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Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Archive for the ‘Waterfront Restaurant’ Category

Estero Island and Fort Myers Beach Part 2

Posted by Shane On October 17th

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing great!!!!

 

We left off last time at Matanzas on the Bay Restaurant on Ft. Myers Beach. We were able to make it all the way through the Bay and around the southern tip of Ft. Myers Beach before stopping for lunch at Matanzas.  Afterward, we were going to take you on the rest of the tour behind Estero Island to see all the different Restaurants, Bars and Marinas, but the afternoon thunderstorm put a quick stop to that!  I have to say, one of the great things about boating here in Southwest Florida is that even if it’s blowing 20 or 30 knots you’re protected by our barrier islands. No rough water, no sea sickness, just a great day on the water exploring the waterways.  This week we continue our waterfront journey.

 

Once you leave Matanzas, right across the Bay is a place called Bonita Bill’s Waterfront Cafe.  This is on the north side of Matanzas Harbor across from Fort Myers Beach at the base of the bridge on San Carlos Island. I’ve eaten here on several occasions and it’s a very cool place to go by boat. Bonita Bill’s serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with tasty food and a festive atmosphere as well as live entertainment.  The staff is great and it’s just a really fun place to go. Check out the link to the trip advisor website that tells you more about Bonita Bill’s Waterfront Cafe.

 

 

 

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http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g34231-d1556608-Reviews-Bonita_Bills_Waterfront_Cafe-Fort_Myers_Beach_Florida.html

 

Just around the corner is another great restaurant called Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille.  This place is awesome!!  If you’re into great food, great atmosphere, great water views, live entertainment…This is the place to go. Doc Ford’s features a lower deck outside right on the water and an upper air conditioned area as well. I like to describe the menu as eclectic Caribbean – try the Yucatan Shrimp, oh my gosh, spicy, but not too spicy, and soooo good. For your main course try the Banana Leaf Snapper – excellent. The name “Doc Ford’s” comes from the main character in a series of novels by Randy Wayne White, a local author and co-owner of the restaurant.  He writes all about Southwest Florida and??? Well, you just need to read his novels. One of my best buds, Craig, has read every one of Randy Wayne White’s books. Craig tells me it’s fascinating to be reading his novel taking place on the water in our local area and being able to reflect back, “hey,we were there”, or “hey, we saw this or we did that”. If you enjoy reading, you’ll enjoy these novels.  

 

For the novice boaters who may have challenges docking their boats, Doc Ford’s has full time dock hands who will help you guide your boat in and help you tie up; don’t forget to tip them. I only bring this up because several of you have called me and e-mailed me your concerns about docking your boat in front of all these people who are at these establishments. Yes, half the people are watching you dock your boat the other half are oblivious. As I tell all my new boaters, “take your time coming into the dock, there’s no race, take your time , nice and slow”.  When you get close enough, throw your lines to the dock hands, put your boat in neutral, and let the dock hands pull you in and secure your boat. These guys will make YOU look like a pro 🙂 No one has to know your heart is pounding out of your chest, no one has to know the anxiety you’re feeling as you approach the dock. Take it nice and slow and do not panic, ever!!!!. Oh one more thing, have your dock lines out and cleated off on your boat before you get to the dock. Not sure which side to cleat your ropes to?  Well do both starboard and port sides so you’re ready and you’re not scrambling trying to find your ropes and untangle them. Check out these photos and look at the Doc Ford’s website.

   

http://www.docfordsfortmyersbeach.com/index.html

 

 

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After pulling out of Doc Ford’s, head south down the Bay, it’s a beautiful cruise by boat.  You’ll see all the marinas, boatyards, shrimp boats, etc.

 

 

 

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I’m sure you’ve probably heard of the Key West Express.

This is where you would depart from, heading to Key West; coming back from Key West, you would disembark here as well.

 

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Just on the other Side of the Key West Express is another neat place to go. If you’re into sports and looking for a place to watch the game on the water, this is it…..Big Game Waterfront Grill. We’ve been here many, many times for football games, etc. It’s a great atmosphere, the service is great, and so are the people. There are plenty of places to park your boat. There’s nothing  better than meeting all your family and friends by boat here and watching your favorite teams play – there are big screen TV’s everywhere!

