Gasparilla Inn

Preppy, classic, family-friendly

500 Palm Ave. Boca Grande


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At a Glance

The relaxed, country club feel of this classic Florida resort draws return families year after year.


Arriving at Boca Grande, a Gulf of Mexico barrier island, is like going back in time; it exudes understated peacefulness. The old-Florida feel of Boca Grande’s Gasparilla Inn & Club, built in 1913, inspired its motto: Florida as it was meant to be. An ideal spot for families, the majority of visitors to the Gasparilla Inn have been coming for multiple years—often for multiple generations.

A member of the National Register of Historic Places, the Inn has rooms that feel like a preppy yet chic grandmother’s beach house. Rocking chairs on the main porch greet arrivals and the doors open to a carpeted hallway lined with potted palms and display shelves of seashells. The Inn’s 137 rooms are divided between the three-story main building and 17 cottages on the property. While the furnishings lend an old-fashioned allure, all the rooms and cottages are up-to-date. Doors are opened with real keys, not magnetic keycards, but WiFi is available throughout the property.

Days are spent in Lilly Pulitzer and tennis whites. Activities through the Club range from highly active to stationary and relaxed. Tennis can be booked on one of the seven clay courts, golf is available on the Pete Dye-designed course and guides are ready to take anglers sport-fishing in the Gulf or the harbor (Boca Grande is the tarpon-fishing capital of the world). For a more relaxed day – in or out of the sun – guests can play backgammon and croquet, visit the spa, swim and sun-bathe by the two pools and magnificent Gulf and visit the nearby beautiful Spanish-style Johan Fust Community Library and its serene courtyard. The spa offers massages and facials a serene lap pool, Jacuzzi, steam and sauna and a hair and beauty salon. There are Yoga, Zumba and Pilates studios, and a gym that overlooks the ocean.

Guests have the choice of à la carte or all-inclusive meal plans, with breakfast and dinner in the Inn’s dining room or Pink Elephant restaurant and buffet lunch at the Beach Club. Highlights include weekly seafood buffets, afternoon tea in the lobby and breakfast in the dining room. While parents linger over dinner in the Inn’s dining room and enjoy cocktails in BZ’s or the Pink Elephant (don’t miss the Hummer, a White Russian-meets-milkshake cocktail), kids and teenagers can play billiards and ping pong in the game room. On Bingo Nights, whole families rally together in the grand ballroom for the much loved and eagerly anticipated “stand-up-bingo.”

Who Should Stay

Families, especially multigenerational ones, will love this classic resort with its wealth of activities and country club–like feel.

Written by Amelia Osborne Scott

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