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Cheat Sheet: Boca Grande


Surprisingly, the sleepy island has some good shopping: Fugate’s (428 4th St. W.; 941-964-2323), a 1930’s-era drugstore-turned-boutique, sells everything from Jack Rogers to The New York Times and sunscreen. Ariel Ltd. (444 4th St.; 941-964-0480) and the shop at the Gasparilla Inn offer a variety of beachwear and accessories. Boca Grande-logoed belts and hats as well as fishing and boating supplies can be found at Boca Grande Outfitters (175 Park Ave.; 941-964-2445). After strolling the three streets making up the town, treat yourself to an ice cream cone at the Loose Caboose (433 4th St. W.; 941-964-0440), housed in the former train depot.

See & Do

Bikers and golf carts most definitely have the right-of-way on the island. The Gasparilla Inn can provide airport transfers and arrange for bike, golf cart, and rollerblade rentals for transportation around the island, eliminating the need for a rental car. The island-long bike and golf cart path (built on the old railroad tracks) has a paved lane as well as a sand lane for joggers. Other modes of touring (seaplane, chartered boat, kayak) can be arranged through the Indagare Bookings Team.

Visitors of all ages can go shelling on the seven miles of white sandy beaches, hunting for the rare tulip shells and sand dollars and ending at the iconic Boca Grande Lighthouse. The island is also home to such wildlife as sea turtles, manatees, ospreys, pelicans, great blue herons and white ibis.

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