Boca Grande – Hidden Treasure of SW FL
It was time to hop in the car and get away from it all again. Mental health retreats I call them. I need them from time to time…..ok maybe weekly or sometimes two or three times a week depending on how bad it is. Fortunately I live in an area where within 45 minutes to 2 hours I can be at some of the best beaches in the world. Yes even Key West, if I take a super fast catamaran ride that only runs when the weather is good. This time I needed to go somewhere that many of my friends and even my own daughters had been to without me. It was time to Hit Boca Grande and see for myself why everyone seems to love this beach.
Our Crabby Friend
My wife and I went with the intent of watching a friend of ours (@shefishes2 on twitter) compete in a professional Tarpon tournament happening just off shore. Since neither of us had ever been to Boca Grande or Gasparilla Island and we are both budding shutter bugs we got a bit distracted. We did manage to see some of the fishing competition and cheer her on even if it was tough to see which boat she was on. But what caught our eye was the beach in general. If you go to the Lighthouse state park at the end of the island the beach was uncrowded and beautiful. There is a small chapel at the front of the beach and a lighthouse museum where you can see artifacts from days gone by when the lighthouse was lived in and fully operational. From there you will enter the beach area with the white sugar sand beaches. There are shells to find and plenty of fish to catch from shore or just drop a chair and enjoy the crystal clear emeral color waters that lie just beyond the sand. There are some concrete pillars off to the west that is supposedly a bridge or pier that was never finished because of hurricane Charlie…though we have not been able to confirm that story. Still it made for some interesting pictures. We even met a crab friend on the shore who let us take a few pictures before chasing us off.
The Lighthouse at Boca Grande
This is a great beach for adults and kids and there is plenty to see and do. With the town nearby and cool things to see like Banyan Blvd, a street lined by banyan tress. Even the houses and architecture is interesting to look at. If you are lucky you may even end up there when former Presidents George and George W. Bush stop by with their brother Jeb to vacation. Rumor has it they have a vacation home on the island and go there often.
Relaxing by the unfinished Pier
We loved this little piece of paradise to add to our long weekend life and will probably go back often to enjoy the area and catch upon our mental health breaks. Why not stop by and join us.