It does not take long to discover that Boca Grande truly is a special destination. As soon as you arrive on Gasparilla Island, the pristine environment feels like a breath of fresh air and a welcome change of pace from the hustle of everyday life. It’s everything one dreams it to be, and more: Historical…Picturesque…Relaxing…Enchanting…Fun!
Without a traffic light in sight, golf carts and bicycles are the preferred way to get around the island…that is if you are not walking. This quaint island town is lined with swaying palm trees down its seven mile length, and its width is only 1/2 mile at its widest point. Everyday offers a new adventure to enjoy the uniqueness and appeal of this “old world” paradise where time has almost stood still.
Kissed by both the Gulf of Mexico and Charlotte Harbor, Boca Grande is a quaint and friendly village of shops, restaurants and places to see and things to do. While visiting The Gasparilla Inn & Club, you will want to take time to visit the Lighthouse Museum and the Boca Grande Community Center as well as see a performance of the Royal Palm Players. You will also find a myriad of treasures in the shops and be awed by the island’s natural beauty as you bike or hike the miles and miles of beautiful beachfront and inland pathways.
Boca Grande, on the Grand Barrier Island called Gasparilla, is a step back into “Old World” Florida, a carefully preserved part of Florida’s history and beauty. Located on the Southwest coast of Florida, midway between Ft. Myers and Sarasota, Boca Grande is a retreat for tourists and fishermen.
Here you can find a wealth of unusual photographic opportunities and shops, which offer unique treasures from around the world. Boca Grande is a quiet community, which seeks to protect its unique atmosphere and quality of life – the intangibles that make Boca Grande a very special place.
Tourism and fishing are the economic base on this tranquil seven mile long island that boasts no high rises and no traffic lights, a 104 year old lighthouse, and a street with 80 year old Banyan trees. Pristine white sand beaches stretch the entire Gulf side of the Island, while protected waterways weave in and around the natural mangrove shoreline along the bay side. Bordered by Charlotte Harbor and Gasparilla Sound on the east, boaters can explore 750,000 acres of estuary – where freshwater and saltwater blend to provide nurseries for the oceans fish species.
Recreational boating and sailing are popular pastimes, whether on your own or by tour or charter. Dolphins, white pelicans, osprey, and manatees are only some of the unusual species you will encounter. Seven miles of wide, pristine, sugar white sand beaches offer shelling, swimming, and just plain relaxing. Even in the heat of summer, cooling westerly breezes provide welcome relief. Galleries present the works of local artists who have captured the spirit of Boca Grande in a multitude of media. Boca Grande restaurants each have their own unique style, featuring dishes made from the freshest local seafood as well as international specialties.
Southwest Florida has some of the best fishing in the world and is an important part of the industry and culture of Gasparilla Island. The Calusa Indians, centuries ago, built a highly civilized culture based on fishing. In the mid-1800′s, the first white settlers of the area were fishermen from Cuba, Key West, and the Bahamas who created a profitable commercial fishing industry on Gasparilla and the surrounding islands. Around the turn of the century anglers began to discover the rich potential of this sport which led to a sport fishing industry, making Boca Grande a Mecca for anglers from all over the world.
From the Gulf of Mexico to the backwaters of Charlotte Harbor, our waters teem with plentiful game and food fish. In addition to Tarpon Season in the spring, prime fishing times run from August through November, yielding offshore finds, such as grouper, snapper, mackerel and kingfish, and inshore fishing like snook and redfish. Recreational fishing in Boca Grande is an exhilarating sport all 12 months of the year! You can use your own boat, rent one, or hire one of our best local guides. Try an escape to Boca Grande. Relax here, shop, dine, fish, and unwind. Once you’ve discovered this hidden paradise, you will want to return again to experience the different seasons with us.