Blake Walsh

16 Best Things to Do in Matlacha, FL

  • Published 2022/06/03

Anyone who has visited the little fishing neighborhood of Matlacha knows that it is unlike any other village.

It’s the warmest and most vibrant of all the Gulf Coast islands, from the fresh local seafood marketplaces to the cute little stores flanking the road.

Matlacha is the most distinctive and colorful tourist destination you’ll ever see.

It combines local creativity with everything the Gulf Coast islands offers, including dolphin viewing, paddle surfing, and plenty of fishing.

Locals of Matlacha know how to create memorable experiences and have a good time.

Here are the best things to do in Matlacha, FL:

Tour the Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens

Exterior of Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens

Felix Mizioznikov /

One of Southwest Florida‘s most vibrant sites is in the middle of Matlacha Island.

The gallery in Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens sets the standard for the whole gallery sector on the island.

The artist Leoma Lovegrove owns Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens.

She is a world-renowned artist recognized for her vibrant, colorful works.

Her imaginative paintings draw hundreds of visitors each year.

Her art is shown at several galleries throughout the United States.

Visitors can find an unexpected gem in a soothing technicolor floral garden with the calm waters of Matlacha Pass outside the back door.

Check Out the Island Visions Gallery & Gifts

Exterior of Island Visions Gallery & Gifts

Felix Mizioznikov /

Island Visions Gallery & Gifts currently represents around 60 local artists and one-of-a-kind things from across the globe.

The Island Visions Gallery & Gifts features paintings, photographs, jewelry, art glass, stoneware, and fiber art, along with crafts from roughly 15 nations.

The environment is vibrant with a diverse selection of songs and pleasant, helpful staff.

This is a must-visit in Matlacha if you’re seeking a location to browse for unusual stuff!

Create Memories with Top Slot Fishing Charters

You have come to the perfect location if you’re searching for an enjoyable day on the boat with lasting memories.

Join Captain Dayron as he fishes the beautiful Southwest Florida inshore & nearshore waters.

The boat ramp is surrounded by beautiful mangrove shorelines, small grass flats, plus miles of seashores.

Captain Dayron will lead you to the most rewarding fishing hotspots.

Whether you are a novice angler or a seasoned pro, Captain Dayron will assist you in landing your next trophy catch.

There’s something for everyone, from amberjacks to cobia to groupers and snappers.

Join Outdoor Activities at Gulf Coast Kayak

A man kayaking on Matlacha's water

Laurel A Egan /

The Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve, a body of water on the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Tour, is a stunning and serene place to visit.

Gulf Coast Kayak has been active in Matlacha since 1992 and has a 20+ year reputation in the neighborhood.

It is a family-owned and managed company dedicated to promoting paddle sports protection and environmental sustainability.

They have a wide range of sturdy and straightforward paddle boats, from recreational solo and double sit-in or sit-on-board kayaks to fishing kayaks plus paddleboards.

The Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve offers daily escorted kayak ecotours that allow a supervised tour of the mangrove areas.

There are various kayaks available, with life vests and paddles; forge your route and discover the Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve.

Splash around or discover tropical birds and other sea animals in tranquility!

Enjoy a Meal at Miceli’s Restaurant

Miceli’s Restaurant opened in 2009.

It has a clean, pleasant, informal setting that pulls you back with its cuisine and service.

You will surely enjoy a lovely meal at this restaurant with a scenic backdrop of a saltwater pass.

Miceli’s Restaurant includes a complete menu, a liquor bar, pleasant waterfront meals, and regular live entertainment.

Miceli’s Restaurant serves both Italian and American cuisine.

Fresh, locally sourced seafood like raw oysters, soups, pizza, spaghetti, steaks, prime rib, and a kids’ menu are all on the menu.

Come by Miceli’s Restaurant to make the most of your dining experience in Matlacha.

Spend Time with Friends at Blue Dog Bar & Grill

Exterior of Blue Dog Bar & Grill

Felix Mizioznikov /

John Lynch and Jesse Tincher operate Blue Dog Bar & Grill in Matlacha, Florida.

Blue Dog Bar & Grill sources ingredients from neighborhood fishers, breweries, producers, and herders.

Blue Dog’s objective is to create a modest, community restaurant in Matlacha, a popular tourist area.

Don’t miss out on creating valuable memories with friends and family at Blue Dog Bar & Grill over a fantastic feast.

Dine with a View at Bert’s Bar & Grill

Are you seeking a place to unwind and enjoy a tasty meal with various options?

You may park your automobiles at Bert’s Bar & Grill, unload your boats, and relax!

Bert’s Bar & Grill is a unique waterfront eatery in Matlacha.

It serves excellent and authentic local seafood, refreshing beverages, breathtaking sights, and nightly entertainment featuring Southwest Florida’s top local bands.

You may find tacos, sandwiches, snacks, soups & salads, and more on Bert’s Bar’s menu.

Stop at Bert’s Bar & Grill to fuel your journey to Matlacha while enjoying fantastic and healthy food.

Stroll along the Bat House Park

Bat House Park is a modest park on Matlacha Island that’s also ideal for fishing and taking in the scenery.

The “bat house,” which lies a few feet out across the lake from the edge of the lookout, inspired the park’s name.

This popular park near the Matlacha Bridge first officially opened in late 2016.

