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“The most beautiful beach....anywhere” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gasparilla Island State Park

Gasparilla Island State Park
via the Boca Grande Causeway at C.R. 775, Boca Grande, FL
941-964-0375
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Ranked #5 of 16 Attractions in Boca Grande
Type: State Parks, Outdoors
Attraction details
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
1,029 reviews 1,029 reviews
497 attraction reviews
Reviews in 186 cities Reviews in 186 cities
1,039 helpful votes 1,039 helpful votes
“The most beautiful beach....anywhere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2011

We've visited this island on many occasions and each time we come to the conclusion that it's the most perfect spot ever. You won't just stumble across this place. You will have to go out of your way and check directions beforehand.
One of the things we love is that it is so quiet. Compared to other beautiful beaches in Florida it's practically empty. On some occasions when we've been here, we've had the beach to ourselves. Not another person to be seen, which is amazing! This could be because you have to pay $5 to get over the causeway to the island and parking is $3 on top of this. However this is definitely money well spent. You could park at some of the public parking which is free but slightly further down the island.
It's such a beautiful place, lovely sand, some fabulous shells, quiet, clean, warm water, stunning houses along some of the beaches. You can't really get much more perfect than here.

Visited May 2011
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Boston
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Paradise Found”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2011

This beach is a must see if you are in the area. We have been almost every April for the last 6 years, most recently were there in April 2011. It is only 3$ for the day to park (and $5 to get onto Gasparilla Island). The beach is never very crowded and there has always been parking when we go no matter the time of day. There is a rest room facility, light house museum, and gift shop. No food, but a beverage vending machine. Also a picnic area and some grills. The place is full of wild life! In one day we saw manatee, huge conch, fish, osprey, pelicans, and more. Many shells, but not as plentiful as Sanabel. Since the channel is right off the beach, the current can be strong at times, but the swimming area is lovely. Clear water. Fishermen love it too, and often people wll have a rod from the beach-although they mostly stay to the channel side.

Visited April 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
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11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“LIke Disneyland at the beach”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2009

The next destination on my Florida beaches road trip was as far south as I could go following my current route without getting in a boat – Gasparilla Island State Park on the southernmost tip of you guessed it - Gasparilla Island. Separated from the mainland by Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound, it was another in the chain of beautiful barrier islands I had been hopping about on the west coast. alfway down the island, I came to a charming little town that looked like it was straight out of a movie set. Seriously, it was "Stepford" clean. Huge banyan trees, extensive bike paths, beautiful homes, clean streets and residents riding around on golf carts. This would be Boca Grande holding the divergent titles of “winter hideaway for the rich and famous” and “Tarpon fishing capitol of the world”. It is also the home of the current world record holding largest (1,280 pound) hammerhead shark ever caught. Apparently the sharks also enjoy a little tarpon fishing in Boca Grande Channel. The beautifully maintained bike path that winds its way through town is part of Florida’s Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, an excellent organization that works with communities throughout the U.S. to preserve unused rail corridors by turning them into hiking and biking trails. After stopping to ogle the trees on Banyan Street and wondering if I would have to sell my car to be able to spend a week at the beautiful Gasparilla Inn, I continued south to the Gasparilla Island State Recreation Area (see my pictures at www.bit.ly/beachexaminer). Located right within the boundary is the Boca Grande rear range light. It is still a working navigational aide for vessels navigating the channel on their way into Charlotte Harbor. The highlights of the park for me were the completely restored Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum and the beautiful beaches. I found the entire shoreline to be nearly deserted, the water to be crystal clear and the shark teeth (my favorite) in abundance. I will definitely be returning to this spectacular place, but for now – it is on to Sanibel and the famous shell collecting I have been hearing so much about.

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