 

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Take a look at their website.

 http://www.biggamewaterfrontgrill.com/

Just next door is an equally fun place, with a totally different atmosphere, it’s called Parrot Key Caribbean Grill Restaurant at Salty Sam’s Marina.

 

This is another waterfront restaurant with great food and service and the crowd is always in a laid back mood. Parrot Key also features live entertainment. It’s fun to sit at the bar or a table on the water and see all the boats coming and going.  Many times while we’re waiting for our food to come out, or after our meal, we’ll walk the docks looking at all the boats.  It’s hard to put the feeling here in words – relaxed, casual, laid back  – “at peace” comes to my mind. Remember, Parrot Key is located on the grounds of Salty Sam’s Marina, a full service marina offering wet slips, dry slips, boat barn storage, fuel, service work, etc.  Scroll down to the weblinks to Parrot Key and Salty Sam’s…

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 http://www.myparrotkey.com/

 

 http://www.saltysamsmarina.com/

Now don’t be surprised if you see pirates at Salty Sam’s Marina…..There’s a pirate ship docked there and for a small fee will take you out on the high seas for a great time.  It’s actually quite entertaining with the show the pirates put on, on the Pirate Ship. I don’t want to say too much and spoil it, you just have to experience it for yourself.  This is a really fun adventure for when your family and friends come to visit…

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Here’s the website for more information on the ship and scheduling.

  http://www.piecesofeight.com/

 

I hope this issue of the Boating Guide has given you some new great places to go to, see and experience. We’ve been to these places time and time again. We bring family, friends, clients and every single time it’s a new adventure. You just never know what you’re going to see… Dolphin jumping in your wake, a large Leopard Ray jumping up and out of the water or the massive gentle Manatee swimming up to your boat. You just never know.

 

There are several other places to see and experience. We’ll hit those on next week’s Boating Guide.

 

Until next time, make it a great weekend. Please make time for your family and friends, life goes by so fast.

 

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Estero Island and Ft. Myers Beach

Posted by Shane On October 3rd

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing great!!!!  Welcome back to the latest issue of The Boating Guide.  I’ve had some of my readers write in and say, “what if we don’t live on the water; where’s the best place to put our boat in? Where are the closest waterfront restaurants and watering holes that we can get to by boat?  We don’t know the waters that well in Southwest Florida and don’t want to run aground”.  Well, I would be happy to answer all of these questions.

 

In Fort Myers, the most centrally located boat ramp is the Punta Rassa Boat Ramp at Sanibel Causeway. It was all redone a few years ago, allows you to put in 4 boats at a time, and there’s plenty of parking. Punta Rassa also offers a large fish cleaning station and restrooms. At the end of the day when you’re pulling your boat out, it’s fun to check out what other fishermen have caught. I’ve seen Grouper, Snapper, Sheepshead, Redfish, Snook, American Red Snapper, King Fish, Spanish Mackerel, all kinds of fish.  Remember, there’s a $10.00 per day parking fee or you can buy an annual resident pass for $60 per year; just go to www.leeparks.org and search “parking sticker” for all the information. The annual pass also gives you access to several other ramps as well as parks in Lee County.

 

Punta Rassa Boat Ramp is really easy to find; from Hwy 41 go west on Summerlin Rd. towards Sanibel. Right before you get to the toll booths at Sanibel Causeway, stay to your far right, you’re going to veer off to the right onto Punta Rassa Rd. and then turn left to the boat ramp, you can’t miss it. Sometimes instead of leaving from the house, we trailer our boat to Punta Rassa Boat Ramp and put in there.  That way we can get to the Gulf quickly without going through the slow zones in the Caloosahatchee River. Take a look at some of the photos…

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Today we’re going to head to Ft. Myers Beach on Estero Island. It’s a short ride from Punta Rassa and there are plenty of bars, restaurants, marinas, fuel, etc., plus, the beach!  You can see Ft. Myers Beach as you go under the Sanibel Causeway Bridge heading South. The channel here is very well marked and you have plenty of water.  As you come from the Sanibel Causeway Bridge heading south, be sure to stay on the right side of the markers because on the other side, there’s a large sand bar.  Follow the markers to Ft. Myers Beach and once you get to the north end of the beach you’ll see more markers very clearly marking the channel going around and behind Estero Island. Once you’re at this point you’ll see San Carlos Bay behind and to your left; ahead and to the right there’s a public park at the northern tip of Ft. Myers Beach called Bowditch Point Park – a great place to anchor up, hang out and relax.  There are public restrooms, grilling areas, picnic tables, metered parking, and a little snack bar. The park underwent a beach restoration project several years ago substantially increasing the size of the beach and enhancing sea turtle habitat.

