BOCA GRANDE is a hidden paradise on the tip of the Gasparilla barrier islands (the southern tip of the Cape Haze Peninsula on Florida’s Southwest Coast), an historic village midway between Sarasota and Ft. Myers. Nature has blessed this lush barrier island with seven miles of powdery white beaches stretching the entire Gulf side and surrounded it with cerulean waters—the kind one usually finds only in the Caribbean. The adjacent estuaries fed by the Myakka and Peace Rivers converge to form one of the most pristine and productive coastal ecosystems in the world.
Situated around the old train depot that first brought industry and jobs to this small village, Boca Grande has evolved into a playground for all kinds of people, from the rich and famous to everyday folks. At the center of the island lies the nucleus of this little community, the historic Village of Boca Grande, where Main Street still exists and where Boca Grande manages to keep its "Old Florida" charm. All seven miles of the island have no stop lights, no billboards, no high-rises and no fast-food chains. You will find, however, unique shops and art galleries, casual and fine dining establishments serving fresh seafood just caught by the local fishing captains and prepared by any of the island's classically trained chefs, giving this town a hip coastal flavor.
A favorite of photographers and movie producers, this is the secret island that presidents, dignitaries and celebrities sneak away to, because the island denizens have a low-key attitude regarding celebrity and fame. Boca Grande provided the backdrop for Denzel Washington's movie, Out of Time, where the quiet village was renamed "Banyan Key" in reference to the banyan trees that populate the island. Scenes for the film based on Carl Hiaasen's book Hoot were also filmed on the island, which was again renamed for the filming, this time to "Coconut Cove". So, leave that “off island” world behind and come rejuvenate and recharge your senses where Florida is unplugged – come lose yourself in days gone by.
Not far from three major airports, this quiet coastal living is still in close proximity to the rest of the world. A short distance from both Sarasota and Fort Myers, sports games, concerts, plays and more are all within easy reach. Beautiful weather exists year round, with a cool, relaxing breeze off the Gulf. Boca Grande is known as the Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World. Boca Grande's famous "World's Richest Tarpon Tournament" is held every July. It is said that the famous pirate Jose Gaspar once made Boca Grande his home, hence the name of the island chain, the Gasparilla Barrier Islands.
The median age of Boca Grande's residents is 55, with approximately 1,000 residents living on the island. The homes are very exclusive -- this is THE address to have on the Southwest Florida Coast. Homes range from Old Florida style to modern grand estates, with prices ranging from $500,000 to several million dollars. Remaining residential building sites are becoming scarce.