Summer Morning on Boca Grande, Florida
A refreshing breeze wafted over the Southwest Florida barrier island of Boca Grande this morning as I toured condo properties managed by Grande Island Vacations. The sky was slightly overcast and coupled with the breeze, kept this August day comfortable.
Katrina Salokar with Paradise Advertising & Design, which has the Grande Island Vacations account, was our guide as we toured five condo properties on Boca Grande and on the mainland in Cape Haze and Placida. Although they varied when built, all condo units were spacious and equipped with the comforts of home. Some were built as recently as within the past couple of years (located in Placida and Cape Haze) while others were built probably a few decades ago.
The condo beach units are individually owned so each reflects the personality of its owner. Some are located on Boca Grande’s beach offering fantastic views and quick access to the Gulf of Mexico. Others offer boat docks for those either boating into the destination or trailering a boat with them. After all, Boca Grande is the Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World.
The morning was capped with a trip to downtown Boca Grande – cute! Despite the $4 toll to enter the island, I’ll be going back soon to capture all those Kodak, err, Nikon moments. Boca Grande has personality with its mix of huge banyan trees and mission style architecture blended with old Florida flavor. Beaches are powdery white and pathways are designed for bicyclists and golf carts. Yup. Golf carts. And can’t forget the Boca Grande lighthouse. Yeah, an interesting mix going on here.
Lunch was enjoyed at the Loose Caboose Restaurant (433 West 4th St.; Tel: (941) 964-0440) in the center of downtown and located in a refurbished train depot. This restaurant is A-DOR-A-BLE and I’ll be returning to try more of their tempting dishes. I enjoyed one of the day’s specials: citrus-grilled pompano (fish) atop a house salad with mango citrus dressing. Yum!
The restaurant also owns an ice cream shop with homemade creamy goodness around the corner. In addition to ice cream, they sell fossilized shark’s teeth (yeah, an odd combination but it works – it’s Florida!) and display all the animals the owners rescue. Yes, in addition to serving up delicious meals for lunch (during the summer; dinner is served Nov. 20 – Dec. 2 and Dec. 18 to April) the owners, Jacques and Blanche Boudreau, rescue injured or abandoned Florida wildlife and work with the Wildlife Center of Venice.
Boca Grande. It’s in my backyard yet I confess to not visiting the island enough but I can guarantee, I’ll be visiting again soon and often.