 

As you head south on the back side of the Island, you’ll come past a great big beige building to the right, this is the Pink Shell Resort. What a great place to stay, it’s right on the beach, has a great pool area, plus restaurants and bar right there on the Gulf.  There’s also a newer restaurant at the Pink Shell Resort on the Bay side; I haven’t eaten there yet, so let me know how it is?

 

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As you continue south towards the big Sky Bridge that connects Ft. Myers Beach to San Carlos Island and the mainland, you’ll see some really neat cottages along with huge “McMansions”…

 

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There are also several marinas where you can stop and get fuel or even keep your boat there.  There’s Moss Marina on the Ft. Myers Beach side and across the Bay there’s a new facility for larger boats and yachts, Diversified Yacht Services. Right next door is the United States Coast Guard…

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At the foot of the Sky Bridge to Ft. Myers Beach you’ll see a multi-colored building on the right called Nervous Nellie’s. The food is great and soooo much to choose from on the menu. At the very top there’s a bar called Ugly’s which has indoor and outdoor dining offering great views of the Bay… See the link below.

 

http://nervousnellies.net/

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Once you go under the bridge look to your immediate right. There’s another restaurant called Matanzas On The Bay. The food here is equally great with indoor dining and a large deck for waterfront dining! Matanzas also has an upstairs bar and dining called The Upper Deck.  This is another great spot to enjoy the Bay views or to catch a football game. Just next door is the Matanzas Inn with cute updated rooms and dock space for your boat. Check out the link below..

 

 http://matanzas.com/

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We had planned on visiting several other eating and drinking establishments on Ft. Myers Beach today, however, as you saw in the above photos, there was a very bad squall heading our way. I had been watching it build and build as we were eating lunch at The Upper Deck. As it drew closer and closer we could hear the thunder and see the lightning off in the distance – It was time to go! I must warn you, if the storm is too close, please stay put and wait for it to pass. Please keep in mind, I’ve been on the water my entire life and If I thought for one moment that we would be in danger, I would have stayed put. I told Anne, “it’s time to go right now”! It also helps that we were in the Lake and Bay flats boat which runs just over 80 MPH. We said good bye to our friends, hopped in the boat and took off. We were back to the ramp in no time at all. As soon as we had the boat pulled out and were on Summerlin Rd. the sky opened up!!!  Wow!!!  What a storm.. of course as most afternoon storms in Florida, they come quickly and pass quickly while cooling everything down – at least for a little while.

 

Stay tuned for next week and we’ll finish our tour of the back side of Estero Island (Fort Myers Beach).

 

On a serious note: I want to thank the United States Coast Guard, Lee County Sherriff’s Department, the Sanibel Police Department and any other law enforcement that helped rescue our friends last weekend. Thank  goodness for their quick response time… We have some friends who were fishing off Sanibel last weekend with 7 people on board – 4 children and 3 adults. No one knows why yet, but their boat sank. It was a 30 foot plus boat; the bow was the only part of it left floating up and out of the water. Thank goodness everyone kept their heads on straight. The kids were wearing life jackets and the adults put theirs on as the boat was sinking. They were able to call and give their coordinates to the authorities. Thanks to the quick thinking of the crew and everyone remaining calm, everyone is okay. Beyond scary to say the least.  Years ago, I used to get irritated when I would randomly get pulled over for a safety check on my boat. Checking life jackets, flares, other safety equipment, etc. I now welcome it, because I have had other similar situations, in which my buddies and I have rescued people from sunken boats. Having the proper safety gear on your boat in an emergency can save lives. Just think, if our friends had not been prepared, it could have turned out very bad. I don’t feel comfortable posting the youtube video of the rescue, however, If you choose to pull it up, go right ahead. Google “capsized boat off Fort Myers Beach”. Once again, I commend the captain, the crew and law enforcement who did an amazing job on their rescue.

 

Until next week. Make time for your Family and Friends, life is so short.

 

Make it a great weekend..

