Pineland: Step Back into Old Florida

tarpon lodge Just imagine a place where you step back into the old days, where Old Florida comes alive with a relaxed, “old school” lifestyle in check. That’s what you’ll find in Pineland, one of the most unique destinations in all of Lee County. The tiny community on Pine Island has barely more than 400 residents, but it is rich in history and tradition. One of the oldest and largest native Florida settlements, the location was first established around 2,000 years ago, and traced back to the Calusa. These days history is on full display, including the archaeological site of the Calusa Heritage Trail at the Randall Research Center. A little more than a half-mile long, the trail leads up an ancient shell mound, as visitors soak in the scenery and the history of the region. Not to be overlooked either is the one-room house, home of Promised Land Mangoes. This is the country store attached to the organic mango farm. The owners tend to their property with a hoe, the old-fashioned way, while everything from mango preserves to homemade mango and wildflower honey entices visitors. Pineland also includes one of the nation’s smallest post offices, first established in the early 1900s. Once right on the water, the Pineland Post Office traces its roots to the old days too, with its single room and wood floor. There’s also the acclaimed Tarpon Lodge restaurant, with its screened in porch and slow-moving fans, along with its white, wood-framed exterior. For one of the most relaxing experiences in Pineland, however, you’ll want to head to a white gazebo that overlooks Pine Island Sound, just across the lawn from Tarpon Lodge. This is a great place to take in the scenery of Captiva Island while simply kicking back and relaxing, drink in hand. For a true step back into Old Florida-style living, there is nothing that compares with a visit to Pineland.

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