Pine Island is the largest Island on the west coast of Florida at 18 miles long and 2 miles wide. It houses 4 communities within: Pine Island Center, St. James City, Bokeelia and Pineland. Matlacha is also considered one of the communities but actually lies on its own island. In 2000, population on Pine Island was 9,000.
Pine Island is thought to have inhabited the Calusa Native Americans. Skeletons found on Pine Island have been dated back 6,000 years. In 1513, Ponce de León landed his ship for repairs and there is even talks of pirates such as Jose Gaspar, the self-proclaimed King of Pirates having been on Pine Island in the past. There is even an archeological dig site located on Pineland.
Pine Island is protected by legislation in that there will be no large commercial growth in the foreseeable future. It is not an Island for beaches or touristy attractions (although some tourists come for the history and fishing). Pine Island is mostly zoned as agricultural land and many will travel up to 100 miles to purchase the tropical fruit grown such as mangoes and lychee.
Residents and guests can enjoy many of the events planned by the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce. A few events throughout the year include The Taste of Pine Island Festival, The Annual Mullet Toss, Calusa Heritage Day and Mango Mania. Many also enjoy the boating charters to different islands and coasts around Southwest Florida. Each community within Pine Island has something different to offer.