Scenic USA - Florida

Matlacha

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Pine Island Road -  Matlacha, Florida

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Seen from a satellite, Florida's nighttime coastline is illuminated with millions of lights, while the mainland's interior remains relatively dark except for the I-4 and I-10 corridors. On the west coast below the Big Bend, the huge glow around the Tampa-St. Pete metro area marks the bay, with many smaller cities highlighting the coast in a very long string.
   Near the southern end of this line of lights, located between the bustling mainland city of Cape Coral and the famous barrier islands of Captiva and Sanibel, Pine Island is the largest island on the west coast of Florida. Pine Island's quaint atmosphere, often called country waterfront, is a huge part of its charm. Its shorlines are covered in mangroves rather than white sand beaches, helping Pine Island escaped typical beach development. Residents, enjoying their laid back rural island heritage, issued strict laws against high-rise development and plan to keep it that way.
   Pine Island Road, Florida's CR-78, provides the only access to the Little Pine and Pine Island. On a map, Matlacha (Mat-luh-shay) seems like a small stepping stone on the way from Cape Coral to Little Pine Island. This colorful and unique key is sliced up by the highway and a web of short canals, providing just about everyone on the island with water access.
   This colorful scene shows off one of the bright craft shops along Pine Island Road. The quaint little town is made up with a collection of gift shops, restaurants, waterfront homes, docks, and plenty of water. Matlacha is surrounded by the waters of Charlotte Harbor and nearby Matlacha Pass, which separate the island from Cape Coral.

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