The historic Gasparilla Inn & Club is “old Florida” as it was meant to be. The Inn has been a premier destination since 1913 and is at the heart of the village of Boca Grande. Guests can stay in the classic hotel or in one of the nearby cottages and enjoy endless activities and amenities. You can play world class golf at the Inn’s course, enjoy several dining options such as the nearby “Pink Elephant” restaurant, or be pampered at the Beach Club resort and spa. The Gasparilla Inn beckons to a simpler time, and is on the National Register of Historic Hotels. www.the-gasparilla-inn.com
Through the generous efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Armory, the Johann Fust Community Library first opened its doors on January 1, 1950. The library offers world class reading, a rare book collection, and exceptional garden views. It also has a unique museum feature and is utilized as a local program hub and event locale.
The Boca Grande swing bridge and causeway serves as the only land link from Charlotte County to Gasparilla Island. Spanning two 80 feet channels, the bridge is over 200 feet in length. It serves as the largest “swing bridge” in Florida, as well as the continental United States. This “toll bridge” tends to assist in the providing the island with a more relaxed and uncrowded feeling.
A unique store in the heart of downtown, Hudson’s Grocery serves freshly made foods, and offers an outstanding butcher shop along with fresh produce. Locals and visitors can find everything they need in this favorite Boca Grande establishment.
Built in 1929, the Boca Grande Community Center is located in the heart of the village. For 35 years this building served as the island school, until the bridge to the mainland was built and children were bussed “off island” for school. In 2007, The Island School was built right next door to the Community Center building where today it serves children in grades K thru 5. There are also a number of other island organizations who utilize this BG Community Center facility, including the Royal Palm Players (island production group), and the ever important GICIA (Gasparilla Island Conservation & Improvement Association).
Many visitors to Boca Grande think that the Range Light on Gulf Boulevard is actually the lighthouse. They are actually two different structures. A lighthouse is a structure that can be lived in, while a range light is a tall, tubular structure that is used only for serving as a navigational light.
The 105-foot structure was built in Delaware in 1881 and moved to Boca Grande in 1927.
The Department of the Army owns the land the light sits on. The light itself is owned by the Coast Guard.
The Boca Grande Lighthouse, located at the very south end of Gasparilla Island, was built by the United States Lighthouse Service in 1890, to mark the entry channel known as Boca Grande Pass, into Charlotte Harbor from the Gulf of Mexico. The museum inside the historic lighthouse opened to the public in March of 1999. The Boca Grande Lighthouse is one of six lighthouses in Florida that are open to the public. The lighthouse is located in Gasparilla Island State Park.
Shaded by a magnificent canopy of Banyan trees, Banyan Street is perhaps the most photographed location in Boca Grande.
In 1915, Peter Bradley, builder of the Gasparilla Inn, gave instruction to plant the Banyan Trees along both sides of what we would otherwise call “2nd Street”.
As one of the most beautiful tree lined streets to be found anywhere, Banyan Street has become a popular venue as a very special island wedding location.