Half the fun of eating at the Cabbage Key Inn Restaurant is getting there. The Inn is on a tiny island at the entrance to huge Charlotte Harbor and is accessible only by boat from nearby Pine Island or private craft.
The inn was built by Alan Rinehart, son of mystery writer Mary Roberts Rinehart, who also had a cottage on nearby Useppa Island. Unlike the exclusive other island I just noted, Cabbage Key welcomes restaurant visitors and a guide will show you if there are any vacancies at the inn or rental cottages.
The Inn sits on a 38-foot Calusa Indian mound so air breezes cool the porch where most dine. The most popular spot is the bar whose walls are covered by autographed dollar bills started by a patron who didn’t want to visit the bar broke. Today, 65,000 dollar bills grace the walls and regulars will point you to the Jimmy Buffett and Neil Young bills.