This small peninsular is often referred too as Florida's best kept secret.
To quote the locals:
“Just another day in paradise”
A sentiment I heartily agree with; it is located between Sarasota to the north & Fort Myer's to the south; it is an area of outstanding beauty and offers the visitor a chance to see the Florida reminiscent of days gone by.
The coastline is unspoiled & has sandy beaches gently lapped by the warm waters of the Gulf.
Often Dolphins can be seen playing in the surf together with an array of seabirds flying overhead & small fish swimming in the shallows.
Most days on any of the beaches, will see people bent over, deep in concentration; they are hunting for shark’s teeth, a pastime to which I have become addicted also.
Each beach is a different experience:
Stump Pass, a designated state park. It is a natural beach with no bars or high rise simply mangroves, sea oats, soft sand & sea. For the energetic, a walk to the southern end will be rewarded with spectacular sunsets. Parking is $3 per day and there are restroom & shower facilities.
Englewood Beach has a boardwalk & is the evening gathering point for watching the stunning sunsets. There are bars & restaurants across from this wide beach coupled with barbecue facilities, play areas and restrooms.
Gasparilla Island another timeless capsule is home to the Boca Grande Lighthouse which miraculously survived hurricane Charlie in 2004.
This quaint haunt of the rich has three great beaches & on weekdays they can be often deserted. The wealthy locals gad about in golf carts & you may even be lucky enough to spot the Bush family who often holiday here. Easily spotted by the men in dark suits and sunglasses whilst most sensible mortals are in tea shirts and shorts.
Blind Pass beach to the north or Middle Beach as it is referred to locally is another natural beach & is also a great walking beach. It is good for sharks teeth & early morning dolphin spotting. Has free parking & restroom facilities.
Don Pedro Island where as our guests you have beach rights is between, between Knight Island and Little Gasparilla Island and is accessible only by boat or ferry. Cars are allowed on the island but most people use golf carts to get around. With one mile of white sandy beach it is great for swimming, shelling and snorkelling. There are great hiking and nature trails when you may be lucky enough to spot bald eagles, gophers or turtles to name but a few. The park rangers do offer guided walks but these must be booked in advance. The facilities are excellent with a pavilion, tables, grills, outdoor showers and restrooms
Rotonda west is a favoured location for many reasons & ideally located to explore the peninsula. It has year round glorious weather, May and November being especially wonderful months to visit. It is a short drive from these spectacular beaches and offers a relaxed pace of life. It is a place to recover from today’s hectic place of life that so many of us now lead. Other favoured activities of the area are challenging golf courses, tennis, hiking, biking, boating, fishing and other water sports. Many of these activities are on site in Rotonda West which is a safe residential area interspersed with canals & natural habitat.