We first came across Matlacha (say Mat-lashay) a couple of years ago whilst staying at Cape Coral. We found it a cute quirky little place, brightly painted and home to artists and other free thinkers.
This year a last minute change of holiday plans found us with the chance of visiting again and maybe, this time, staying a little while. A brief search on the interweb, a couple of calls to Chloe and a few days later found us pulling off Pine Island road and down a little lane to " ... Dock of The Bay".
Oh heaven - a compact olde worlde shack right on the water. Simply but comfortably equipped & furnished. Two comfortable bedrooms and an open plan kitchen / living room.
Best of all though is to step out of the back door and down onto your own dock. And what a joy it is to sit out and enjoy the peace and quiet (no passing traffic) as you sip your morning coffee or a late night Bud & marguerita
The only sound is the lapping of the water, the calls of the resident Ospreys, Egrets and Ibis, the splashing of the fish and the grumbling of distant thunder.
A short walk takes you to the main road and a selection of bars and eateries including our favourites - Pizza Bella, where they make the pizza bases fresh while you wait and The Olde Fish House Marina where you mix with leather tanned fishermen as you eat fresh caught fish, drink beer kept in a huge ice bucket and listen to live music in a open sided bar right on the water.
Matlacha is a fisherman's paradise. Fish for catfish & bass from your own dock, from "The Fishingest Bridge in Florida" (soon to be The Fishingest Reef), fish for ladyfish and sharks!! from Bokleia pier or dig deep into the walet for a private hire boat and skipper to fish for Tarpon.
While you're there - try a tropical tipple at The Lowkey Tiki in St James city, a meal in luxurious surroundings at Tarpon Lodge or fresh, home made, value for money food at The Captain's Restaurant at Bokleia.
Best though, for me at least, would be a steak (from Publix - 5 minutes down the road), a cold Bud and to watch the Sun go down from "Sitting on The Dock of The Bay".
Mat-lashay - I want to go back there so much it hurts.