Local Area Guide

Local Attractions

Gasparilla Vacations local area guide offers many of Boca Grande activities and attractions, from our sandy beaches, quaint specialty shops, fine dining restaurants, to off-island excursions. We are your island resource to help you experience Boca Grande in its fullest. If you are looking for more information or have specific questions or requests, please let us know. You can also keep up with local Island News at The Boca Beacon.

Boca Grande Art Center

The Boca Grande Art Center "BGAC" was founded in 1986 originally called Boca Grande Art Alliance by a small group of talented artists living in Boca Grande, Florida, who were in search of a venue to show their art works to residents and visitors. The Fust Library in town hosted several early exhibitions. We have become much more than an alliance of local artists and have become the center for visual arts here on the island. Today we have grown as a 501-c3 non-profit operation with a very supportive and active membership. Over the years, our program has added art exhibits, workshops, classes, educational lectures, special events and scholarships. These all celebrate the local culture and promote the visual arts for the public and contribute to the cultural life of our community. Artists and art enthusiasts are encouraged to get involved in the many activities of the Art Center. Come visit. You may wish to attend the art shows, enroll in or teach a workshop, volunteer to help with exhibits and other events. Meet the Exhibiting Artist Members who provide friendship and encouragement to one another in support of the community and its artistic vitality.

Location: 236 Banyan St, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-1700

Smart Studio

The Smart Studio Florida Gallery opened in 1981, right in the heart of Boca Grande, Florida. And easily recognized by the bright lime green awnings on a sunflower yellow building, the gallery has convenient entrances on both Park and West Railroad Avenues. Smart Studio displays original paintings by award-winning artists such as Gail Cleveland and Wini Smart. Along with many other local artists and limited edition prints, tastefully arranged with furniture and other decorative home accents. The gallery is open November-May. Antiques, jewelry and custom framing are also available.

Location: 370 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0519

Hughes Gallery

From its very inception, in 2001, our goal has been to present Boca Grande and Florida residents and visitors with an offering of exceptional art. We are grateful to represent some of America`s most loved and respected artists. Art is our passion. My husband, Jack, and I are both full time working artists. We show a wonderful mix of investment quality realism, Impressionism, portraiture and contemporary art. Our gallery has helped place several pieces in major museums since we opened, and we take our responsibility to our clients, and our artists, very seriously. We hope you`ll stop by during your next visit to the island. We strive to create a warm and inviting setting. Come in and enjoy the work. Jack and I have a deep sense of gratitude to our artists and clients, alike. Without all of you, we wouldn`t be living our dream.

Location: 333 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-4273

Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum

Originally known as the Gasparilla Island Light Station, the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse is the oldest structure on the island and has been a beacon to mariners since 1890. The house-dwelling style lighthouse is home to a comprehensive museum that opened in 1999. The museum is comprised of five rooms. Three of the rooms are set in chronological order and cover cultural and social history dating from 12,000 B.C. to present. The fourth room, popular for children and adults alike, is the nature room which contains a please touch area featuring local bones, fossils and shells. The fifth room is an ever popular museum gift shop offering an array of souvenirs, local artwork and jewelry. All proceeds from the gift shop and donations to the museum directly support the lighthouse, our local state parks, Gasparilla, Cayo Costa, Don Pedro and Stump Pass, as well as our educational programs. So delight your mind and spirit, enjoy the beach, enjoy the museum, and let history and nature take you away. Did we mention we have gliding benches on our porch?

Location: 880 Belcher Road, Boca Grande

Phone: (941) 964-0060

Boca Grande Bike Path

Once a railroad bed for hauling phosphate, the Boca Grande Bike Path now forms part of Floridas Rails-to-Tails project and is a scenic escape for bikers, joggers, walkers and golf carts. Enjoy the almost 7 miles of bike path on the island. Dedicated in 1983 this path runs almost the entire length of the island. The paths are geared towards more leisurely rides. Cycling enthusiasts might find it best to ride on the streets. The Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association continues to beautify the 35 acres of land that creates this gateway to Boca Grande.

Location: Boca Grande Causeway, FL

Gasparilla Inn & Club

Walking through The Gasparilla Inn & Club`s sun-bathed, pillared entrance and into the lobby you experience the feeling of Florida as it was meant to be. Guests are instantly embraced by the tranquil civility of a time that once was, and still is, at this classic resort. It is clear that activity and fun abound here, from a championship Pete Dye Golf Course to a 250+ slip marina that is home base for the best tarpon fishing in the world. The Gasparilla Inn & Club has been a premier destination on Florida`s Gulf Coast since 1913 and is the center of village life on Gasparilla Island. Among its storied amenities are separate golf and beach club memberships, as well as the enduring hospitality of The Inn itself.

Location: 500 Palm Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-4500

Banyan Street

Take a walk magical Banyan Street in which banyan trees that are more than 80 years old have created a beautiful, shaded canopy just south of the historic village of Boca Grande.

Location: Banyan St, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Gasparilla Maritime Museum

Located within the walls of Whidden`s Marina, The Gasparilla Island Maritime Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the working waterfront in Boca Grande on the southwest coast of Florida. From the moment you enter, the museum offers many marine artifacts such as gill nets, buoys, a room full of tools used by Sam Whidden, a sperm whale skull and two beautiful mahogany fighting chairs used by Ernest Hemingway and Zane Grey and donated by renowned wood boat builder, George Luzier. Historic photographs and albums are available to view. The museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated the the preservation of Boca Grande`s Maritime heritage. Please consider making a tax deductible contribution today from this site. It`s easy and very much appreciated.

Location: 190 1st St E, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-4466

Boca Grande Community Center

The Boca Grande Community Center has a well-equipped fitness center open to the public. Located on the corner of First Street and Park Avenue.

Location: 131 First St. Boca Grande, Fl 33921

Phone: 941-964-2564

Johann Fust Community Library

The Foundation owns and maintains all of the original library grounds, gardens and buildings as well as the fine collections of artifacts and rare books. Throughout the year the Foundation sponsors many of the events and presentations that take place at the Library. The Lee County Library System now provides the library services. Professional library staff manage the print, audio visual and digital collections. They provide computer assistance, e-clinics, circulation and reference services and also present story time for children. The JF Library Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) private operating foundation. Donations are tax deductible.

Location: 1040 West 10th St. Boca Grande 33921

Phone: 941-964-0211

Range Light of Boca Grande

You can now book a climb up the 105` range light to see spectacular views of the entire island. The lighthouse was built in 1881 in by the Phoenix Iron Company of Trenton, N.J. It began service that year just north of Lewes, Delaware as the Delaware Breakwater Rear Range Light. In 1918, as a result of shoreline changes, the lighthouse was decommissioned. In 1919, the supervisor of the Delaware station was notified by the Seventh Lighthouse District in Florida that a tower was needed in Florida. Funding was not available to transport the Lewes lighthouse until 1921, at which time it was disassembled with each part being marked and numbered for easy reassembly. It was then shipped by rail to Miami until funding could be allocated for its reception on Gasparilla Island. In 1927, the lighthouse was reassembled and installed on Gasparilla Island just south of the Town of Boca Grande. The tower was painted white and lit on January 1, 1932. The light was not manned, but continuously maintained by the Keepers of Boca Grande. The lighthouse was of significant importance to commerce in the area during the early part of the century, guiding ships from various parts of the world through the Boca Grande Navigational Channel in to the safety of Charlotte Harbor. The lighthouse is a 105 foot steel skeleton tower and has a cylindrical tower that supports the lantern. It was utilized as a rear range light and the front entrance light sat in the Gulf of Mexico about a mile west of the light. When the two range lights aligned, it would tell the captain it was safe to proceed into the channel. Locals on the island, fondly call Gasparilla Island Light the Rear Range light, although, it now acts as a lighthouse and not a range light. The front entrance light was removed years prior. Today, the lighthouse still stands as an active Aid-to-Navigation.

Location: On the beach about a mile south of town.

Phone: 941-964-0060

Coral Creek Airport

Coral Creek Airport, FA54, is privately owned and provides its members and guests convenient access to the Boca Grande area. The airport offers limited access for guests. For membership and guest information, please contact Boca Grande Jet Center at (941) 214-3012. The Airport is located in Placida, Florida on the Cape Haze peninsula only 2 miles northeast of beautiful Boca Grande, where you can find world-class tarpon fishing, miles of pristine beaches, Caribbean blue waters, Boca Grande Marina and the historic Gasparilla Inn and Club. The airport is also only minutes from one of the nation`s top golf clubs, Coral Creek Club.

Location: 11901 Gasparilla Rd. Placida, FL 33946

Phone: 941-214-3012

Boca Grande Historical Society

Start here and Discover Historic Boca Grande! The Boca Grande Historical Society & History Center is committed to enhancing our understanding of the history of Gasparilla Island and its surrounding area. Our goal is to provide personally rewarding opportunities to learn about the remarkable people and events that shaped our past.

Through our various educational activities, the Society seeks to put the present into better perspective by improving our sense of identity and continuity with history's unfolding panorama. Dedicated to the collection and preservation of memorabilia, BGHS offers its members and the public numerous ways to become involved in researching our local history. Using the resources of grants from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice, the Society has obtained oral histories from long time Boca Grande residents to add to our permanent archival collection. A collectible reference volume dedicated to historical vignettes of the past seven editions of our scholarly journal Connections is now available for sale in our History Center, titled Boca Grande: Lives of an Island.

Location: 170 Park Ave.

Phone: 941-964-1600

Gasparilla Island State Park Beaches

The four main public beach access points on Gasparilla Island are part of Gasparilla Island State Park system. They require a $3 parking fee.

