Gasparilla Island – Area & Real Estate Information
There are even more Islands to discover, like Palm Island, Knight Island, Thornton Key, Little Gasparilla Island and Gasparilla Island. They are all part of the chain of barrier islands along Florida’s West Coast, and they are all in front of the Englewood/Cape Haze peninsular.
Palm Island is the most northern one. The island is only accessible by private boat or ferry. No bridge is connecting the island with the mainland. Okay, but there is another obstacle: The ferry operates only between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. – after that you are on your own. Isn’t that nice? Well, it depends on what you want to do after10:30 p.m.
The ferry is also pretty expensive. For a day-pass, you can almost buy a new car. Well, it is not as bad as that, but it comes close. So, leave your car on the mainland, like many islanders do, and enjoy a day on a beautiful island.
There are roads on the island, of course, but parking space is very limited, It is probably more fun to explore this little island by walking, biking or driving in a golf cart.
The tiny island of Thornton Key is an inhabited preserve with more seabirds than human beings. Nothing wrong about that. Further south is Knight Island. Night Island is the home to the Palm Island Resort. If you need a treat, that might be an option!?
Little Gasparilla is a nice retreat
Little Gasparilla Island is that tiny island which is connected to Don Pedro, just a couple of miles further south. No commercial activity, like restaurants and hotels at all, absolutely no cars. Isn’t that beautiful?
Do you want to buy a home on that island? Great, but you need your own boat if you want to get to your home.
Can estate be cheap on those little islands? Every piece of building material has to be brought over by boat. Let alone the price tag on lots. Building space is very limited on islands, especially on tiny ones like little Gasparilla. When there is a scarcity the prices go up, right?
Boca Grande, the Capital of a Pirate Island
Gasparilla Island, with the town of Boca Grande, is that last barrier island of the string of islands along the South-West coast of Florida. Its location is next to the little brother “Little Gasparilla Island.”
So, “Big Brother” Boca Grande is also called “The Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World.” What an incredible and exclusive name. But what does it mean?
Every year in spring, thousands of fishers from all over the world are flocking to Gasparilla. They all want to take part in the Tarpon fishing tournament to find out who is the best of the best. Their goal is to catch the biggest tarpon – which is a game fish. Nobody would want to eat such a bony fish, but the poor fish is part of the “craziness.”
C’mon, catching a fish is a piece of cake, but no, it is a real task! Tarpons are known to be fierce fighters, and they are not giving up easily. Sometimes such a fight can last an hour or even longer.
Nevertheless, Gasparilla is not only about fishing; ordinary beachcombers will have fun, too. Seven miles of Gasparilla Island’s sugar white sand beach invite sun-seekers to search for the ocean’s treasures.
Whatever you do, this island is just plain beautiful. Even if you do not want to live on the island, you should at least go there and soak up the “island spirit.” Get one of those 5,000 calory ice cones and watch the seahorses jump out of the water. No seahorses? Well, they are not jumping, but they are there.
Gasparilla Island State Park with the historic lighthouse, at the southern end of the island, is a birder’s paradise and the end of the string of Barrier Islands so far. The deep-water channel between Gasparilla and Captiva Island is a real obstacle. No ferry, no boat, no nothing takes you to the other side.
Be prepared to pay the price if you want to enter this perfect paradise. But a few $$ will keep you going. The island used to be a pirate hideout, and it seems that at least one of those guys survived. We are not even aware if he still has a peg- leg and a black eye – patch. But we know for sure that such a guy is manning the gatehouse at the bridge, demanding $6.00 for a round-trip to the island. Old habits never die!
The island is easily accessible; a manned bridge connects the island with the mainland. They built a new bridge, and the new one is ready to go. No traffic pile-ups, beautiful. The new bridge is now so high that only sailboats need to request an opening.