 

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Lobster Mini Season

Posted by Shane On August 7th

Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part One…

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing great!!!!!!! You know what time of year it is, don’t you???? Lobster Mini Season!!!! This is where there’s only a two day time frame to catch Lobster, (Lobster Mini Season) and the commercial Lobster folks are not allowed to put out their traps until right after the two day mini season. Let’s talk some business first, and then we can get on to the fun part of The Boating Guide. Our Southwest Florida Real Estate Market continues to be very good with more lots  and homes being put on the market for sale. As always, the properties that are priced at current market value are selling. The homes that are overpriced are sitting on the market with very little activity. Today’s consumer is very savvy. With all the information available on the internet plus assistance from his Real Estate Professional, today’s Buyer knows a good, or fair market value when he sees it based on what else has sold in the immediate area. Many of the overpriced homes I have been tracking for months and months are still on the market for sale; I have also tracked numerous Sellers who have adjusted (reduced) the price of their homes to be more competitive in the marketplace. Keep in mind, these are not “give away” prices,  but fair market value. Interest rates are still at historic lows, in fact, I saw a 30 year 4.1% interest rate last week, with no points. That’s cheap money! In some cases, it’s better for a Buyer to get a mortgage at such a low rate and keep his cash in investments where it could be earning a higher interest rate. You will have to talk to your financial advisor about this :-).. There is another trend that I see that has been evolving for some time. I’m talking about “scrapers”. These are homes on the water that make no financial sense to remodel or add onto. The value in these properties is in the dirt (the land). We are seeing more and more properties being bought, scraped and replaced with brand new beautiful homes. All in all, our Real Estate and New Construction are moving right along. Many, many sales. The inventory seems to be stable at this time, however, when a great value hits the market, it’s typically gone within a week. If you have any questions about our Southwest Florida Real Estate Market, please feel free to reach out to me on my cell phone, by text or e-mail. I will respond to you. If you want to keep up to date with the properties in your neighborhood or a certain area you select, I can set you up on my Listingbook program (FREE) and it will send you daily status reports. Please let me know however I may assist you….

Now on to the fun part of The Boating Guide….

Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 Part One….

 

Every year we head down to the Keys for Mini Season. This year we stayed in the town of Marathon which is about halfway down the Florida Keys. There’s a city within Marathon called Key Colony Beach; it’s a really neat place to stay, close to shopping, food stores, fuel, dive shops, Marinas, boat ramps, you name it. Key Colony Beach even has its own Marina, hotels, rental houses, restaurants (on and off the ocean), swimming pools and beach. Everything you could want is right there. There are multi-million dollar homes and there are more modest homes, down to 600 sq. ft. duplexes – there’s a property for any budget. Oh, and best of all, you can keep your boat right in your backyard and within a few minutes you are out in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf via Vaca Cut (a navigable channel). Other than where I was raised in Islamorada (the Upper Keys), this has got to be one of my favorite places. It offers something for every member of your family. You can boat, fish, dive, snorkel. There are world famous reefs, a beautiful beach, restaurants, coffee shops, gift stores; or take a drive to Key West, approximately 50 miles away. There is some type of activity for everyone :-).. And best of all, it’s only a few hours drive from Fort Myers.

 

We headed to the Keys on Saturday with 5 families and boats in tow. Once you enter the Keys and get down towards Islamorada, it gets very narrow and there are many bridges to go over which give you spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. The views are to die for with beautiful crystal clear turquoise blue water in every direction. As you look farther out into the ocean, the water turns to a darker blue then almost a stunning purple color.  You’ll need to see it with your own eyes to understand what I am trying to explain. Talk about anxiety (good anxiety)!  We cannot wait to put the boats in the water and go explore. The rest of our drive is almost unbearable with the excitement of knowing that in a short time we’ll be out on the water!!!!! Before we even get unpacked and settled into our accommodations, we unload the boats and motor them around the canals to the docks behind our rental houses that will be home for the next week. And, we made the trip with no issues, thank goodness.

 

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Fwd_ Mini Lobster Season in the Florida Keys 2014 part one..

Once we unpacked and got settled in, we sorted through all of our fishing and diving gear to get ready for the days ahead. I went down to the boat to double check that we had all of our safety gear, life jackets, flares and first aid kit. I double and triple checked all the bilge pumps, through hull fittings, and electronics on the boats to be sure we’d be set and prepared for any unplanned issues.  By this time it was getting late, so we jumped in the boat to go out and watch the sunset and prepare for the next day.