Sandspur Beach (Range Light)- 220 Gulf Blvd. Pay parking, restrooms & picnic shelters. Features the Historic Gasparilla Range Light, originally built in 1888. It is one of the few remaining original rear range light structures in the state.

Seagrape Beach (has port-o-potty).

Seawall Beach (has port-o-potty and is next to South Beach Grille).

Gasparilla State Park- 880 Belcher Lighthouse with museum. The centerpiece of Gasparilla Island is the restored Port Boca Grande Lighthouse built in 1890. Fishing, and nature study are popular activities which can be accessed at any of the five parking lots. Shelling is particularly good in the winter months along the Gulf. The Port Boca Grande lighthouse is open to the public 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday, and on Sundays noon - 4:00 p.m. from November through May. From June through October it is open Wednesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Sundays noon - 4:00 p.m. The lighthouse will be closed during the month of August. It is closed on major holidays.

Street Beaches

There are 14 end of street access points starting at 19th St. and going south to 1st street. These beach areas are primitive and have no restrooms. Parking is limited to the street, but no parking fees. Popular with the locals as these areas tend to be less crowded.

Beach Safety

Our beaches on Gasparilla Island have NO lifeguards, swim at your own risk. Please be aware of rip currents along the shoreline. During certain times of the year you should be aware of certain marine life such as stingrays, jellyfish and red tide. There are no open fires allowed on the beach. Use designated foot paths or boardwalks to access the beach. All the dunes and vegetation help to protect wildlife and the beach itself. Be aware of sun exposure the Florida sun is hot, even on an overcast day. Wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.

It is advised not to swim near the Pass, at the southern tip of the island due to strong currents.

Captains For Clean Water

Captains for Clean Water is a grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that advocates for the elimination of harmful, large-scale Lake Okeechobee discharges into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie River Estuaries by restoring the natural flow of Lake Okeechobee water south into the Everglades and Florida Bay. Restoring the natural southern flow of Lake Okeechobee water is essential to the survival of our estuaries, the health of the Everglades, and the long-term viability of South Florida`s largest drinking water source, the Biscayne Aquifer.

Captains for Clean Water`s mission statement: Advancing education, awareness and scientifically supported solutions to restore and protect marine ecosystems and our way of life for future generations.

Captains for Clean Water started out as a group of fishing guides from Fort Myers, FL that had enough of Florida`s poor water management practices. We have witnessed the long-term decline of estuaries across south Florida, and we have seen the acceleration of that decline over just the last ten years. Inexplicably, no significant progress has been made to solve this enormous problem and that is simply not acceptable to us.

Given the destruction we have seen firsthand, we are convinced that if everyone knew what we knew, this problem would have been fixed already. Unfortunately, the solution to this problem has been obstructed by large corporate agricultural interests and government mismanagement. The science has been proven time and time again- the state needs to acquire land south of Lake Okeechobee to store, treat and convey water south. This consensus solution has been delayed decades because our state`s lawmakers have enjoyed large-scale campaign contributions from agricultural corporations seeking to benefit from the status-quo, combined with a lack of public awareness.

We are here to fix that.

Phone: 941-216-5525

Road Tripping form Boca Grande to Fort Myers.

One Day Road Trip From Boca Grande to Fort Myers.

Hello Boca Grande vacation explores! Gasparilla Vacations wanted to give you some options to explore some off island beach towns. Before heading off island, don`t forget to read our 10 Ten Things to do On Boca Grande. This blog series will feature options for a one day road trip from Boca Grande. Fort Myers is a great spot to begin your adventure, only about an hour drive off Gasparilla Island, Fort Myers is filled with sunshine, palm trees, and sand. It is not only a vacation beach town, but also the surrounding area has so much to offer such as shops, boutiques, restaurants, museums, and more.

To start your day you should peruse the sandy shoreline of Fort Myers Beach. Seek out those perfect seashells while your feet enjoy the warmth of the Gulf of Mexico. Fort Myers is also home to many boat rental facilities, for the avid water adventurer or the fisherman who prefers to catch dinner. Explore nearby Pine Island and you will notice that the water will not get deeper than 10 feet making it that much easier to enjoy an abundance of wildlife above and below the water. Snorkeling is one of the most popular activities vacationers love to do in southwest Florida and how could you not love our crystal clear blue-green waters. Also, it is common to see dolphin, manatees, sea turtles and a variety of tropical fish are just some of the amazing marine life you can see.

Cayo Costa State Park: There is nothing better than an island without cars, traffic, and noise. That island is Cayo Costa. Just on the south side of Boca Grande Pass is the uninhabited pristine island. Cayo Costa spans 9 miles long and is only accessible by private boat or ferry. It is the perfect place for shelling, snorkeling, or enjoying a picnic under the shade of the pine trees. There are plenty of hiking trails around the island, and you can stop at the amphitheater and learn about the islands ecological system and history. Visitors will love the quietness of Cayo Costa. Uncrowded beaches, playful dolphins, manatees taking a slow stroll by, and beautiful pelicans gliding across the surf.

Cabbage Key: After exploring you will surely get hungry so why not head to Cabbage Key for it`s a one of kind restaurant. When you step inside the restaurant you will be surprised to know that the entire interior from floor to ceiling is covered by dollar bills. All the bills were left by customers. Through the years the bills have lined the walls as wallpaper and it`s estimated to have $100,000 in it. Local folklore says that the Jimmy Buffet classic song `Cheeseburger in Paradise` was inspired by the Cabbage Key restaurant.

If your one day road trip from Boca Grande has seen enough sunshine you can always head indoors to enjoy Fort Myers many museums. Gasparilla Vacations has listed the top museums visited the most every year.

Edison Ford Estate: On the banks of the Caloosahatchee River you can spend some time with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison at the stunning Edison Ford Estate. Both men had their winter homes in Ft. Myers. Explore this amazing historical museum, and the 21-acre botanical gardens. Here you will discover a large variety of trees and plants from around the world.

Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library: This wonderful military museum is the largest in southwest Florida. The museum is dedicated to honoring the men and women who have served, and are currently serving this great country. Lined with military artifacts, books, papers, and so much more.

Just a few other places recommended by Gasparilla Vacations: Shell Factory & Nature Park Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium Imaginarium Space & Science Museum Railroad Museum of South Florida Fleamasters Flea Market Six mile Cypress Slough Preserve Butterfly Estates

If you have any questions or comments please don`t hesitate to contact us!

The Inn Bakery

The newest addition to The Gasparilla Inn`s dining venues is The Inn Bakery. This casual cafe located in the village of Boca Grande offers a wide variety of signature coffees, morning pastries, desserts, inventive lunch fare and afternoon snacks, all under the direction of The Inn`s culinary team. Delectable pastries include French napoleon-style desserts filled with fresh strawberries and custard, individual key lime pies, chocolate eclairs, sugared doughnuts, cinnamon raisin rolls, as well as other mouth-watering delights. Favorite Inn beverages offered include cappuccino, macchiato, chai tea, coffee and smoothies. For the lunch crowd, the bakery offers a variety of sandwiches, soups, chili and sides. Signature sandwich selections include blackened tuna nicoise and spicy shrimp salad, as well as classic favorites like pesto parmesan ham and double gloucester cheese.

Location: 384 E Railroad Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 855-9170

Outlet Restaurant

The Innlet`s on-site restaurant, The Outlet, serves breakfast and lunch daily from 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Chef Mark Caron prepares fresh dishes from the extensive menus, as well as daily specials, all delivered to your table quickly and courteously.

Location: 1251 12th St E, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-4610

Pink Elephant

Affectionately known as The Pink, Inn guests and island residents alike enjoy dining at Boca Grande`s premier eating and drinking establishment. Guests have gathered at this charming and casual restaurant for great food, signature drinks and refined service for over 60 years. Executive Chef/Manager Rob Plesh`s enticing lunch and dinner menus focus on imaginative regional cuisine, seafood and steaks. Situated along the Boca Grande Bayou, the restaurant is located within easy walking distance of The Inn and features an upstairs dining room, downstairs pub and outdoor patio.The Pink Elephant is open year round and serves lunch and dinner daily during social season. In the fall and spring seasons, The Pink serves dinner nightly and lunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, only. Please inquire for more information on hours and availability during the fall, spring and summer seasons.

Location: 491 Bayou Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-4540

The Temptation Restaurant

The freshest seafood in town with an old Florida atmosphere that can`t be beat at the `Temp`. Also offering a wine and spirit store.

Location: 350 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-2610

South Beach Bar & Grille

South Beach Bar & Grille is situated on the white sand beach of Boca Grande, FL, Southwest Florida`s most beautiful barrier island. Spectacular sunsets and panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico are the main course on the menu. Specializing in fresh local fish cooked with an island flair, South Beach also offers shellfish, steaks, ribs, chicken and pasta. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, it is unrivaled in Southwest Florida for its quality and range of menu. With 150 outdoor seats and a large bar and dining room inside, all overlooking the Gulf it is the premier gathering spot in the area. We can accommodate private parties up to 200 people.

Location: 760 Gulf Blvd, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0765

Loose Caboose

The Loose Caboose has been family owned and operated since 2006 by Jacques and Blanche. Jacques managed the restaurant before purchasing it. We`re located at the historic train depot in downtown Boca Grande. We serve fresh local fish and produce in a comfortable, family atmosphere. A large patio area for outside dining lets you watch the world go by. Interior air conditioned dining room.

