Pine Island back to Area Info
Pine Island is one of the largest islands off the west coast of Florida and consists of Matlacha ( Mat-la-shay), Pine Island Center, Bokeelia (Bo-keel-ya), Pineland and St. James City. Each community treasures its own distinctive ambiance with authors, artists and musicians calling it home. Pine Island's remote and natural environment is home to many varieties of exotic and tropical wildlife, with more than 18 active American bald eagle nesting sites. Pine Island also has fantastic fishing and boating, with the sport of Tarpon Fishing originating in Pine Island Sound in the late 1880's.
Matlacha looks like an "old Florida" fishing village. Unique and funky art galleries, gift and island wear shops, boutiques and restaurants abound. The drawbridge over Matlacha Pass is known as the "Fishingest Bridge in the World." with anglers fishing the bridge night and day. There are plenty of bait and tackle suppliers and two full-service marinas - Olde fish House Marina and Viking Marina that also rent boats.
Pineland is home to the Randell Research Center - one of the main historical sites of Calusa Indian mounds. It also boasts one of the country's smallest Post Office buildings and provides the island with the only golf course at Alden Pines Country Club. You will also find boat rentals, water taxis and fishing charter services at the full-service Pineland Marina.
St. James City is Pine Island's most developed area with about two thirds of the island's population and several marinas. Most homes are located on canals with direct access to Pine Island Sound, San Carlos Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Bokeelia is homeport for many of the island's commercial fishermen and the site of several historic buildings. It is the primary location of many of Pine Island's agricultural businesses featuring mangoes, pineapples, citrus, row crops and a wide variety of exotic tropical fruits including the carambola, longan, papaya, lychee and loquat. There are many tree farms as well.
Pine Island Center is the only completely off-water community and the hub of the islands commercial activity. It "harbors" the main shopping center, a community park with pool, lighted tennis courts and ball fields, school, main fire station and museum.
Uninhabited Little Pine Island consists of 4,700 acres and is now involved in a process called the Wetland Restoration & Mitigation Bank. Nature and wildlife, as well as the environment are protected on Pine Island by the island's largest organization, the Calusa Land Trust and Nature Preserve of Pine Island, Inc.
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