Plan a weekend getaway to one of these coastal inns for inviting accommodations, great food, and plenty to keep you busy. Or, just kick up your feet and relax!
Tarpon Lodge offers waterside accomodations in the original 1926 inn and auxillary buildings, plus fishing and boating day trips with osprey, egret, and dolphin sightings; 239/283-3999.
Eat: The Tarpon serves always fresh (never frozen!) fish and outstanding blue crab-and-roasted corn chowder. Bert's Bar & Grill in Matlacha, an islet towards the mainland, features tasty seafood, live music, and dockside dining.
Do: Hike the Calusa Heritage Trail that winds among ancient shell mounds and the remnants of an impressive cross-island canal built by the Calusa Indians. Or, rent beach cruisers from Pine Island Cycles; 239/560-0320; or vessels from Gulf Coast Kayak to paddle the area's placid inlets.