Fishing, Kayaking, Boating & Sailing
With 120 square miles of cruising waters in Charlotte Harbor to the East, the Gulf of Mexico to the West and inland passages to the North and South, the area has an endless series of adventures waiting to be discovered. The upper harbor offers protected boating on those windy days; to the south the Harbor opens up to a large expanse of water that offers long stretches for a relaxing cruise on one of our many beautiful sunny days. A favorite day trip is Cabbage Key for an outdoor lunch and refreshing tropical drink or to Cayo Costa for an afternoon of shelling or picnicking on powdery white beaches.
Acclaimed as one of the top ten sailing destinations in the United States by Sailing Magazine, Charlotte Harbor can be reached from the South via the Cross-State Waterway, which leads from the Atlantic side across Lake Okeechobee and down the Caloosahatchee River. At the mouth of the Caloosahatchee is the southern entrance to Charlotte Harbor from the Gulf of Mexico. The ICW leads up through Pine Island Sound weaving through mangrove islands offering spectacular views of wildlife and bountiful fishing opportunities.
Kayaking in these pristine waters is a dream come true and offers venues for all levels and ages of kayakers. There are shallow calm waters, remote canopy-covered mangrove waterways, bayous and back-bays. Guided tours will take you back in time to a remote Calusa Indian Mound area while observing manatees, birds and dolphins along the way. For a unique fishing experience, kayak fishing guide services are available for the beginner or the experienced paddler. These waters are teeming with trout, snook, redfish, and tarpon waiting to be plucked from the depths.
A fleet of guide boats, captained by local experts, is available for charter throughout the year for Pass, offshore, back-bay, transportation, eco-tours and sightseeing excursions. Many of our fishing guides are descendents of families who have lived here for generations and know these waters as well as they know the land. Local boat rentals are available for those who would prefer to go it on their own and protected anchorage options are available as wells as dockage offered at several marinas for the visitors who travel to this paradise by means of their own boats
Boca Grande Bike / Golf Cart Path
Everything on Gasparilla Island is relaxed and moves at an island pace including the preferred method of travel about the island – golf carts or bicycles. The bike/golf cart path and an accompanying jogging/walking path are part of Florida’s Rails-to-Trails project, utilizing the old railroad right-of-way that carried phosphate to the southern tip of Gasparilla Island a century ago. These days it provides passage for bikers, joggers, and golf carts.
Many visitors come to the island just to spend the day cruising along the bike trail that meanders from one end of the island to the other, with breathtaking vistas at nearly every bend.
Golf carts are allowed on the bike path, but must give right of way to bikes and pedestrians. Golf carts are only allowed on the public roads between 1st Street and 18th Streets, and must give right of way to motorists and pedestrians. To gain access to points on the island not between 1st and 18th Streets, golf cart users must utilize the bike bath. Persons under 14 are prohibited by law from operating golf carts.
The Gasparilla Inn & Club
500 Palm Ave
Boca Grande, FL 33921
The Gasparilla Inn & Club features a magnificent Pete Dye Signature 18-hole Championship Course on Charlotte Harbor … an island on the island and the crown jewel of the resort. The par 72, 6900+ yards course is both beautiful and challenging. A driving range is available to all resort guests, and lessons from our golf professionals are arranged by appointment. Rental clubs are also available.
Lemon Bay Golf Club
9600 Eagle Preserve Drive
Cape Haze, FL 33946
Six miles north of the Gasparilla Island bridge lies the Lemon Bay Golf Course facing the Gulf of Mexico. The course is graced by nature with mature native pines, small lakes and ponds, which serve as home to their original ancient Florida residences, flocks of exotic tropical birds and the nesting aristocrats of Lemon Bay, the white capped American eagles. They’re all here protected by this Audubon sanctioned golf club. The challenge and quiet beauty of this nature course provides for a satisfying golf and social experience. The course is open to limited reciprocal play from May through August
Coral Creek Club
13111 Gasparilla Road
Coral Creek Club is a private club, which features a world-class, Tom Fazio-designed golf course and a spectacular clubhouse rated in the “Top Five Clubhouse of the Year” by Golf Inc. Magazine’s annual competition in 2008. Often described as the best-kept secret in Florida, captivating landscape and inspiring wildlife surround members and their guests at Coral Creek Club. With the thoughtful location of five sets of tees, the golf course is immensely enjoyable for men and women of all skill and interest levels. The club offers fine cuisine in a relaxed, yet sophisticated environment where members and guests can enjoy a memorable dining experience and an exclusive level of service. Coral Creek Club recently started offering Social and Senior (over 70) Memberships in addition to its full Certificate Membership.