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We got up the next morning and prepared to run offshore to look for Dolphin Fish (Mahi Mahi). We loaded all the rods, tackle and snorkeling gear to hit Sombrero Light Reef on the way back in.  Here are some of the amazing and beautiful homes in Key Colony Beach that we passed each day as we headed out to the Atlantic or Gulf. Check out these photos…

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Heading out into the Atlantic Ocean or into the Gulf is a beautiful ride in itself. To watch the color changes as the water gets deeper and deeper and deeper is just an unbelievable sight. The light blues, then turquoise, then darker blue as the water gets deeper. Once you are past the 600 foot mark, the water is a brilliant purple color…

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Once we got about 12 miles out, we began to see weed lines. Weed lines hold crabs, shrimp, fish. With this micro ecosystem in place, it attracts the bigger bait fish, which in turn attracts the larger fish we are targeting – Dolphin Fish (Mahi Mahi), Tuna, Wahoo, etc. It was a beautiful, calm day out on the ocean. The sun was out, there was a light breeze, and lots of weed lines. We saw birds diving on bait near the weed lines so we trolled over to see what we could catch..

Bam !!!  Fish on.. the drag screamed for half a second and then it stopped. We all thought this was strange???

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It looked like a Bar Jack hit the lure we were trolling and then something big hit the Bar Jack. Look at the photos, it’s bit right in half.

 

After trolling for awhile the kids were kind of bored and Wade wanted to stop at the next weed line to spear some fish for dinner. Keep in mind the water here is about 600 feet deep and we are 12 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean…Check out these photos….

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The water was sooooo clear and there were tons of bait fish, but nothing worth shooting to take home for dinner. These weed lines are their own tiny ecosystem in a massive ocean. We found this small female crab holding her eggs..

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As I said above, there are tiny shrimp, fish, crabs, so many small little creatures moving around that even I don’t know what they all are. Very, very cool creatures of the sea..

By this time the kids wanted to head in to Sombrero Lighthouse which stands above an amazing reef – a “no take” zone – so it’s teeming with life and marine sea creatures. The ride in to the lighthouse was beautiful.. The seas were calm, a light breeze, and the water was beautiful...

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Heading into the reef the color changes of the water were just amazing!!!! Words cannot even describe it. Everyone was so excited to get there, the water was so crystal clear that we could see all the fish, coral heads and marine life from above the water. Once we got into the water, hundreds of fish would swim up to check us out ……

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Swimming around you will see hundreds and hundreds of different species of fish. However, on every single reef I have ever been to, there are always your “resident” Barracudas, along with some of the most amazing reef fish you will ever see..

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One of the best parts of swimming on the reef is hand-feeding the fish. It’s so cool to have them come right up to you and eat out of your hand…

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At Sombrero Light, there are some amazing ledges and small caves you can swim through. (Do not attempt to swim through these small caves, it can be dangerous). Take a look at these photos..

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Before leaving, the kids wanted to feed the fish again….

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We were all ready to head back in after an amazing day on the water. The weather was great, the ocean was beautiful, and everyone had a great time..

 

On our way in, we saw the other families we were vacationing with at Key Colony Beach, hanging out at the sandbar swimming and having a cold beverage and snacks before dinner. We decided to stop so everyone could visit and share stories about their amazing day!!!!!!!….

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What an amazing end to our day on the water!!!!!! Well it’s time to go.. Wait until next week for Part Two of Lobster Mini Season in the Florida Keys 2014 .. 

Until then, make time for your family and friends.. Life goes by so quickly. Just make your plan, work your plan, and stick to it. 

 

Until next time make it a great week..:-)))

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

The Gulf Shore Grill & The Cottage

Posted by Shane On July 17th

Have I got a place for you to go boating this weekend.  Have you heard of the Gulfshore Grill & The Cottage on Ft. Myers Beach?

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This is a great time of year to go. If you like to people watch and have a great time you have to go!  Once you have anchored off  Ft. Myers Beach, you can walk up to the beach and eat lunch at the Cottage. You can sit on a deck or inside over looking the beach and Gulf of Mexico and watch the people, It is really quite amusing.

