Enjoy Cheeseburgers in Paradise On Cabbage Key

Looking for family-friendly activities near Sanibel Island? Consider Cabbage Key. With plenty of history and a wide variety of restaurants, there are plenty of fun things for you to do with the family. In this article, we will be outlining all of the fun activities you and your family can partake in when visiting Cabbage Key, including getting Cheeseburgers in Paradise! It’s all easily accessible from our Sanibel real estate listings

About Cabbage Key and Its History

Cabbage Key is a sand dune from the ice age, which was when geologists assume the last flood occurred on the island. Cabbage Key is part of a series of islands and keys along Pine Island Sound, located on Lee County’s west coast. The key has an odd shape with a long axis measuring around 3,500 feet in length. 

In the past, Cabbage Key was a Cuban fishing camp. Cuban fishing companies established ranchos on the islands along the Southwest coast to prepare fish for shipment to Havana. By 1770, more than 30 fishing vessels from Cuba were involved in the trade. Local Indians were employed to work at the ranchos alongside Cuban fisherman. 

People often wonder whether or not Jimmy Buffet wrote his song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” about his stay at the Cabbage Key. In fact, he did!

Jimmy Buffet spent some time at the 100-acre island in Pine Island in Lee County, and it was this time in seclusion when Jimmy Buffet found the inspiration to write “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

How to Get There

If you are looking to get to Cabbage Key, you can only get there by boat. It’s located near marker 60 on the Intercoastal Highway, and getting to Cabbage Key by boat is a very fun experience. Fly into Fort Myers and book a private charter, or take a water taxi from Island Girl Charters from Pineland Marina. Be sure to factor travel time into your reservation to ensure a smooth arrival and departure. 

What to Expect

Once you arrive, you might be curious about what to expect. Cabbage Key is one of the best Sanibel restaurants no matter what meal you want. For breakfast, Cabbage Key serves a bunch of fan favorites including French Toast, Hot Cakes, smoked salmon, and their traditional island breakfast which consists of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and a breakfast roll with home fries. 

For lunch, sample the clam chowder served with oyster crackers. You can also try their signature shrimp salad and shrimp salad sandwich. People love the Shrimp deluxe meal which includes peeled gulf shrimp and is served with potato salad and coleslaw. Looking for something sweet for lunch? Their legendary key lime cream pie and caramel turtle fudge are both excellent options that keep regulars coming back.

Lastly, for dinner, you can dine on Gulf stone crab meal or a seafood platter. They also have a wide variety of steak dinners, as well as many seafood options including a “catch of the day” which highlights a new seafood dish every night of the week. Want a truly unique experience? Try the chef’s special! Let the kitchen staff concoct a total meal and wine pairing for what is truly a unique dining experience. 


Cabbage Key serves their meals at the following hours:

  • Breakfast: Monday through Saturday from 7:30-9 a.m., Sunday from 7:30-10 a.m.
  • Lunch: Monday through Friday from 11:15 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday through Sunday from 11:15 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Dinner: Daily from 6-8:30 p.m.

For a truly unique vacation experience, come to Cabbage Key to experience all that it has to offer. With plenty of fun activities for you and your family to experience near the beaches of Sanibel Island, there is plenty to ensure that no one in your travel group will be bored or hungry! If the trip is good enough for Jimmy Buffet, then you better believe that there is more than enough to captivate you on your trip to the area! Be sure to visit Cabbage Key on your next stay in a Sanibel vacation rental.