Location: 433 4th St W, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0440

Sisters Restaurant

Sisters Restaurant is a Boca Grande, Florida family owned italian restaurant company. Sisters Restaurant has established a family restaurant and developed a cocktails service for its Boca Grande. Sisters Restaurant has become Boca Grande local italian restaurant favorite!

Location: 480 E Railroad Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-2002

Eagle Grille and Miller`s Dockside

Eagle Grille

Fine dining with an amazing view begins and ends at the beautiful Eagle Grille - where every table offers a unique view of the water in a peaceful, quiet setting. The Eagle Grille is located on the second floor overlooking the marina, providing you with an amazing view of the Charlotte Harbor.


Miller`s Dockside

Choose Miller`s Dockside and enjoy great food and drinks in a fun, casual atmosphere where you will be able to watch the boats arriving and departing from the marina basin. Miller`s is Southwest Florida`s legendary tarpon fishing hangout. Come in and share your favorite fishing story and relax, like so many fishermen have before you.

Location: Boca Grande Marina, 220 Harbor Dr, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-8000

Pink Pony-Dolphin Cove

The Pink Pony (otherwise known as Dolphin Cove) is an island shop located in historical downtown Boca Grande. For over 25 years this establishment has been family owned & operated, providing a variety of goods & services to the locals, workers & visitors of Gasparilla Island. Serving hot & fresh food, delicious homemade ice cream (Big Olaf).

Location: 471 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0109

Fusion Restaurant

Featuring a mix of Indian, Thai, and Mexican cuisine. A truly unique restaurant serving ethnic dishes found nowhere else on island.

Location: 5800 Gasparilla Rd Suite A, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 855-9733

3rd Street Cafe

At the third street cafe we serve creative contemporary cuisine in an atmosphere of laid back tropical elegance. Our secret garden is a lovely setting for a relaxing pause during the day, or a well-crafted cocktail or dinner under the stars of Boca Grande.

Location: 310 E Railroad Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0155

Beach Clean Up Boca Grande September 21

Beach Clean-Up on Saturday, September 21st, 2019. 5th St Beach

This event is in correlation with the International Coastal Clean-Up a global event happening for 30 years. This event is organized locally by Keep Lee County Beautiful and the Ocean Conservancy. Gasparilla Vacations and Gulf Coast International Properties are the site coordinators. Sponsorship opportunities are available through Keep Lee County Beautiful. The event is free and open to all ages. From 9:00 am -12:00 starting at 5th St. Beach. Trashbags, gloves, water, and (t-shirts to those registered) will be provided to volunteers.

Volunteer Registration will be online http://www.klcb.org/coastal-cleanup.html

Great way to help to keep our beaches clean during this global clean-up event! We need your help to promote and gather volunteers.

Location: 5th St. Beach Boca Grande

Gulf Coast International Properties

Luxury market specialists in Boca Grande, Gasparilla Island and the Cape Haze Peninsula. Your Local Real Estate Agency, with years of experience helping local buyers and sellers just like yourself, we know how to locate the finest properties and negotiate the best deals. It`s our job to know about the latest market conditions, government regulations, and upcoming developments, so that you don`t have to. Secluded, white sand beaches, long sunny days, sparkling turquoise water and warm ocean breezes - sound like paradise? It is for the folks who live in Boca Grande, or any of the island gems peppering the Southwest Florida coast. We feel privileged to live in such an incredible area, where the golf carts out number the cars, and traffic lights are few and far between. Browse homes in some of our favorite neighborhoods, and when you have questions or would like to view a property, please don`t hesitate to contact us. We`re more than happy to show off this paradise we call "home".

Location: 411 Park Ave. Suite #3 Boca Grande, Fl 33921

Phone: 941-964-1778

Barbara Anns Jewelry

Barbara Anne Plante has been in the jewelry business for over 30 years. She has been running her business in Boca Grande since 1992.

Location: 410 Park Ave Suite 1, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-1776

Holly`s Island Shop

The store is full of the perfect collection of items for your Spring and Summer beach adventures. We`ve got O`Neill swim suits for men and women, Island Cowgirl jewelry, Anarchy sunglasses, Boca Grande T-Shirts and of course our wooden custom signs, perfect for your beach bungalow!

Location: 383 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-2767

Fugates

Fugate`s of Boca Grande has been an island tradition since 1916. Our department store includes Men`s and Children`s apparel, The Patio Shop Ladies apparel and accessories, Vera Bradley, Southern Tide, shoes for the whole family, gifts, sundries, souvenirs, and more! A truly unique shopping experience, we have something for every taste and age. Come say hello, we`re open daily from 9:30am - 5:00pm

Location: 428 4th St W, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-2323

Aqua Boutique

Aqua is a small boutique on a tiny island of Boca Grande, right on the Gulf of Mexico. We cater to the modern, classic woman; whether she`s in school, a mother, or a grandmother. Our collections cross island bohemian and sophisticated chic. We like things plain and simple but not without a twist. We strive to be classic but different!

Location: 421 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: 941-964-2209

Ariel Limited

Clothing and gifts in good taste on Boca Grande. They carry, Amy Jo Gladstone, Chelsea Textiles, Chickabiddy, Helen Kaminski, Eileen Fisher, Lily Holt, Mere Shoes, Tailor New York and much, much more.

Location: 444 4th St E, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0480

Fresh Produce Clothing

From vibrant skirts and stylish jackets to carefree tops and casual shorts, Fresh Produce has inspirational clothes for you to wear every day. Visit our Boca Grande location on Park Avenue to add color to your wardrobe. Fresh Produce is known for our easy-to-wear pieces that are flattering and comfortable on all shapes and sizes. Shop this location for a wide selection of women`s clothing including beach dresses, cardigans, sun dresses, beach cover ups, resort wear, summer clothing, travel skirts and cruise clothes. Visit our Boca Grande store today!

Location: 411 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0800

Palm on Park

Come to our beautiful little island in the Gulf of Mexico where Lilly is a way of life! We wear our wonderful bright colorful Lilly`s all year long!

Location: 444 4th St E, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-4448

Barnichol Hardware

The hardware and supply store of Boca Grande.

Location: 380 E Railroad Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-2570

Native Gardens Florists

Florist on Boca Grande

Location: 480 E Railroad Ave #3, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0007

Kappy`s Market

Kappy`s Market & Deli is located on Gasparilla Island in Boca Grande, FL. We offer a complete Deli with fresh made sandwiches, groceries, ice cream, beer & wine, golf cart rentals Boca Grande, propane exchange, bait & tackle and souvenirs in Boca Grande.

Location: 5800 Gasparilla Rd, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-2506

Hudson`s Grocery

The local grocery store with all your island needs. Deli, produce, and wine.

Location: 441 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-2621

Gasparilla Outfitters

At Gasparilla Outfitters, the best personalized customer service possible is our goal. We will always take any extra step necessary to ensure that your visit to Boca Grande is the best it can be. When you get to town, stop by for a tide chart or just to visit us and our companion shop, Special Effects, on Park Avenue in the heart of downtown Boca Grande.

Location: 431 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0907

Boca Grande Outfitters

Boca Grande Outfitters is Southwest Florida`s most complete saltwater fly fishing and light tackle outfitter. Located in the heart of Boca Grande, Florida, we are the meeting place for the local fly fishing community, since 1997. Our goal is to combine the highest level of customer service with the best quality products available on today`s market. We are proud to offer Hardy, Sage, Scott, G. Loomis, Tibor, Hatch, Abel, Scientific Anglers and much more. Come browse our extensive selection of custom tied flies, books, luggage and accessories. We offer a wide range of services including guided fly fishing trips, casting instruction, and local fishing information. Not a fisherman? Not to worry! Boca Grande Outfitters also appeals to men, women, and children who pursue the out of doors lifestyle. Whether you are boating, swimming, or heading to the golf course, we can outfit you with quality brands such as Patagonia, Vineyard Vines, Peter Millar, Smathers & Branson, Barbour, Leather Man, Ltd., Tervis, True Flies, Ex Officio, Life is good, and Polo Ralph Lauren Golf to name only a few. In addition, we have a wide variety of sunglasses including Ray-Ban, Maui Jim, Costa del Mar, and Smith. Boca Grande Outfitters has something for everyone, even Fido.

Location: 375 Park Avenue Boca Grande FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-2445

Special Effects Of Boca Grande

We are a Resort and Travel apparel and accessories shop. Located on the beautiful island of Gasparilla in the Village of Boca Grande. Located on the West coast of FLorida on the Gulf Coast. Centrally located between Fort Myers and Sarasota makes us a great getaway location and rather a special shopping destination to come out for the day and have lunch and shop for unusual items that you will not find "everywhere"!

Location: 431 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0907

Boca Blooms

Welcome to Boca Blooms. Located on the sunny island of Boca Grande, Florida, we provide spectacular flowers for your home or special occasions.

Location: 411 Palm Ave Boca Grande, Fl 33921

Phone: 941-964-1111

Courtyard Hair

Courtyard Hair Etc. has been established since 1992. Courtyard Hair Etc. is a Full Service Salon & Spa including massage therapy with the most relaxing treatments in all of Boca Grande.

Location: 5800 Gasparilla Rd, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-2243

James Griffith Salon

Located in The Gasparilla Inn Spa at the Beach Club, The James Griffith Salon specializes in French hairdressing techniques, as well as complete hair, nails and skin care services. Seasonal hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday by appointment only 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Location: 451 Gilchrist Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-4557

Park Avenue Massage

We will help heal your body. We are a massage therapy clinic staffed with specialized massage therapists, stretching specialists, and personal trainers. We believe that in addition to massage and stretching, the client should be educated by their specialist in order to maintain maximum flexibility and pain free living long after our work ends. Our therapists have successfully worked with all types of injuries/ issues and we work on clients of any age. We individualize each session based on age, mobility, and any current or past health issues. Please see our Services Page for more information.

