Little Gasparilla Island one of the last bridgeless barrier islands left on Florida's coast. It is accessible only via private boat or water taxi. That means that there are no crowds on the beach, few tourists, no bars, no restaurants, no nightlife and no "scene". People come to the island to unplug from technology, get away from traffic and tourists, reconnect with their families, enjoy peace and privacy and get back to a quieter style of life.
The mantra here is that we leave nothing on the beach except our footprints. We enjoy nature and shorebirds....Netflix is just a mainland memory. There is no wired internet on the island so teenagers may have to take a break from technology. We DO offer wi-fi at many of our cottages but it is usually offerd via jetpacks and data can be expensive. You can stay in touch with the office, and do some work if you need do, but streaming videos and music can be very expensive!
We suggest a good book instead. (You can download it before you leave!) Most people spend their time floating on a raft in the gulf, collecting shells, fishing off the dock or the beach, relaxing under a beach umbrella and then cooking a good meal on the grill.
You can also rent a golf cart to explore the island, but most people just walk up and down the beach every day looking for another perfect Scotch Bonnet or Mexican flat.....or the even more rare Junonia. Shark's teeth are also plentiful and you can collect a jar full in a weekend. Photographers will find an abundance of beautiful things to photograph, from gopher tortoises to blooming frangipani. The sandbar offers a wealth of finds also....sand dollars and rooster crabs coexist with fat manatees and dolphins.
At sunset, everyone gathers on the beach to watch the sun sink into the Gulf....we have some of the most spectacular sunsets imaginable.
You won't find any restaurants or convenience stores....not a single bar.....though you can buy ice on the island, and you are able to rent a golf cart. There are kayak and paddle board rentals available from the mainland, and they will deliver to the island. But make no mistake.....this is a place to get away from it all. Leave your cares on the mainland with your car.....escape to the island for some tropical peace and quiet!
Inspired by the Twitter hashtag #islandproblems, we have prepared the following check-list to help you determine if barrier island living is for you and to help you test your island compatibility. Ask yourself how many of the circumstances below would ruin your day. More than two?? You might want to visit, but maybe not stay here a whole week:
__The wi-fi went out.....again
__The satellite TV gets no signal when it rains
__ Everyone on the island knows your name/where you were last night
__ There are mosquitos....big ones!
__ The golf cart died/got stuck in the sand
__The electricity went out....again
__You ran out of beer and there is no 7-11
__ Your cellular network is down
__ The house is unlocked and no one knows where the keys even are
–– The water taxi doesn't run in thunderstorms
__ You woke up with bites you imagined were bedbugs....only to learn they are noseeums that can come right through screens