wild Child Art Gallery, a bright contemporary gallery featuring the work of artist and owner Peggy McTeague, along with over 120 artists from around Florida. Textiles, jewelry, paintings, sculpture, and wood carvings.
The gallery is jam-packed with beautiful creations perfectly curated and displayed. I especially loved the hanging-stained glass sculpture in the window, made from colored glass and metal, with some carved sugar bowl lids and other beautiful objects thrown in.
Visit Pine Island
Keep driving on the same road you drove in on, and you’ll hit Pine Island, a long rural stretch of island that’s worth a visit. At the T in the road, turn south and head to St. James City where you’ll find a few restaurants and lots of local marinas and pleasure boats heading over to fish.
If you turn right at the T and head north, you’ll eventually come to Bokeelia, a quaint little community with a beach bar, a few restaurants and several nice art galleries to browse. For a great lunch, stop in the Tarpon Lodge!
Restaurants In Matlacha
It wouldn't be island-hopping without a cold beer or tropical drink, and don’t you always seem to end up at a local joint with a good crowd gathered listening to some live music.
Sometimes it's Bert's on one side of the road, which has two different areas to relax in — a bar/poolroom up front and a dining room with a water view out back, depending on your mood. Sometimes it's the Old Fish House Marina on the other side of the road, a hangout popular with bikers, plenty of parking for your rides, and good live music. Matlacha — and all of southwest Florida — is known having fresh seafood. And the Blue Dog has the best fish dip (mullet) around!
Berts - 4271 Pine Island Rd, Matlacha, FL http://www.bertsbar.com/
Old Fish House Marina Restaurant - 4530 Pine Island Rd NW, Matlacha, FL https://www.facebook.com/oldefish.house/
** My Favorite**Blue Dog Bar & Grill - 4597 Pine Island Rd NW, Matlacha, FL https://www.bluedogmatlacha.com/
Included below are homes for sale and real estate in Matlacha, FL.
If you would like more information on any of these Matlacha real estate listings, just click on a property to access the full details. From there, you can request more information or schedule a tour. And I'd be happy to provide you with disclosures, past sales history, dates and prices of properties which have recently sold nearby, and more, so just let me know how I can help!
And, for your convenience, feel free to register for a free account to receive email alerts whenever new Matlacha listings come on the market that match your specific criteria.