Location: 333 Park Ave #1a, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-6433

Banyan Tree Yoga

We are a fully equipped Pilates and Yoga studio on the Island of Boca Grande, FL open to the island community with goals to improve their well-being. Our studio is a serene 2800 sf space located in the downtown historic district, just a 1 minute walk to the Gulf beaches. We`ve been on the island for over 12 years, in this location for 5 seasons, please make us your special island fitness studio where you`ll find a variety of other classes that suit your needs. Our sun-lit sanctuary offers professional private and group instruction in Pilates, Yoga, and Personal Training. Enjoy Signature Classes like: Barre`, Circuit, TRX, Nia, FitBall, Beach Yoga, Mixed-level, Restorative & Vinyasa Yoga, Power plate, a dedicated Indoor 7 Cycle/spin room and private sessions.

Location: 320 E Railroad Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-4404

Manasota Key

Manasota Key is another barrier island, located about 25 minutes north of Boca Grande. Here you will find a large public beach with parking, and several restaurants all within walking distance. Some local favorites are Lock N Key, The Sandbar, and The Waverly. All three offer outdoor dining and great views of the sunset. There are a few small shops, but most people come for the beach. Manasota Key also has Stump Pass state park on the southern tip of the island. Just over a mile of beach where one can find plenty of shells and shark teeth! A 1.3 mile hiking trail, kayak and paddleboard launches can also be found at Stump Pass. Most of the Manasota Key is residential with plenty of opportunity to find a beachfront place to relax on vacation.

Location: 776 and Beach Rd. Englewood FL 34223

Englewood`s Dearborn St.

Dearborn Street in Olde Englewood Village has been undergoing a revitalization. This Main Street is filled with quaint shops, locally-owned restaurants, and plenty of community events. Stop by the Farmers Market on Thursdays, grab a bite to eat at the Moose Club, a popular hangout. Take in a car show or enjoy the bike night. Many festivals and parades are also found here on the old Main St. in Old Englewood Village. Old Englewood Village is located about 25 minutes north of Boca Grande.

Location: 776 And Dearborn St. Englewood Fl 34223

Top 10 Things To Do On Boca Grande

Here`s our Top 10 Things to Do on Boca Grande.


1. Beaches of course!

What would a top 10 list of things to do on Boca Grande be without our fabulous beaches. Gasparilla Island has some of the finest beaches in Florida, heck some of the finest beaches in the world. Couple things to be aware of- there are NO lifeguards are on our beaches, please swim at your own risk. There are certain beach areas prone to rip currents, it is also advised not to swim in Boca Grande Pass at the south end of the island. There are plenty of sunny spots on the west side of the island. Please be aware of the waters as we do have marine life such as jellyfish, sting rays, and sharks. It is also a good idea to wear sunscreen, Florida is hot and the sun can burn you quickly, don`t ruin your vacation at the first trip to the beach. Florida also is known as the lightning capital of the world, be aware of afternoon thunderstorms, especially in the summer. We want everyone to continue enjoying our local beaches, please leave only footprints in the sand. Beaches are beautiful, but not when covered with garbage, please take your trash with you, or to an appropriate waste container.

Boca Grande has plenty of spots to visit the beach. Starting at 19th St. south there is limited street parking at the end of the roads. You can pull in and park on the side on the road. Some of the streets offer more parking than others. 5th Street has a large parking lot just as you get into the north end of town. The state parks are located on the south end of the island, they do have fees to park your car, so bring some cash. We also have a beach guide on our website.


2. Historic Village of Boca Grande

The village of Boca Grande is a great way to spend a day. The historic village was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. This historic beach town features many unique and specialty shops, fine dining, friendly people and plenty of local history. Stop for a coffee at the Inn Bakery or enjoy some ice cream from the Pink Pony. Park Ave is the main drag through town, with most everything within a few blocks. While checking out the island see if you can find Sam Murphy Park. I`ll give you a hint.. It`s in the historic district, and features a beautiful fountain.

Boca Grande got it start as a phosphate mining hub. This quiet island became a major industrial hub, but the larger ports around Tampa offered more space so Boca Grande went back to offering its natural beauty. There are remains all over the island reminiscent of Boca Grande`s past. The current bike and golf cart path were actually the railroad tracks. The historic 2-story train depot located at 4th and Park has been transformed to a mixed use building with several shops and boutiques after the last train left Boca Grande in 1981. Oil docks and the remains of the phosphate docs are still visible from the southern tip of the island, in fact- A new residential development Hill Tide Estates will repurpose those old oil docks into a pier for its residents.


3. Fishing

Boca Grande Pass is known as the tarpon capital of the world. In fact, every year anglers from across the globe come to this are to fish in the World`s Richest Tarpon Tournament. Tarpon are strictly catch and release. Known for their lasting fight the tarpon are tireless and can take over an hour to fight the Silver King. The Boca Grande Pass is the deepest natural inlet on the Gulf side of Florida with depths of 80`. Thousands of tarpon invade the area waters from April to August. The tides of the Pass keep a consistent flow of food for the tarpon that keep these game fish coming back year after year.

The area around Gasparilla Island also has great back water fishing with plenty of redfish, snook, and sea trout. Known as the flats, the shallow waters are filled with sea grass making a perfect environment for marine life to live. In fact, Charlotte Harbor has over 100 protected miles for anglers to explore. Keep in mind you will need a fishing license, there are separate licensing for fresh and saltwater. More information can be found at www.myfwc.com We can help you set up your fishing trips at Gasparilla Outfitters, as they offer a variety of trips with professional guides to fit your fishing preference.


4. Boca Grande Lighthouses

Comes in at number 4 of Gasparilla Vacations top 10 things to do on Boca Grande. Gasparilla Island actually has two lighthouses, the Range Light, and the Boca Grande Lighthouse. As you head south out of town, the 100` range light is tough to miss, brought to the island in 1920 and assembled on site, it is still used for navigation today. The range light has recently undergone a major restoration and now offers climbs up to the top and other activities.

The crown jewel of Boca Grande is at the end of the island and is the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse and Museum. Located in Gasparilla Island state park. Originally known as the Gasparilla Island Light Station, the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse is the oldest structure on the island and has been a beacon to mariners since 1890. The house-dwelling style lighthouse is home to a comprehensive museum that opened in 1999. All proceeds from the gift shop and donations to the museum directly support the lighthouse, our local state parks, as well as our educational programs.


5. Gasparilla Inn

Half way through our top 10 things to do on Boca Grande. We come to the Gasparilla Inn, located at 5th and Palm Ave. The Inn is one of the largest and oldest resort hotels in Florida. A true old Florida resort built in 1913, this historic landmark has hosted famed guests such as J.P. Morgan, Henry duPont, and more recently the Bush Family. On March 18, 2008, the Inn was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The Gasparilla Inn is definitely a place to stop in and enjoy this historic hotel. Sorry golfers, the Inn`s golf course is unfortunately only open to Inn guests.


6. Banyan Street

It should be called 2nd street, but the amazing trees planted in 1915 by the builder of the Gasparilla Inn deserve the rename. The shaded canopy is the perfect backdrop for photos and is also a popular wedding venue. Most days you will find folks taking pictures and climbing around the large rooted Banyan trees. You will also see several carvings into the trees, please don`t continue this. It damages these magnificent trees, and takes away from their beauty. During Hurricane Charley one tree was knocked down, but thanks to the quick work of the recovery teams the tree was re-planted and has since recovered.


7. Rent a Golf Cart

Travel the island like a Boca local! Boca Grande`s primary and most popular form of transportation on the island. You can travel to and from most of the island on the cart paths. In season, downtown sees lots of cart traffic on the roads. While carting you have to obey the same rules as if you were driving. It does get a bit crowded downtown, so be careful!

A few tips. Try to park in a way that you can share a parking space with another cart, two carts can fit in one parking spot. Watch for people walking when backing up. Bumping into someone with your cart hurts! It`s common for people to mistake one cart for another, as many of the rental carts look the same. Please take your key with you while parked. We have a guide on our website with the island carting rules.


8. Ride a Bike

Boca Grande seems as if it was made for bicycles, therefore it makes our top 10 things to do on Boca Grande. There are almost 7 miles of bike paths on the island to explore. Offering scenic views of the bayou, native flora, wildlife, the historic business district, Range Light, and the beaches. The bike path was created in 1983 from the old railroad tracks that hauled phosphate to the docs at the southernmost tip of the island to Arcadia. The bike paths are best suited for leisurely pedaling. Most of the riders you will find are people relaxing on a beach cruiser, but if you are a true bicyclist and have the need for speed, you can ride on the streets just as in other areas.


9. Look For Island`s Natural Wonders

Number 9 on our top 10 things to do on Boca Grande. This little slice of island paradise has some of nature`s special creatures. With the island having many conservation acres local wildlife is plentiful. Be on the lookout for Osprey, they are large bird of prey with wings spanning 5`! Also, look for White Pelicans, they are often found on the north side of the island, and even iguanas! These non-native species are actually destructive to the island, and in fact we have an iguana trapper. Keep an eye out for George, a man in bright green shirt on a golf cart with iguana control.