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The food at The Cottage is really good an the cold beverages are great too. If you want to dine inside in the air conditioning walk next door to the Gulfshore Grill which also offers amazing views of the beach and Gulf of Mexico. The food here is really good as well. After lunch you can go down stairs to the Beach Bar and hang out, enjoy a cold beverage, people watch,  throw a Frisbee,  play smash ball or just relax in the refreshing waters of the  Gulf of Mexico.  You will have a great time here, everyone is happy and having a great time!!!  DO not forget your camera.

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How Do You Get There?

This is easy. Starting from the Sanibel Causeway, head towards Fort Myers Beach VIA the inter coastal waterway. Keep heading parallel to Ft. Myers Beach. You will see the big concrete pier. Just past the pier you will see a large green building, the Lani Kai. The Gulfshore Grill and The Cottage are to the left of the Lani Kai.Have fun.

 

Parrot Key Caribbean Grill

Posted by Shane On July 3rd

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Looking for a fun get away, but still near everything?  Try Parrot Key Caribbean Grill. It is located at Salty Sam’s Marina. Going by water is the best!!! For the land lubbers you can go by car. (See below for directions by land or by water)

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This is a great place to take friends and family to have a fantastic time. They have live entertainment nightly for your enjoyment. The menu is to die for with the wide variety of food that is offered. You can choose to sit inside or outside by the water to enjoy the awesome sunsets. The staff is extremely accommodating to your needs to make it your most enjoyable experience. You will not be disappointed!

Directions by car:

From I-75, take exit 131 and follow Daniels Parkway West to Summerlin Road then turn left. Next, turn left on San Carlos Boulevard and then turn left on Main Street at the foot of the Matanzas  Pass Bridge. Parrot Key Caribbean Grill is at the end of Main Street.

Directions by boat:

From the Gulf of Mexico, enter the intracoastal waterway at the north end of Fort Myers Beach, go under the Matanzas Bridge.  Stay to the left and the Parrot Key Caribbean Grill is at channel marker 24. Boaters can hail the dockmaster at Salty Sam’s on channel 16 or 17 for docking instructions.

2500 Main Street,  Fort Myers Beach.  Phone: 239-463-3257 Fax: 239-463-2415

 

RumrunnersWaterfront Restaurant

Posted by Shane On June 26th

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Escape, Dine & Unwind.  Casual Waterfront Dining.

The above says it all.  We absolutely love this place!! I love to take the family, friends,  and clients here by water. The greatest feeling is to pull out of your canal with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and cruise down the river nice and slow enjoying every minute. Watching the sky turn a brilliant reddish/orange color as the sun begins to set. Once the sun has set, we cruise up to Rum Runners and dock. Depending on the time of year, there is normally a wait. You can call ahead for reservations (542-0200). This place is well worth the wait. The atmosphere is second to none and the food and service is outstanding. You can dine outside on the water or inside in the AC.  I think you will truly love the entire feel of Rum Runners.

 

If there is a wait, the fuel dock is right next door. Fuel up your boat while waiting. Please remember, it will be dark by the time dinner and dessert is over. Be sure you are comfortable driving your vessel home at night. Things to remember, bring your spot light.

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http://rumrunnersrestaurant.com/menu/

 

How do I get there?

By Boat or by car … This is easy.

Coming from Cape Coral Yacht Club, get into the ICW and head towards the mouth of the river. As soon as you get to the slow zone, look to your right, there is a series of red and green markers. Follow these markers in as if you were going to Tarpon Point. Make a left when you get to the rock/mangrove jetty. Follow the markers down around the corner and you will see Rum Runners. Boat smart and have a great time!!

By car:     The address is   5848 Cape Harbour Drive

Phone: 239.542.0200 Open 11:30am-Close

 

Charlie’s Pass

Posted by Shane On June 21st

Many folks want to know where to go by boat to beaches that are not packed with a lot of people and only accessible by boat.

