Discover all the fun things and must do activities while visiting the town of Boca Grande in Florida.
Boca Grande is a small town in the island of Gasparilla that sits North of Fort Myers and less than 30 minutes away from Port Charlotte.
Although our family has visited Gasparilla island before and has an amazing time at the beach, we decided to take advantage of the children's spring break from school and stayed for a weekend.
There are a couple of things we wish we knew before but it was overall an awesome trip.
To help you not make the same mistakes we have made, we are sharing with you our entire experience with you. From where we stayed to where we ate, here's everything you should know before visiting Boca Grande in Southwest Florida.
Everything you should know before visiting Boca Grande, Florida.
Where to stay
We stayed at the Boca Grande hotel that sits right at the beginning of the island in a large plaza with a convenient store and a few other businesses.
The hotel has a small pool but we didn't get to use it. We spent most of our time at the beach which is approximately 5 minutes away by car.
The hotel description said a walk to the beach is approximately 11 minutes and I can assure you is at least an extra ten minutes but that didn't matter to us because there was not way we would walk to the beach with our 4 kids plus beach apparatus.
We opted for this hotel because there was a nice deal available on Expedia plus considering it was spring break and we needed something fast, we were happy we had even been able to find a room for the price we did.
Now, if you have more time to research and you can plan your trip in advance, I would also recommend to check out VRBO where you can find entire properties to rent, some of them directly on the beach.
The price you pay would mostly depend on the time of your visit. Expect to pay premium prices during summer time as well as late fall and winter. You can find better prices if you opt to travel during Spring or early fall.
Where to beach
You can find different areas in Gasparilla island with Beach Access but in our opinion, the Gasparilla Island State Park next to South Beach Restaurant has great views and privacy.
The parking is limited so you may have to wait for parking to become available depending on the time of your arrival.
The reason this is our favorite beach access in Boca Grande is because whichever way you walk you will have the opportunity to see a lighthouse and it offers more privacy than other areas.
You can also access the beach from the following locations:
300 3rd St W, Boca Grande, FL 33921
880 Belcher Rd, Boca Grande, FL 33921
220 Gulf Blvd, Boca Grande, FL 33921
5th Street W, Boca Grande, FL 33921
7th Street W, Boca Grande, FL 33921
Where to eat
I must advise that even if you don't go to bed earlier, you may not want to wait to grab dinner until 8pm in Boca Grande.
We made the terrible mistake to leave the beach at 6pm, go to the hotel to shower and get ready to go out to eat afterwards as all restaurants close at either at 8 or 8:30pm. We ended having to leave the island to eat at the nearest Perkins.
But the island does have great restaurants, it's only a matter of checking them out when they are open.
Another struggle we had was finding a restaurant that offered breakfast. The options weren't many, but The Outlet Restaurant made it up for it.
The restaurant is located at The Innlet Hotel and the outside area is near the water and it has beautiful views. The price was also very affordable, we paid less than $80 to feed 7 people and everything tasted delicious.
We also tried the South Beach Grilled before and they are conveniently located on the beach
What to do
Boca Grande is a very laid back town with no night life. Everything closes very early but during the day there is quite a lot to do.
From shelling to fishing to visiting the beautiful Lighthouses and learning about the local culture, if you like the island life then you are going to love Boca Grande.
Another great attraction in the area is the Banyan trees. They are all over but especially on Banyan Road you will find Banyan trees that have been there for hundreds of year and withstood hurricanes and other naturals disasters and even us, humans.
Boating is one of the main activities on the island and that goes right in hand with fishing as Gasparilla is knows to be a great spot for Tarpons to hang out.
For more detailed information on the many activities that you can do over at Boca Grande, check out this article.