9 1/2. Paddleboard or Kayak

Ok, Ok, yes I added a 1/2 to the top 10 things to do on Boca Grande, but believe me, it`s worth it to do some back water explorations. With Charlotte Harbor directly on our east side this area is a perfect backdrop to explore this waterway in a kayak or paddleboard. There are miles of shoreline, and mangroves to enjoy. See dolphins and manatees in their natural environment. Click for our site with kayak and bike rental options. This is definitely a top 10 things to do on Boca Grande.


10. Relax And Enjoy This Wonderful Island We Call Home

Finally #10 on our top 10 things to do on Boca Grande. Locals say that this area is layed back to the horizontal. We really like our small beach town atmosphere, no traffic lights, no chain restaurants. Heck! Boca Grande doesn`t even have a gas station! Just some of the best beach livin` around. We hope you will enjoy our little historic town, and experience the top 10 things to do on Boca Grande.

Location: Boca Grande

Phone: 941-964-1426

Outdoor Activities in Boca Grande

Gasparilla Island is the perfect getaway and an outdoor lovers paradise. Miles and miles of pristine white sands, bountiful waters considered among the best tarpon-fishing spots in the world, lush golf courses and outer islands only a boat ride away. Step out of the comfort of your vacation rental and explore the great outdoors of Boca Grande.

Grande Kayak

Welcome to Grande Kayak located at the entrance e of Florida`s largest network of Mangrove Tunnels. Kayaking in Englewood, Venice, Boca Grande and Placida, Florida doesn`t get any better. The Wolverton Trails majestic network of Mangrove Tunnels surrounded by islands, sandbars and beaches is absolutely incredible. We offer Kayak Tours, Kayak Rentals, PaddleBoard Rentals and Camping Trips on a nearby Islands.

Location: 13084 Fishery Rd Placida, FL 33946

Phone: (941) 270-9966

Clear Kayak Rentals

Come see all the Ocean life Florida has to offer in our Clear Kayaks, and Stand Up Paddle boards! Launching from the Boca Grande Fishing Pier 7 days a week! The clear waters of Boca Grande, Florida provide the perfect setting to see Manatee, Dolphin and so much more! Come explore, and get a Better View of Life! Now Offering Bike Rentals! Come Explore Boca Grande by Land or by Sea! Please check out our About section to learn about our partnership with Sea to Shore Alliance!

$1 from every rental will be donated to this great cause to protect Marine life and their habitats!

Location: 5810 Gasparilla Rd, Placida, FL 33946

Phone: (941) 237-1756

Gasparilla Adventures

Gasparilla Outfitters has operated in Boca Grande for the past 11 years. In 2016 we had the chance to leave our location at The Gasparilla Inn and move into the Boca Grande Historic District. We can`t wait to show you the five star service we have perfected over the years, and that your vacationing family deserves. Gasparilla Adventures is part of the Resort Outfitters family. Resort Outfitters provides services at many of America`s finest resorts including The Broadmoor, The Greenbrier, The Hotel Hershey and The Omni Homestead. Give us a call and let us help plan the activities for your perfect vacation.

Location: 333 Park Ave. Boca Grande, FL

Phone: 1-941-964-0711

Below is a list of public boat launches near Boca Grande, Englewood, Placida, and Port Charlotte.

Ainger Creek Park: 2011 Placida Rd, Englewood

Butterford Waterway Park: 13555 Marathon Blvd, Port Charlotte

Cape Haze Marina: 6950 Placida Rd, Englewood

Chadwick Cove Resort & Marina: 1825 Gulf Blvd, Englewood

Darst Park: 537 Darst Ave Punta Gorda

El Jobean Boat Ramp: 4224 El Jobean Rd, Port Charlotte

Fishermens Village: 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, #57A, Punta Gorda

Gasparilla Marina: 15001 Gasparilla Rd, Placida

Harbour Heights Park: 27420 Voyageur Dr, Punta Gorda

Hathaway Park: 35461 Washington Loop Rd, Punta Gorda

Indian Mound Park: 210 Winson Ave, Englewood

Manasota Beach Boat Ramp: 8570 Manasota Key Rd, Englewood

Placida Park: 6499 Gasparilla Rd, Placida

Port Charlotte Beach Park: 4500 Harbor Blvd, Port Charlotte

Riverside Park: 8320 Riverside Dr, Punta Gorda

Royal Palm Marina: 779 W Wentworth St, Englewood

South Gulf Cove Park: 10150 Amicola St, Port Charlotte

Spring Lake Park: 3520 Lakeview Blvd, Port Charlotte

Uncle Henrys Marina

Located on the north end of Gasparilla Island. The 58 slip Marina has first class docking facilities and can accommodate vessels up to 80`. The buildings are attractive southern contemporary Victorian structures. At the end of the dock, the marina building houses the laundry & showers. There is also a covered patio and grill for individuals or groups.

Location: 5800 Gasparilla Rd, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0154

Whidden`s Marina

Welcome to historic Boca Grande, Florida. Boca Grande is the Tarpon Capital of the World. Famous Whidden`s Marina on First Street East was founded by Sam Whidden in 1926 and has been run by the Whidden family ever since. One of Boca Grande`s oldest marinas, in those days, Whidden`s was also a well known Boca Grande night spot, dance hall and restaurant. All that has changed, but not the flavor and old fashioned hospitality of this "Old Florida" establishment. Why not let the Whidden family`s years of experience help make your next Boca Grande fishing experience the best ever!

Location: 190 1st St E, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-2878

Boca Grande Marina

Boca Grande Marina, formerly Miller`s Marina, is located in the quaint island community of Boca Grande, on one of Southwest Florida`s hidden treasures, Gasparilla Island. We are a full-service marina providing amenities to visitors and local island residents, just inside the ICW in Charlotte Harbor, only minutes to Boca Grande Pass (known as the Tarpon Capital of the World), and the Gulf of Mexico. Our Marina Store is fully stocked with anything you might need for a day on the water or at the beach. Live & Frozen Bait, Bag & Block Ice, Fishing Tackle, Sunscreen, Water & Cold Beer We are within walking distance to the Historic Boca Grande downtown area where you`ll discover Shops, Galleries, Boutiques, Restaurants and Lodging. Our convenient location provides a special day trip for boaters visiting from our surrounding area.

Location: 220 Harbor Dr, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-2100

Gasparilla Marina

GASPARILLA MARINA is the area`s largest DEEP WATER MARINA offering direct, uninterrupted access to the waters of CHARLOTTE HARBOR, the GULF OF MEXICO and the world famous BOCA GRANDE PASS, making it both the perfect layover and homeport for larger yachts. GASPARILLA MARINA offers traditional wet and dry storage or storage in our state-of-the art fully enclosed facility, protecting your vessel from the elements. Thousands of boaters and anglers from all over Florida and the US have discovered the relaxed atmosphere and quality service at GASPARILLA MARINA. With its multitude of services and amenities for both experienced and novice anglers alike, GASPARILLA MARINA has established itself as SOUTHWEST FLORIDA`S Sportfishing Headquarters and premier marina ideally located in the Englewood, Cape Haze and Boca Grande area. Other amenities at GASPARILLA MARINA include our RESTAURANT, WATERSIDE GRILL open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. BOAT RENTALS, FUEL DOCK, BAIT SHOP, SHIP`S STORE, 24 hour security and on-site service. So, whether you are serious about fishing or just relaxing on the out islands and waterways, stop at GASPARILLA MARINA for a free tour of the marina facilities and you`ll be hooked!

Location: 15001 Gasparilla Rd, Placida, FL 33946

Phone: (941) 697-2280

Gasparilla Outfitters

At Gasparilla Outfitters, the best personalized customer service possible is our goal. We will always take any extra step necessary to ensure that your visit to Boca Grande is the best it can be. When you get to town, stop by for a tide chart or just to visit us and our companion shop, Special Effects, on Park Avenue in the heart of downtown Boca Grande.

Many of the guides we represent boast generations of local fishing experience. They all have the skills and the knowledge to make your tarpon, backcountry or offshore fishing trip one that can become the memory of a lifetime.

The unique fishing and resort village of Boca Grande is known far and wide as the spot for `The World`s Greatest Tarpon Fishing`, and with good reason. Boca Grande Pass attracts tens of thousands of tarpon every year, and they are big!

The average catch will run between 80 and 120 pounds, and many will be even larger, sometimes much larger! Anglers from every corner of the globe have been coming to Boca Grande since the 1800`s seeking lifelong memories of the ultimate sportfishing challenge that comes with hooking up to a monster Silver King.

But what surprises many first time visitors is learning that besides Tarpon, there is so much more! We also have outstanding backcountry flats fishing for Snook, Redfish and Speckled Trout among the mangroved lined islands and turtle grass flats of Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound.

Not enough for you? How about targeting the King Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Cobia and Permit that make seasonal migrations near shore just off the island in the Gulf of Mexico or the great wreck and bottom fishing for Mangrove Snapper, Black Grouper, Gag Grouper, Goliath Grouper and more.

Location: 431 Park Ave, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0907

Golf Cart Rentals

Vacation like a local! Everyone on the Island cruises around town on a golf cart. Kappy`s Carts in the island`s premier golf cart rental company, delivering to the island daily.

GOLF CART RULES WHILE ON BOCA GRANDE

1. Persons under age 14 are prohibited by law from operating golf carts.

2. Electric golf carts may travel on the designated bike path and MUST yield to all other users of the path.

3. Users of the bike path must yield to traffic where the path intersects with public roads or streets.

4. Gas-powered vehicles (including gas powered golf carts) are prohibited from traveling on the bike path.

5. The jogging path is for pedestrian use ONLY.

6. Golf cart drivers MUST observe the same rules of the road as automobiles.

7. Bicycles and golf carts MUST observe the 15-mile per hour path speed limit.

8. Be sure your homeowners or rental insurance covers your golf cart.

9. Golf carts operating after dark MUST have adequate headlights and tail lights.

Warning: VIOLATIONS OF THESE RULES MAY RESULT IN SUBSTANTIAL FINES AND PENALTIES!

