If you’re looking for a captivating and charming getaway, Florida’s Gasparilla Island is your answer. Boca Grande is the island’s largest town with a population 1,500 thus offering a small-town cache while providing bountiful choices for dining, relaxation and recreation. A barrier island in southwest Florida, it is just 75 – 90 minute drive from Sarasota and Fort Myers airports respectively. A short drive for a lovely retreat from buzz of ‘city’ life.
Gasparilla Island State Park
The Gasparilla Island State Park is lauded as a birder’s delight because it attracts a vast assortment of birds. In addition to enjoying the sunshine and beach, boating and fishing are also preferred activities for guests of Boca Grande. We enjoyed a leisurely drive to get a perspective of the charming area – which just happened to land us at South Beach Bar & Grille. Somehow a glass of wine tastes even better with a lovely ocean view!
The Gasparilla Inn and Club are conveniently situated for shopping, dining and plentiful options for recreation including golf, tennis, working out and swimming. The Gasparilla Inn & Club was named the #1 Florida Resort, #14 in the United States, and #49 in the World by Travel + Leisure readers. In addition, it was awarded Garden & Gun Magazine – ‘The Best of Hidden Florida’ by and Golfweek – ‘Best Courses You Can Play 2016’. Considered a luxury destination, The Gasparilla Inn is a crown jewel on the island with smaller inns, oceanside resorts and private homes as the alternative.
While the Inn offers a variety of dining venues, the Third Street Café captured our interest for dinner and did not disappoint. The garden patio offers an lovely, warm ambiance to enjoy delectable Mediterranean-inspired entrees. Crab cakes, scallops, beet and goat cheese salad were highlights of our meal enhanced by wine and impressive service.
Multiple dining options are offered on-property and within easy walking distance from the Inn. If preferred, the bellman staff are available for golf cart shuttle service. We enjoyed an enchanting ocean vista over lunch at the Beach Club. A short jaunt back to the Inn offered a pleasant way to get a bit of exercise and discover more about the bewitching downtown. For those craving ‘retail therapy’’, several shops are available to entice.
Reflecting on my exquisite weekend getaway leaves me with fond memories and hopes to return soon!