Separated from the mainland by Charlotte Harbor and Pine Island Sound, this island is part of a chain of Gulf Coast barrier islands.
The centerpiece of Gasparilla is the restored Port Boca Grande Lighthouse built in 1890. Swimming, snorkeling, fishing and nature study are popular activities which can be accessed at any of our five parking lots. Shelling is particularly good in the winter months along the Gulf. Two picnic areas (located at the Range Light and the Boca Grande Lighthouse parking lots) offer pavilions for shade and scenic views of the surrounding water.
Starting at the Gasparilla Island Toll Bridge, the island of Gasparilla offers miles of bike trails that end at our beautiful park. This scenic bike trail will take you though the cozy town of Boca Grande, along our main drive of the Island and delivers you at last to the Boca Grande Lighthouse. You must furnish your own bikes. Helmets are highly recommended for all cyclists and Florida law requires helmets for cyclists age 16 and under.
Canoeing and kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico near the park is a favorite activity for many. You must furnish your own canoe or kayak.
The Gulf of Mexico beaches provide year-round excellent saltwater fishing in the waters adjacent to the park and in the deep waters of Boca Grande Pass. All fishing within the park must conform to regulations concerning size, number, method of capture and season. A fishing license may be required. More information is available at the Florida Wildlife Commission’s Fishing in Florida.
Enjoy a leisurely walk on our nature trails, which meander through our beautiful barrier island. Along the way you can see many species of birds, including several rare and endangered, that visit our island in the spring and fall, during their migratory journeys. Some of these species use our island’s natural resources for their nesting activities.
Two picnic areas, with covered tables and restroom facilities, are located in the park, and offer scenic views of the surrounding water.
Scuba diving can be done off of the beaches. You must provide your own equipment.
Snorkel in the pristine, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You must provide your own equipment.
Swimming and sunbathing are very popular activities and along the gulf side of the island are four parking areas, Range Light, Sea Grape, Dunes, and Seawall, which offer access to our beautiful gulf beaches.
Some of the protected animal species that may be seen on the island are the West Indian manatee, gopher tortoise, southern bald eagle, least tern, royal tern, sandwich tern and the American oystercatcher.
This beach on the Gulf of Mexico is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and sunbathing. Visitors have access to the Gulf at any of our five parking areas. During the winter months, shelling is very popular. Visitors are reminded that the taking of live shells is prohibited.
Park ranger provide a variety of programs that cover a wide variety of topics, including the history of the island and interpretation of the natural resources found on the island. Check the calendar of events for more information.
Pets are allowed in this park, however, not on the beaches or in the Boca Grande Lighthouse. They must be well-behaved and kept on a six-foot, hand-held leash at all times. Pets must not be left unattended, nor taken into restroom facilities or onto playground equipment. Service animals are welcome in all areas and buildings of the park, as required by law.
Bathroom facilities are available and are ADA accessible.
Outdoor fresh water showers/rinses are available for rinsing off after a day at the beach/park.
Please come and visit the Lighthouse Museum & Visitor Center. Located in the park is the Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum. Also located in the Lighthouse Parking Area is the restored Amory Memorial Chapel. This chapel was built in the 1950s and served the residents of the dormitories that were located in what is now the Dunes Parking Area. The chapel is available to rent for public and private events.