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Published: January 26th 2016
There are so many reasons why we return to Pine Island time after time; but here are some of the biggies in no particular order:
1. Oysters $9/dozen at the Waterfront on Saturdays.
2. "No see ems" go away if it is windy... It is often windy
3. Tex Mex lunch at the VFW on Thursday with giant Margaritas. O Fraternal clubs (Legion, Moose) offer delish, low priced specials on a rotating schedule. Great prices at the bar always.
4. A wide, off-road, flat and string stright bike path spans the island from St. James City to Bokeelia.
5. There are no high rises.
6. There is no beach (this keeps the crowds down and actually there is a beach in a secret location that we have sworn not to reveal).
7. There are no traffic lights (nor are there any rotaries) just the "four way" stop intersection.
8. There are over a score of great, independently owned and operated bars restaurants - many serving fresh sea food, many with water / sunset views and many designed as chickkee huts.
9. Special events like Art Night, The February Art Show, A Taste
Alondra Docked at Tarpon Lodge
It's on our short list to charter this beauty for a sunset sail!
of Pine Island and the giant sale at the Catholic church.
10. There is only one gas station (actually this can be a pain; but it is an interesting factoid)!
11. It provides the quickest, most direct route to Sanibel and Captiva (as long as you have access to a boat).
12. There are no big box stores - the only "chains" are Winn Dixie, DQ, Dollar General, Dominos and SubWay.
13. The people have a lot of heart - when the Dollar General was proposed, many residents were against it (resistant to growth and change); but the argument that some of the agricultural workers (on palm tree plantations) and other lower income folks didn't have cars to get "off island" to shop flipped the opinion!
14. There are probably more artists, authors, musicians, fishermen and agricultural workers per square mile that any other part of Florida.
15. Beautiful Bokeelia and Funky, Artsy Matlacha (these don't need explanations).
16. Homes on the canals of St. James City (this doesn't need an explanation).
17. The draw bridge is a great way to catch bank robbers (this has proven true).
18. The KOA
Leoma Lovegrove's Botanical Garden
Be sure to walk out on the dock for a great canal scene.
/ Encore RV park is an amazing spot from which to base your day trips and plan a social life: poker, golf, bingo, jam sessions and always live music on Sunday, annual Variety Show, tennis, great pool and hot tub, exercise room, two club houses, great bird watching on the two lakes, fitness and craft "clubs", trips off island - like Thrift Shopping With Shirley, beaches, theatre and flea market via our own Red Bus.
19. Historic sites including Calusa Indian shell mounds, two museums and a great library make up for the total lack of theatres.
20. There's a great Writers' Group that is accommodating and helpful.
21. There are a few thrift shops - one is better than the other; decide for yourself.
22. Sunsets at Tarpon Lodge are spectacular (as is the food)
23. Fishing charters and fascinating sites - like aging "fish houses" on stilts - out in the bay
24. Fabulous galleries like Cross Palms, Wild Child, Mel Meo, Island Visions and Leoma Lovegrove
25. Interesting potters who double as sloop captains and present drumming events - it's eclectic!
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