The bathroom structure was once part of the Snook Inn Restaurant, which stood just on-site for several years and is now a historic structure.

Take a breather and spend time with friends and family at Bat House Park.

Purchase Unique Treasures at Matlacha Menagerie

Exterior of Matlacha Menagerie

Felix Mizioznikov /

Are you looking for one-of-a-kind treasures to bring home?

Matlacha Menagerie is the place to go for unique gifts with an island flare.

At Matlacha Menagerie, you can find local and metal art, blown glass, tropical wall art, jewels, etc.

You’ll never run out of fascinating presents for others or yourself!

Go on a Water Excursion with Mangrove Paddling Company

You may explore the Mangrove Tunnels with the Mangrove Paddling Company.

Kayaking the Matlacha Aquatic Preserve alongside family and friends at the Famous Matlacha is an outdoor activity you will not regret.

Mangrove Paddling Company rents kayaks, paddleboards, canoes, and other watercraft.

Have a fantastic time with them and make memories on your Matlacha trip.

Discover Art at Bert’s Pine Bay Gallery

Bert’s Pine Bay Gallery & Gifts is a lovely old home sitting on the northeastern foot of the Matlacha Bridge, overlooking Matlacha Pass.

Guests enjoy coming to view local art, purchase a piece of popular Crocs footwear, and explore the cabinets of local and best-selling books.

They also enjoy loading up on Bert’s Shirts, hats, and other accessories.

Pine Bay proudly displays the work of their favorite local artists.

They’re also excited to introduce a new line of hand-crafted “Dune Jewelry” made with sand from their favorite beaches, such as Matlacha and Pine Island.

Visit Bert’s Pine Bay Gallery & Gifts’ back patio, which usually has excellent sunset views.

Grab a Delicious Meal at Yucatan Waterfront Bar and Grill

Road sign of Yucatan Waterfront Bar and Grill

Felix Mizioznikov /

Start your island vacation in style.

Yucatan Waterfront Bar & Grill is a popular hangout for residents and travelers.

Enjoy island-inspired dishes and beverages while listening to music, laughing, and having a good time!

Enjoy a toast and enjoy a mouthful of Matlacha bliss.

Enjoy their laid-back indoor and outdoor dining, including a waterfront deck on the Gulf of Mexico’s edge.

At Yucatan Riverside, you’ll discover delicious cuisine, ice-cold beverages, great music, and the ideal position for waterfront seating!

Taste Fresh Seafood at Olde Fish House Marina

Olde Fish House Waterfront waterfront is a laid-back marina seafood store and market with dockside picnic tables, an order window, and live music.

Find only the freshest seafood at the Marine Market, including fish, shrimp, clams, crabs, oysters, and various other seafood products.

With its wonderfully fresh seafood, unique entertainment, distinct charm, and natural old Florida ambiance, the restaurant is unlike any other.

Come by Olde Fish House Marina and buy various fresh fish products!

Rent a Pavilion at Matlacha Community Park

Aerial view of Matlacha Community Park

Felix Mizioznikov /

The seaside Matlacha Community Park has a boat launch, fishing pier, basketball court, and playground.

You can join Summer Camp, Yoga, Home School Group, Open Play Pickleball, and other programs and workshops at the Matlacha Park and Community Center.

You can also rent a kayak pavilion with picnic tables and a playground pavilion with picnic tables and a grill.

Matlacha Community Park also has a new fishing pier, a bonus for this Matlacha tourist attraction.

Relax, rent a pavilion, or participate in one of the many activities offered at this lovely community park.

Enjoy a Lovely Stay at the Knoll’s Court Waterfront Motel

Knoll’s Court Waterfront Motel offers a taste of Florida living in quaint Matlacha.

Wake up to waterfront views, hop in your sailboat at the dock, and travel north or south for a day of fishing.

Wander the local art galleries, sweets, and gift stores, then stop for lunch at one of the many eateries once you return.

They have a bigger cottage-style accommodation, including two queen beds and a kitchenette, which overlooks the water.

With their free internet access, you may share your best moments and keep connected while relaxing.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Taste Vietnamese Cuisine at Island Pho & Grill

Enjoy fresh and genuine Vietnamese treats at Island Pho & Grill.

You can find this restaurant in Cape Coral, Florida, 22 minutes from Matlacha.

Each Vietnamese food has its particular flavor that represents several of these characteristics.

Vietnamese cuisine includes all of Vietnam’s dishes and drinks and consists of a five-taste combo in the entire meal.

Traditional Vietnamese food combines fresh ingredients, little dairy and oil usage, complementary textures, and dependence on herbs and vegetables.

They prepare a warm bowl of pho with shrimp, pig, chicken, beef, noodles or rice and a lovely fresh roll.

Catering and culinary planning for occasions, parties, weddings, and corporate events are also available.

Vietnamese cuisine is one of several healthiest cuisines globally because of the proportion of fresh herbs and meats.

They also judiciously use spices to get a delicious taste.

Final Thoughts

Matlacha is a one-of-a-kind tourist destination with vibrant hues and a vibrant community.

You may purchase original work by local artisans, sample fresh fish directly on the pier, and try waterfront dining.

From day to night, enjoy both outdoor and indoor activities in Matlacha, including fishing, strolling in the park, dining, visiting art galleries, and more!

This tourist spot will not leave you bored.

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