In honor of the memorial day weekend and all the beach postings, I thought I would do a post of my favorite place.....Boca Grande. Boca Grande is to southerners, what the Hamptons is to northerners. An escape. A beach. A tradition.
Lets start with a little background. For those unfamiliar with this little piece of heaven, It sits just southwest of Port Charlotte, Florida, on Gasparilla Island. It's name, meaning "Big Mouth", refers to the opening of the waterway of Boca Grande Pass. This is also where the "World's Richest" Tarpon Tournament occurs each year. Some of the creme that have called Boca their second home include Audrey Hepburn, Jerry Garcia, Burt Reynolds, Chris O'Donnell and members of both the Bush and the Du Pont families.
Some of the highlights of the island include the old train depot, which was turned into the "Loose Caboose", which is where most go for lunch.
The place for dinner is the Temptation or The Pink Elephant. I prefer the Temp for dinner and the Pink Elephant for drinks.
Second street, or as you may know it, Banyan Street has been made famous by its awesomeness and many brides are drawn here to take it in for their pictures alone. Side note, my sister got engaged here.
Another place close to Boca is Cabbage Key. You can only get there by boat, but its a day trip that many fishermen and families enjoy when visiting Boca Grande.
Years ago there was a movie rental place attached to another ice cream parlor called the Pink Pony, but that has since been removed. Which actually stinks because those VHS tapes were basically the only thing that kept our sanity when the summer rain hit.
The Bike path can basically be ridden across the entire island, from end to end. However, golf cart allows for a less sweaty adventure.
The Forth of July has always been down there and basically turns into a Mortar War on the beach between all the boys complete with sand fox holes (we are extremely safe and they never harm the environment, only each other).
For as long as I can remember, this has been where we went when someone mentioned we were going to the beach. After taking my daughter there this past weekend I am looking forward to continuing this tradition with my children and sharing my favorite place.
Do any of you Southerners have your own favorite spots on the island or love this place as much as I do?
C & G