Tarpon Lodge & RestaurantBy: TLP's Partners
Welcome to Pine Island, Florida’s largest island off the Gulf Coast. Once only accessible by boat, the area is a perfect paradise full of hiking trails, local shops and fruit farms. Spend a day fishing for fighting tarpon, hopping to nearby islands or digging into the history of the Indigenous Calusa before settling in for dinner at one of the area’s premier fine dining restaurants.
Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant is a historical landmark. Built in 1926, the former fishing lodge is overflowing with “Old Florida” charm. The four-star restaurant is open for lunch and dinner with plenty of fresh seafood on the menu. After beginning with hand-crafted cocktails, order the house specialty: blue crab and roasted corn chowder. Keep the upscale island vibes going when you opt for the catch of the day or a delicacy well-known to Southwest Floridians—pink Gulf shrimp served with stone-ground red grits, chorizo and bacon in a spicy tomato cream sauce. Fully satisfied, sink into your seat to watch a perfect sunset over Pine Island Sound to cap off the evening.
Along with its sister restaurant, Cabbage Key Inn, Tarpon Lodge & Restaurant has been locally owned and maintains much of its charm from the 1920s. The original house features eight bookable rooms plus other on-site accommodations, and the restaurant fills up each night not only with overnight guests but also with mainland visitors. Named the “Best-Kept Secret” in The Best of the Gulf Shore in 2022 and 2023, this waterfront paradise is a timeless classic.