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 fishing is an important part of the industry and culture of Gasparilla Island. The Calusa Indians of centuries ago built a highly civilized culture based on fishing. The first white settlers of our area in the mid 1800’s 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 sport fishing potential of local waters, leading to a sport fishing industry, which makes 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, when offshore fishing yields grouper, snapper, mackerel and kingfish, and inshore fishing is excellent for 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 many local fishing 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.