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Here you go.  Have you heard of Charlie’s Pass? It is located on North Captiva Island. Charlie’s pass is an unofficial name for it, but everyone calls it Charlie’s Pass. Years ago when Hurricane Charlie came through, it literally blew a hole right through the island, hence the name Charlie’s Pass. It was deep enough to bring larger boats through it. In a short time, The pass began to close up to where it looked like a little creek that only skinny water boats could get through. A very short time later the creek closed up. Now it is an amazing place to go to. We love to spend the day here on the beach. The neat thing about the beach here is you can anchor and back right up to the beach within feet of the dry sand. (No long walks to shore). The sand here is the nice white sugar sand and loads and loads of sea shells. Most people set up an umbrella or canopy right on the beach and enjoy the rolling waves on to the beach and the gentle sea breeze. My children and I cannot sit still, so we swim in the beautiful blue green waters and shell along the beautiful Beaches

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Okay this is the really fun part if you like to fish,walk East,  opposite of the Gulf,  about 200 yards and you will come to the back Bay, it is a natural estuary full of marine life. Birds, Crabs, Fish,, you name it. You will see in one of the photos my son throwing his cast net catching bait for his friend Jo Jo, who caught a nice Snook and of course released it. Enjoy the photos, this is such a beautiful place, unspoiled and full of nature. You are going to love it and you will not want to leave. Have fun!!!!!

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How do you get there?

Coming from Pine Island Sound,  head towards Redfish Pass. Hint, South Seas Plantation is on the south side of the pass. Once you are in Redfish Pass, head north up the beach . You will see a few homes on your right. Keep heading north and you will come to an area where the trees are gone and you can see clear over to the Bayside. You are there. Enjoy..

The Green Flash Resturant

Posted by Shane On June 5th

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This is great place to go by boat or car.  Although if you love the water as much as My family and friends do, then go by boat of course.

This is a little more formal than say cabbage Key, however, if you have been boating all day it is still perfectly fine to go in and have lunch or dinner. After a day of fishing or at the  beach with the family and friends, you can pull right up to the dock. (They now have two docks for plenty of parking for your vessel.) You can sit outside and enjoy the Florida breeze (if you do sit out side bring a few shrimp from you bait well or some white bait and there are a couple small white Herons that would love a hand out.) or if you are hot go inside to the cool air conditioning. The food is really good here and the service has always been great for us.

How Do You Get There?

This is easy. Coming from Cape Coral Yacht Club, get into the ICW and head towards the mouth of the river. Go through the slow zone, when it says to resume normal speed, go almost straight ahead, you will see a green marker this is the opening of the miserable mile as some people call it. Proceed  in the channel, do not go out side the channel or you will run aground, it is very, very shallow outside the channel. Follow the ICW into Pine Island Sound. You will have the back side of Sanibel on your left. Keep following the ICW. When you get to Green Marker 35 make a left towards land approx. one mile you will see a Red head pin marker, should be number “2″ marking the channel going into the channel into the harbor area. (Stay in the channel there are some shallow spots just outside the channel) Follow the markers in. The Green Flash restaurant will be on your right. You will recognize it from the photo attached. Have a great time!!

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http://greenflashcaptiva.com

Take a look and the Menu!

http://greenflashcaptiva.com/menus.php

http://greenflashcaptiva.com/directions.php

City chooses Ford’s Boathouse to take over Yacht Club restaurant location

POSTED Tue, 07/16/2013 – 2:05am | POSTED BY Jeff Koehn

                       

Ford’s Garage officially opened in the former Leapin’ Lizards location on July 4

On the day one era ended at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, another one began.

On Monday night, the Cape Coral City Council accepted the proposal of Zak Kearns one of the owners of local restaurant Ford’s Garage.

Ford’s Boathouse, as it will be known will take up residency at the former home of KC’s Riverstop at the Cape Coral Yacht Club pier, hopefully within the next four months.

Kearns says Ford’s Boathouse will be an extension of Ford’s Garage, which opened its Cape Coral location just a few weeks ago at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge.

With their latest venture, the company will look to create a waterfront destination that would be family oriented with hamburgers, hot dogs, seafood, and drinks targeted to accommodate beach goers and boaters, “We are going to go above and beyond to make it a hang out.”

Included in the plan would be a possible extension of the restaurant’s deck, live music and entertainment, and possible beach service for food and drinks. Kearns also said the company is looking into the possibility of adding sunset cruises aboard a pontoon boat.

Ford’s Boathouse was one of three proposals the city received to take over the restaurant, fuel dock services and bait/tackle shop after the city decided not to extend the lease of current tenant KC’s Riverstop. Cape Coral’s Dixie Roadhouse and T&D Adventures of SW Florida were the other proposals received.

However, Dixie Roadhouse announced late Friday afternoon that they had withdrawn their proposal to concentrate more on their current business and expansion of that business.

