Best Beaches in Florida: Little Gasparilla Island
The secluded and underdeveloped Little Gasparilla Island stretches seven miles with pristine sandy beaches lining its perimeters.
The secluded and underdeveloped Little Gasparilla Island stretches seven miles with pristine sandy beaches lining its perimeters. Its isolation only adds to the allure, as access to this barrier island off the coast of Southwest Florida is solely by boat.
The adventure to Little Gasparilla Island commences at Eldred’s Marina, the essential conduit between the mainland and the island. Here, visitors can either park and launch their own boats or embark on Pirate’s Water Taxi for a brief, 10-minute journey to your designated dock on the island (reservations are needed for the water taxi).
What sets Little Gasparilla Island apart from other destinations are two distinctive attributes: its lack of a bridge connecting it to the mainland and the absence of roads within the island. The only mode of transport on the island is golf carts navigating through sandy cart paths. The lack of artificial lighting also allows for the star-studded sky to shine bright, offering residents and visitors a mesmerizing night view.
Situated just north of Gasparilla Island, also known as Boca Grande, Little Gasparilla Island is demarcated by Gasparilla Pass, a southwest inlet of the town of Placida, Florida. This pass connects Placida Harbor to the Gulf of Mexico, with the island located roughly equidistant between Sarasota and Fort Myers, Florida.
The beach is privately owned up to the mean high-water mark by beachfront property owners, yet it has been generously accessible to all island residents and guests for many years. The waters off the island are clear, featuring a pristine white sandy bottom, and the gradient is gentle enough for a swim or a wade. An often visible sandbar resides about 15 to 20 yards from the shore.
Between December and April, the beach hums with activity from visitors. But come fall, the beach returns to its serene, near-desolate state.
Orlando magazine’s dedicated editorial team is taking the guesswork out of your next beach day! This chart will show you the best Little Gasparilla Island’s amenities to fit your needs.
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