Rotonda Golf & Country Club

99 Premier Holes on The Cape Haze Peninsula Imagine a place with rolling greens, lush fairways, cool breezes, and outstanding customer service. Rotonda Golf & Country Club is that place. This hidden jewel is on the West Coast of Florida and is just minutes from sandy beaches and some of the best fishing in the world. Oh, and did I mention GOLF? Rotonda Golf & Country Club has been awarded a "Beginner Friendly Certification" from the National Golf Course Owners Association as well as numerous Charlotte Sun Herald`s Reader`s choice awards. Come on out and give us a visit. The weather is great. The courses are great. All in your own backyard. That`s exactly how Rotonda Golf & Country Club`s five courses were planned. The Hills. Long Marsh. The Palms. The Links and now Pinemoor. Five emeralds in a spectacular setting bathed by gulf breezes. Challenging, well maintained fairways that provide a new golfing experience with every round. Rotonda Golf and Country Club featuring 99 holes on 4 courses. Rotonda Golf at the Links 4055 Cape Haze Dr. Rotonda West 941-697-8877 Rotonda Golf at the Hills 100 Rotonda Cir. Rotonda West 941-697-2414 Rotonda Golf at Long Marsh 20 White Marsh Rd. Rotonda West 941-698-0918 Rotonda Golf at the Palms 266 Rotonda Cir. Rotonda West 941-697-8118

Location: 100 Rotonda Circle Rotonda West FL 33947

Phone: (941) 697-2414

Riverwood Golf & Country Club

The award winning golf course is the crown jewel of this master planned community. Rated consistently as one of the top courses in Florida, Riverwood boasts a four and half start rating from Golf Digest along with a top 10 ranking in the country in 2002. This 18-hole par 72 Championship golf course was designed by Gene Bates, the front nine is laid out like a North Carolina Pines course and the back nine borders our wetland preserve, giving the golfer two distinct types of play.

Location: 4100 Riverwood Drive Port Charlotte FL 33953

Phone: (941) 764-6660

Lemon Bay Golf Club

Six miles north of Gasparilla Island bridge lies a golf course facing the Gulf of Mexico. This is the home of the Lemon Bay Golf Club. Graced by nature with mature native pines, small lakes and ponds, they serve as home to their original ancient Florida Residences flocks of exotic tropical birds and the nesting aristocrats of Lemon Bay, the white capped American eagle. They`re all here protected by this Audubon sanctioned golf club. Lemon Bay Golf Club is a private club with 300-325 members interested primarly in golf. We are celebrating our 28th anniversary. A most notable feature is the friendliness of the staff and the membership. For men, women, and couples, it is almost always possible to "get a game" of like minded golfers who are interested in playing in beautiful surroundings on a challenging course. The course itself is a beautiful Audubon sanctioned 18 hole layout with many wildlife species, including bald eagles, shorebirds, and alligators. Trees, a great variety of colorful plant life, and tasteful landscaping present a distraction for the eye but can also hide your errant golf ball. The clubhouse is oriented to serving golfers, and features a grill area, golf shop and locker rooms. Lemon Bay is a satisfying golf and social experience dedicated to each. The club holds several member golf events each month during the winter season. During the summer months, reciprocal players and local visitors are invited to play the golf course. Lemon Bay Golf Club provides a wonderful golfing value - not a high volume public course set up nor a high cost exclusive private country club with golf as a sidelight. Questions regarding Lemon Bay Golf Club should be directed to a club member or the club`s Executive Secretary, Cindy Claude at 941-697-4190

Location: 9600 Eagle Preserve Drive, Englewood, Fl 34224

Phone: 941-697-4190

Boca Royale Golf and Country Club

Discover Boca Royale Golf & Country Club Set in a lush setting of mature oaks and tropical palm trees, Boca Royale Golf & Country Club is a hidden gem in Englewood, Florida. A semi-private club with golf, tennis, fitness & wellness, bocce ball, croquet, dining and a wealth of organized social activities, Boca Royale embodies the country club lifestyle. Boca Royale Golf & Country Club is ideally located in South Sarasota County just minutes from the beautiful beaches of Manasota Key. Nestled within a private 1,000-acre gated community of elegant homes, pristine lakes, and nature preserves, the Club offers an exclusive hideaway from the bustle of tourists for those in the know...it is truly a special place. The elegant, Georgian clubhouse provides spectacular views of the manicured golf course and a full range of amenities and services, from fine dining in our Fairway Dining Room to casual dining at the 19th Hole. And, Members may relax and enjoy a light meal or drink in the Members Room after golf, tennis or a work out in our state of the art fitness facility.

Location: 1601 Englewood Road, Englewood, FL 34223.

Phone: 941-475-6464

Cayo Costa State Park

With nine miles of beautiful beaches and acres of pine forests, oak-palm hammocks and mangrove swamps, this barrier island park is a Gulf Coast paradise. Cayo Costa is accessible only by private boat or ferry. Visitors may see manatees and pods of dolphins in the waters around the 2,426 acre park, as well as a spectacular assortment of birds. On the island, visitors can swim or snorkel in the surf, enjoy the sun and picnic in the shade.

Keep your eyes peeled as you stroll along the beach, especially during the winter months. The nature trails that crisscross the island provide opportunities for hiking and off-road bicycling. Saltwater anglers can fish from their boats or throw a line out into the surf. An amphitheater provides educational programs about the island`s ecology and history. For overnight stays, the park offers primitive cabins and tent camping which can be reserved through Reserve America up to 11 months in advance. Captiva Cruises offers ferry service to the park from locations in Punta Gorda, Pine Island, Fort Myers, Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. Reservations Are Required.

Location: 880 Belcher Road, Boca Grande

Phone: (941) 964-0375

Gasparilla Island State Parks

Gasparilla Island State Park offers five parking areas with access to the beach.

Location: 880 Belcher Rd, Boca Grande, FL 33921

Phone: (941) 964-0375

Don Pedro Island State Park

Beautiful Don Pedro Island State Park is part of an extensive chain of barrier islands extending along Florida`s Gulf Coast. Between Knight Island and Little Gasparilla Island, Don Pedro is accessible only by private boat or ferry. Boaters can tie up at the dock on the mangrove-lined bay side of the island. Access the dock via the channel south of the Cape Haze power line crossing, but be sure to idle, as the channel is only 2.5 feet deep.

Keep your eyes peeled for endangered species such as West Indian manatees, gopher tortoises, bald eagles and American oystercatchers. With one mile of white sandy beach, enjoy sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling and shelling on Don Pedro`s Gulf side. Boat and surf fishing are other favorite pastimes of visitors to the 230-acre park. Hikers and nature lovers can explore trails of the park`s land base portion on the Cape Haze Peninsula. The 100-acre land base also offers a fishing dock, kayak launch, nature trails and a picnic shelter.

Location: 8450 Placida Road Cape Haze, FL 33946

Phone: (941) 964-0375

When you walk, run, skate or bike the nearly 8-mile Cape Haze Pioneer Trail, you`re tracing the line that once serviced Florida`s early phosphate industry and also moved people, livestock and locally grown crops, such as watermelons, to waiting steamships in Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island. The fairly straight and flat rail-trail offers a relaxing ride and welcome relief from the area`s growing traffic congestion. The trail continues southward after crossing a short, dirt driveway used as a service area for the Coral Creek Golf Club. This newly paved section of the trail continues from the entrance to the golf club, parallel to CR 771, across the new bicycle-friendly Coral Creek bridge to end at the traffic light to the Boca Grande Causeway.

Location: CR 771 in Cape Haze Pioneer Trail Park and Boca Grande Causeway

Communities of Boca Grande

Gasparilla Island offers 7 miles of pure tranquility; a barrier island with no rises or traffic lights, a 100-year-old lighthouse, and pristine white sand beaches- where golf carts outnumber cars. Boca Grande is surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and the protected waterways of Charlotte Harbor, Boca Grande is an old Florida paradise. Known as the tarpon capital of the world this area is home to some of the best sport fishing in the world. It's unique charm and historic past make it a very special retreat. From the island's early phosphate days to being host to families like the DuPonts and J.P. Morgan, Boca Grande is rich in American culture and history. Gasparilla Island offers many luxury island-style communities, ranging from single-family beachfront homes, historic in-town cottages, to exclusive gated communities. Boca Grande might just be the island paradise to call home.

Welcome to the waterfront community of Anglers Club, a private community just off the island of Boca Grande. These Key West styled luxury town homes are located just behind Gasparilla Marina and offer over 900' of docks, bring your boat and dock right in the back yard.

Anglers Club is located in a gated area, right on a waterway with quick access to Charlotte Harbor, Boca Grande Pass, and the Gulf Of Mexico. Anglers offers a community pool and clubhouse.

Boca Bay is one of the Island's premier waterfront communities. 7 neighborhoods each with its own distinct environment. North Village, North Bay, South Bay, Grande Bay, Beach View, and Harborside and Harborshore. Boca Bay has seven private, gated neighborhoods. North Village, North Bay, South Bay, Grande Bay, Beach View, and Harborside and Harborshore.