With Dixie Roadhouse withdrawing, that left the council with the choice between Ford’s Boathouse and Poppy’s Grill at the Yacht Club.

Poppy’s Grill was proposed by T&D Adventures of SW Florida, owned by South Cape Diner owners Tom and Debra Timmerman. Also, part of the T&D Adventures team was former Cape Coral Mayor and owner of BJM Consulting Joe Mazurkiewicz.

Mazurkiewicz made the announcement of his involvement in the project while presenting the proposal to the city council at Monday night’s meeting.

Mazurkiewicz explained that between his 45 years in the community and the Timmerman’s years of experience in owning restaurants both in Cape Coral and New York, Poppy’s Grill would be just a piece of a larger puzzle, “This is bigger than a restaurant, this is about the entire Yacht Club,” he explained to the council. “We want to evolve this into the jewel of the Southeast Cape Coral.

He also stated that the two proposals were not that different, other than their approach, “T&D wants to evolve the site into a destination, and that will take 3-5-10 years.”

T&D said part of their growth strategy would the possibility of adding a roof covering three quarters of the deck in the second five years of their lease.

According to their written proposals, both establishments agreed to pay $3,500 per month in rent plus property tax. However, both told the council they were negotiable when it came to the amount of rent the city would charge. Both were asking for a five year lease, with Ford’s Boathouse asking for two five year options following.

For the council, while there was excitement generated by the proposals, there was also some questions, “I have some concern about the hours of operation,” explained council member Rana Erbrick, who said the restaurant’s location in a neighborhood area does not allow for late night music enjoyed at some establishments.

Council Member Kevin McGrail echoed Erbrick’s concerns, “I have a scary vision of bad karaoke at midnight.”

Both Ford’s and T&D explained that it was their goal to develop a strong relationship with their neighbors, and would have to adjust their entertainment accordingly in order to not have a negative impact on the area.

Another concern was the lack of parking available at the Yacht Club. No one had an immediate solution to that problem that has plagued the Yacht Club for years. However, both said they would work with the city to at the very least optimize the parking that is currently available.

In the end, the council commended both firms for having impressive proposals, but went with Ford’s Boathouse in a 5-3 vote with council members Marty McClain, McGrail, Derrick Donnell, John Carioscia, and Lenny Nesta voting for the proposal.

Kearns says they expect to have the improvements completed in time to have the new restaurant open for the upcoming season.

Now having two restaurants in the city, they are hoping to have a positive impact on the entire South Cape district, “It takes one to start a fire. I think Ford’s Garage is going to be the igniter. When we put them all together, along with all the other establishments in the South Cape, we can only make them better. We are extremely excited about adding Ford’s Boathouse to that mix.”

This article is courtesy of: CapeCoral.com

http://capecoral.com/content/city-chooses-fords-boathouse-take-over-yacht-club-restaurant-location

Tarpon Lodge On Pine Island

Posted by Shane On June 14th

The water is warming up and the fish are biting again in Pine Island Sound and Boca Grande Pass areas. I have a really cool Historic/Nostalgic place to go to.

This is the one and only Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island. This place is really neat and offers something for everyone. You can go there for the day for lunch or dinner or make it a long weekend and stay at this amazing property. The accommodations are awesome. Stay in the Historic Lodge built in 1926. The rooms in the Lodge are awesome. Or you can Stay in the boat house or the Cottage, the choice is yours. Enjoy the Four Star Dining, Lunch or Dinner.

There are many things to do, of course for the boater you can bring your boats and moor up to the dock over night. For those of you that are not aware of the fishing in this area, it is outstanding, Snook, Red Fish,Trout,Flounder,Snapper,Sheep Head and many more species. Take a short boat ride to Boca Grande Pass and catch Grouper, Big Mangrove Snapper and Tarpon if your timing is right. Boca Grande is the Tarpon Fishing Capital of the world.

For those that are not into boating there are so many things to do at Tarpon Lodge. Hang out by the pool, grab a book and go sit on the dock and watch the wild life abound. Ospreys, Bald eagles, marine birds, so much wild life.

I could go on and on. Tarpon Lodge has got an amazing web site, so you have to go to it..

http://www.tarponlodge.com/home

You will have a fantastic time!!!!!!

http://www.tarponlodge.com/dining/

 

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