I spent almost eight years living in the northern part of Cape Coral on the Gulf of Mexico, which put me in quite a prime position in many ways. Just over two hours from Miami (travelling east across Alligator Alley) and Tampa (i-75 headed North) and just over three to Orlando (and Disney).
But if a much shorter drive and some major chillout time was required then it was off to Matlacha (pronounced “MAT-la-shay”) for me , just down the road (ten miles/twenty minutes).
The community’s name comes from a Calusa word meaning “water to the chin.” It is an “Old Florida” fishing village home to many brightly-coloured art galleries, island boutiques, seafood restaurants, and traditional Florida cottages. And, more importantly (to many) tons of fishing, giving it the charm almost of one of the Florida Keys scruffier, less touristy cousins!