North Village- Lakefront single family homes in the North Village are just a few blocks to historic Boca Grande village. North Village offers a short stroll allows access to a beautiful beach, and community boat docks.

North Bay- These homes are located between preservation land and the secluded shores of Charlotte Harbor.

South Bay- Expansive harbor views and beautiful sunrises are just the beginning for the homes of South Bay. Overlook Charlotte Harbor many homes offer private dockage. Also next to state preserve lands.

Grande Bay- Just a lucky few are able to call Grande Bay home. Exclusive waterfront retreats. The very best of Boca Bay.

Beach View- As the community is known these Beautiful villa/townhomes offer incredible gulf views, tranquil garden views, and view of South Village lake. Short walk to the lass club and Power House.

Harborside and Harborshore- Exquisite condo's of Boca Bay, offers harbor views and views over the lake. Enclosed garages and private patios.

The Boca Bay communities offer amenities to members including the Boca Bay Pass Club, a full service club that is the community's social center, 4 heated swimming pool, two Gulf front and two bayside, Beach Club, 7 lighted Har-Tru tennis courts, and a well-appointed fitness center in the historic Power House. Also, miles of meandering pedestrian and bicycle paths with benches, gazebos and bridges to truly highlight the beauty of the Boca Bay community. We take pride in providing our members with well-maintained first class facilities and exceptional service.

Enjoy the Boca Grande Beach Club, excellent beach front resort style complex. Boca Grande Beach Club is just south of town. Offering resort style accommodations. Excellent beach and community pool. The Beach Club is the perfect island getaway.

Boca Grande Club, a gated community with some of the finest homes and condos on the island. The private membership club offers different membership levels and access to the resort style amenities found within Boca Grande Club. Boca Grande Club features a private club house, dining, fitness, tennis and pools all located on the white sand beaches of Boca Grande. Enjoy fine dining at the clubhouse directly on the beach enjoy the pool deck and Tiki Bar.

Waterfront single family homes of Boca Grande Isles. These luxury homes overlook the protected waters of Charlotte Harbor. Homes is the exclusive gated community offer remarkable water views. Some homes feature private pools, deep water boat docks, and stunning views of Charlotte Harbor.

Boca Grande North featuring waterfront condos on the gulf and bay. Boca Grande North is located just over the toll bridge on the island. Offering both bay and gulf side two bedroom two bath condos. This private gated community offers a pool, tennis, hot tub, over 50 bayside boat docks, and easy access to the mainland and downtown Boca Grande.

Boca Grande Shores is a private group of single family homes right on the beach! Boca Grande Shores is a small community of only 12 homes located on the white sands beaches of Gasparilla Island. Community offers easy beach access and a heated pool for it's residents and guests.

Welcome to Boca Vista a luxury waterfront condo complex located just off the island of Boca Grande. The waterfront gated community of Boca Vista offers guests luxury condos only minutes form the island of Boca Grande. Boca Vista offers a heated pool, clubhouse, and on site tennis courts. Walk over to the Waterside Grill. Vacation Grande at Boca Vista.

The Dunes of Boca Grande beachfront villas. The Dunes of Boca Grande feature a private gated community with 40 beachfront villas, all overlooking the gulf's cerulean waters and a wide, sandy beach. The Dunes offer two heated pools and private garages. Making this an great spot to enjoy the island lifestyle. Historic Boca Grande Village is about 4 miles south.

The Golden Beach area of Boca Grande consists of single family homes just to the south of town. Homes in Golden Beach can be on deep water frontage, those "Dam" streets, and deeded beach access. Homes in Golden Beach can be on deep water frontage, offer private pools, and deeded beach access. Those "Dam" streets are also located in the Golden Beach subdivision.

Grande Quay is a small community with single family homes overlooking Charlotte Harbor at the north end of Gasparilla Island. Single family homes in a small gated waterfront community on the North end of Boca Grande.

Stay right on Boca Grande beach! The community of Gulf Dunes is steps away from the beautiful white sands. Enjoy the sunsets from either your living room, or master bedroom. No pool, but Gulf Dunes of Boca Grande, is only steps away from the Gulf of Mexico. These popular villas are perfect for your vacation. Just enough space to enjoy the fabulous beach just steps outside your door.

Just to the north of Boca Grande, Hacienda Del Mar are exclusive waterfront condos.

Pursue the Phenomena at Hill Tide Estates. 19 luxury single family homes, located at the southern tip of Boca Grande.

The quaint Historic District of Boca Grande. Welcome to the historic center of Boca Grande Village. This area is the heart of the island. Homes in the area are walking distance to all of the quint charm of the old village. Get your golf cart and cruise the downtown shopping, dining, and enjoy the area.

Its name - Spanish for "Big Mouth" - comes from the mouth of the waterway, called Boca Grande Pass, at the southern tip of the island. The pass was used as a busy shipping point for many years as the waters in the pass are naturally deep. Processed phosphate from the Bone Valley region was loaded onto waiting ocean-going cargo vessels via the Seaboard Air Line Railroad at the dock located on the southern tip of the island. Shipping business to the island declined in the late 1970s as it was no longer cost effective to ship phosphate by rail to Boca Grande when it could be loaded at Tampa. The phosphate plant at Boca Grande was old and its tons-per-hour rate was slow. Therefore, it made economic sense to discontinue the operation. Evidence of the island's industrial past can still be seen.

There are no gas stations in the village of Boca Grande, with the exception of a street pump at Boca Grande Marina, so many local residents use a golf cart as their main mode of transportation. On any given day in Boca Grande, you will see golf carts, as well as some automobiles, making their way throughout downtown. A Lee County ordinance designates all but two streets as golf cart paths. Drivers must be at least 14 years old to operate a golf cart on these designated streets.

Boca Grande provided the backdrop for Denzel Washington's movie, Out of Time, where the quiet village was renamed "Banyan Key" in reference to the banyan trees that populate the island. Scenes for the 2006 film based on Carl Hiaasen's book Hoot were also filmed on the island, which was again renamed for the filming. This time it became "Coconut Cove".

Boca Grande's serene beauty also makes it a destination for high-profile weddings and residences for the elite seeking privacy. Sara Blakely (Spanx founder and owner) and Jesse Itzler were married on Boca Grande in 2008, while the Bush family and Audrey Hepburn have called it home seasonally.

Stay at the Island House! Directly on the salty shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy stunning sunsets from the large Gulf front screened porch. Island House, located at the southern end of the island with pristine beaches, pool, tennis court and more! The Island House community offer single family homes and is the perfect blend of relaxed luxury and beachfront exclusivity.

The Lighthouse Colony is located directly on the beach, and only a short golf cart to town. Enjoy the sunsets from your living room. Lighthouse is just to the south of the range light, while the community does not have a pool the large 3 bedroom villas are the perfect place to enjoy the sandy shores.

Little Gasparilla Island is a remote tropical island on the salty shores of the Gulf of Mexico, just to the north of Boca Grande, and south of Palm Island this bridge-less island is a real getaway. Little Gasparilla offer a true vacation away from the daily grind. There is no commercial establishments, cars, wired internet, restaurants or stores on Little Gasparilla Island. It is truly an island getaway! Being only about a 10 minute boat ride from the mainland makes it an easy trip back and forth.

Marina Village at Boca Grande Club, overlooking Charlotte Harbor this quaint development is part of the Boca Grande Club. Onsite features include pool and boat dockage. The Marina Village shares amenities with the Boca Grande Club across the street. Enjoy tennis, pools, fine dining and many more exclusive benefits of the Boca Grande Club.

Park Place condos are in the center of all the quaint charm historic Boca Grande has to offer. Just a short walk to all of the fun shopping and many fine restaurants of the historic village of Boca Grande. See the vibrant present and the glorious past of the Gasparilla Inn from your balconies and a hop / skip straight out to the beautiful Boca Grande beach and most fabulous sunsets!

Sea Oats is an upscale condominium community surrounded by the tropical beauty of Boca Grande, FL. The Sea Oats of Boca Grande feature 80+ 2 bedroom 2 bath condos. in 5 elevator buildings. Featuring: Miles of Pristine Beach Private Porches Span 28 Feet Elevators and Handicap Access Heated Pool and Spa Tennis Courts BBQ PatiosReserved Covered Parking Private Immaculate Units Lush Courtyard Landscaping Nearby Bike/Jogging Path All on the sunny beaches of Boca Grande.

Seagrape Colony looks out right onto the Gulf Of Mexico! Vacation at Seagrape's two story beachfront villas. The Seagrape colony consists of only 15 beachfront villas overlooks the warm gulf waters and is the perfect place to enjoy a sunset. These villas feature 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Along with a heated pool. Located about a mile from historic downtown Boca Grande.

Seawatch is a premier gated community on 24 lush acres. Featuring villas and single family homes. The Seawatch development on the north end of Gasparilla island. Old Florida living can found in this beach front community. Area amenities include beach access, tennis courts, and two pools.

Waterfront Condo's at Silver King Silver King condo's are only a few blocks from historic Boca Grande village. The in-town location makes Silver King a family favorite all the way around...walk to the beach, shops, restaurants and much more. Under building parking (cars and golf carts), tennis court, swimming pool and spa, a community Clubhouse and more. The boater/fisherman in the family will really enjoy the easy access to the beautiful and bountiful waters surrounding Boca Grande. Sitting out on your porch and watching others idle by in the Bayou will become a favorite past time. You will love the classic Mediterranean architecture and the always well maintained condition of the entire property.

