This Beautiful Florida Gem Is An Underrated Beach Town The Whole Family Will Love

Florida is such an action-packed state that some of the best experiences found here are in the most underrated locations. One such place is Boca Grande, on an island perched on the Gulf Coast, close to Fort Myers and below Tampa Bay. This quiet yet charming community is on Gasparilla Island, which has its state park offering fun for the entire family.

Boca Grande is certainly not a spot you should overlook when planning your next trip to Florida, as there is plenty to do here. It doesn't matter if wildlife, beaches, fishing, or outdoor pursuits are your thing, as they will all be catered for here. Similarly, the hotels are very well established, so they know how to look after their guests and show them a good time on this special island. Boca Grande is also an excellent place to watch a spectacular sunset without the Florida tourist crowds.

Things to do in Boca Grande

Boca Grande may be on a small island, but it is mighty when it comes to things to do. While it is a haven for beaches, the two most wonderful ones are Boca Grande Beach and Sand Spur Beach. History lovers will enjoy visiting the two lighthouses, the Gasparilla Island Lighthouse and the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse and Museum.

There are plenty of opportunities to get active, too, as you can bike along the Boca Grande Rail Trail, a 5-mile stretch that traverses the island. If you enjoy walking, you can take a stroll to see the island's iconic Banyan Street trees. Boca Grande is right next to the Gasparilla Island State Park, which is great for fishing, paddling, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, and swimming. Wildlife enthusiasts will also be at home here because manatees, terns, oystercatchers, Southern bald eagles, and gopher tortoises all make their home here. Staying in a traditionally-themed hotel can also help you appreciate the history of this fascinating area.

Places to stay in Boca Grande

Boca Grande is quite an affluent area but still has some wonderful old-world-style accommodations. The traveler reviews on Tripadvisor place The Gasparilla Inn & Club in the No. 1 spot. This resort opened in 1913 and has retained its charm and Floridan hospitality. It has everything you need to relax, including pools, a sauna, a steam room, spa treatments, and even a champagne service.

The second favorite for tourists is The Innlet, located along the island's bayou, close to its beach. It has a pool, restaurant, and boat ramp to sail to and from. Another popular option is the Boca Grande Hotel, a classically styled property with a pool. It is in a quieter part of the island, so it is good for fishing, and visitors can take a golf cart to the beach. If you plan to drive along the beautiful Florida coastline, stopping at any hotel like this at Boca Grande will be a great addition to your itinerary.