Sundown Colony, an island favorite offering beachfront townhomes overlooking the warm Gulf waters. The Sundown condo complex is about a mile from the village. Named appropriately for the spectacular sundown views from your 2 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths unit. Heated pool and sundeck make this a great spot to enjoy not only the sunsets, but all this quaint village of Boca Grande has to offer.

Those "Dam" streets of Boca Grande. The "Dam" streets. Damfiwill, Damfino, Damficare. Yes, these do exist. And here's the story according to the Boca Grande historical society.

Origin of the "Dam" Streets: How did Boca Grande streets get their names? Some streets are named after people, like Gilchrist and Wheeler, or their location; for example Gulf Shore Lane and Bayou. The story about the origin of the "Dam" streets was told at a 1993 cocktail party by a reliable source who is also a great story teller.

It goes something like this; Lee County recorded the streets as Second, Third and Fourth Streets SE. This makes sense since many streets in Boca Grande are numbered. As the story goes, there was a Tampa gentleman who was building a house on Third St. When his lumber company called asking for an address to deliver supplies they were referred to the gentleman's fishing captain. When asked for the name of the street, the captain replied, "Damfino." Someone at the lumber company had a great sense of humor because he painted the name on a piece of wood and stuck it into the ground at the corner of E. Railroad Ave. and Third St. SE.

Not long after, residents of Fourth St. happened to be cocktailing together and someone suggested they come up with a more imaginative name for their street. "Who cares," said someone else in the crowd. That did it, Damficare Street was born. According to my source, Kay Reed gets the credit for changing the name of Second St. She lived at the end of the road and one day produced a unique totem pole sign, declaring her street Damfiwill. An employee in the Lee County E911 Program's Addressing Office remembered the paperwork making those the official names of the streets. However, it's been many years ago, and the documents are no longer available in their system, she explained. Article by Karen Grace, board member Boca Grande Historical Society.

Turtleback townhomes located directly on the white sand beach of Gasparilla Island. Turtleback town-homes are located on the south end of the island, uniquely designed as their roof lines resemble a turtle shell. These 3 bedroom 2 bath town-homes let you walk out your back door right onto the white sand beaches of Boca Grand. Guests at Turtleback can also enjoy the heated pool.

The Waterway development on Gasparilla Island are waterfront single-family homes on boatable waters. The Waterway homes of Boca Grande are an area of single-family directly on protected water dockage. Just a short 2 minute golf cart ride to town! Perfect for boaters and fisherman. Just one 11' bridge until you are out into beautiful Charlotte Harbor.

Woodwind Beachfront homes on Boca Grande. This small area of elevated private homes enhance the breathtaking views of the warm gulf waters. With direct beach access these 3 bedroom 2 bath homes are the pinnacle of Boca Grande. Community offer pool and tennis courts.

Area Map and Location Information of Boca Grande

Gasparilla Vacations is located on a 7-mile barrier island known as Gasparilla Island, with the quaint beachfront town of Boca Grande, right on the sandy shores of the Gulf of Mexico. The island is located between Sarasota and Fort Myers, Florida. Driving from I-75 take exit 191 River Road toward North Port/ Englewood. Turn right on to River Road. After about 10 miles turn left onto Winchester Boulevard. After 6.5 miles turn left into Placida Road. (County Highway 775). Follow down until the stoplight, Boca Grande Causeway, turn right. There is a $6 cash only toll. Continue south about 5 miles into the historic village of Boca Grande. We are located on the corner of Park Ave. and 4th St. Within the same building as Gulf Coast International Properties. 411 Park Ave. #3 Boca Grande, Fl 33921.

Since this is our first blog post, it makes sense to clear up the air about where we really are. Are we on Boca Grande? Or are we on Gasparilla Island? Where is it? What is it? First off, we are on Gasparilla Island, a seven-mile long barrier island in southwest Florida. Gasparilla island is surrounded by the salty waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the pristine estuaries of Charlotte Harbor. Offering some of the best beaches in Florida. Located about 1 hour and 45 minutes south of Tampa, and about two hours north of Naples, you will find what’s left of old Florida.

Head over the swing bridge and you will find out why Boca Grande is so special. No highrises, no street lights, no hotel chains. An island where golf carts outnumber cars, you will find the laid back beach town of Boca Grande. Yes, Boca Grande is actually the historic village on Gasparilla Island. While exploring the historic village one will find many shops, restaurants, and specialty stores. Two historic lighthouses, that still function today. A magical street named Banyan St. where 100-year-old trees canopy over the road. Boca Grande is home to several marinas which help to explore the local waterways. The island homes are tucked into the native landscaping with many right on the beach. A true highlight is the historic Gasparilla Inn, a century-old hotel that has hosted such guests as the DuPont’s, Rockefeller’s, and J.P. Morgan. More recent guests include Audrey Hepburn, and the presidential Bush family. Boca Grande has also been on the Hollywood screen, along with hosting some high-profile weddings.

The Port of Boca Grande Lighthouse stands guard over the pass.

So now that you know where we are, and where it is, let’s talk about what it is? For this, we need to dig into the interesting history of Boca Grande. For those history buffs, here’s a brief overview of the beginnings of Boca Grande. Oh, and one more thing. It’s pronounced Boca Grand, not Boca Grand"a"

Boca Grande means “big mouth” in Spanish, this refers to the waterway passage at the southern end of the island between Charlotte Harbor, and the Gulf of Mexico. After the Calusa Indians settled this area around 800 A.D. their empire numbered thousands of people. The Calusa empire sustained their existence until the mid -18th century when they became victims of diseases, slavery, and European warfare.

Around the 1880s phosphate rock was discovered and mined from the Peace River along with areas around Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor. The deep natural pass at Boca Grande was used as a major seaport to transport the phosphate. It was during this mining period the village of Boca Grande was born. Just after the turn of the century, a railway was built from the south end of Boca Grande to the mainland. This major improvement made transporting the phosphate to larger ports easier in Florida and beyond. During the mining heyday, the port of Boca Grande was ranked the fourth busiest in Florida. But in the 1970’s the mining companies started to switch their interest to larger ports around Tampa and the St. Petersburg area. As those larger ports were developed the shipping traffic to Boca Grande decreased. In 1979 the phosphate industry on the island ended.

During the island industrial revolution, many wealthy American families began traveling to the area. Since the island is of its own a tropical paradise located on the sandy shores of the Gulf of Mexico it became a popular vacation spot. The waters around the island, especially the pass are also known for their excellent sport fishing, namely tarpon. Boca Grande is known as the Tarpon capital of the world, and yields more tarpon then anywhere else around the globe. As the town grew from both the mining and tourism industry many people began investing in land and started to develop the island. In 1911 the first hotel, The Gasparilla Inn was opened, making Boca Grande a true vacation destination. The Gasparilla Inn is still open today and hosts guests from around the world. It’s grounds host many amenities including a private golf course, 5-star dining, and wedding accommodations.

The railway played an important part of Boca Grande's history. Not only for the mining industry but also in the redevelopment after the mining was over. The railroad brought folks to the area to enjoy the natural beauty of this barrier island. The railway was the only practical way to get visitors to the island other than a boat ferry. The railroad continued to bring winter visitors from all along the east coast and upper Midwest regions until the Boca Grande Causeway opened in 1958. The swing bridge spans over two 80-foot-wide channels on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at Placida Harbor. Construction began in 1952, and in 1958 the causeway replaced the ferry service. With the bridge operational, it was faster to fly into the Tampa airport and drive to Boca Grande than it was to take the train directly from the northeast and mid-west cities. The last commuter train to Boca Grande was on April 12, 1959.

Today, we still have remnants of days gone by. Both lighthouses still function. The Range light has just undergone a major renovation and now hosts trails around the grounds and tours to the top. The Port Boca Grande Lighthouse is now home to a museum open to the public. The old concrete oil docks are still just inside the pass, and there are some remaining sections of the phosphate dock still visible in the harbor. As you come over the Boca Grande causeway you will see the railway bridges. As Boca Grande transitioned away from its industrial roots the railroad easement was turned into a bicycle and golf cart path in 1985. The Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association, a non-profit organization based on the island, currently operates the path. The village of Boca Grande received some national recognition as it was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. 47 buildings are included in the “Boca Grande Historic Village.” Residents and guests also enjoy everyday amenities such as a grocery store, library, community center, and post office.

Now, what are we doing here? Our company Gasparilla Vacations specializes in luxury vacation rentals here on this historic island of Boca Grande, and the surrounding areas. We are reinventing the stale rental model by giving our guests a true vacation experience. Bringing custom concierge services to our island guests allows them to truly enjoy their time on the beachfront sanctuary of Gasparilla Island.

Booking your island vacation rental is just the beginning of our concierge services. First, our innovative website allows our guests to customize their vacation needs adding amenities such as golf carts, fishing charters, personal chefs, and transportation, right when booking. Our island experts are here to ensure you build the perfect Boca Grande vacation just to your liking! We are here to make your every dream come true. Whether that be dinner reservations, transportation, bike or kayak rentals, a catered dinner party, boat excursion to a remote island, or in-house massages on the beach. Gasparilla Vacations can make your vacation an island experience you will never forget.

Gasparilla Vacations is affiliated with Bob Melvin’s team at Gulf Coast International Properties. A leader in Boca Grande real estate sales for over 35 years. Our relationship allows us to combine efforts, offer opportunities to our clients, & bring an innovative model to our exclusive island. We are now your source for all your real estate needs on Boca Grande. We specialize in a hand-selected portfolio of luxury rental homes. Our partnership model with our owners allows us to invest more time & capital, offer innovative marketing, and concierge-style service to our guests on Gasparilla Island making a truly memorable island vacation.

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