Family Days Out

A Floridian family day out in Boca Grande

It’s going back a few months now that we were on holiday in Florida, staying in Englewood and enjoying every minute of the gorgeous Floridian sun, the nearby beach, the barbecues, and the amazing swimming pool in our villa.

It’s because of all of the above that we spend most of our time in Englewood either in our villa or by the beach, but each time we go to Florida, we make sure we do at least one day trip to Boca Grande.

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Boca Grande is an affluent residential community on Gasparilla Island off the Gulf Coast. It is fantastic for indulging in a serious case of house envy, driving past the mansions and staring at the locals who call this stunning community home. It’s also home to picture perfect beaches, little cafes selling tasty food, and sensational ice cream!

Our favourite beach is located at the end of the island, near the lighthouse. It takes a fair few minutes after entering the island to drive down to the lighthouse car park because of the slow speed limit, but it’s worth the effort. The beach is dominated by white sand, crystal clear sea, and, when the sun is out, searing heat (suncream aplenty is needed here). The beaches on Boca Grande are perfect for spotting porpoises dancing in the waves, and watching the fishermen reel in their catch.

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The routine we normally follow allows us to sunbathe on the beach for a couple of hours before walking along the shore for five minutes to South Beach Bar and Grille, a popular little cafe with indoor and outdoor seating that sells some of the nicest buffalo shrimp you’ll find in Florida. The shrimp are huge, the buffalo sauce spicy, and the accompanying chips as crispy and piping hot as you want them to be. South Beach also sell really good wraps and burgers. The portions are so huge that you won’t need dinner!

We then retreat back to the beach for another couple of hours of sunbathing before heading back to the car and driving the short distance to the middle of the Boca Grande community. We like to get an ice cream at the Loose Caboose, an ice cream parlour and cafe that has a reputation for keeping locals and tourists happy in the summer sun. The range of flavours is always impressive; last time we went I indulged in birthday cake flavour! One word of warning: only ask for one scoop. We made the error a couple of years ago of asking for two scoops and two Florida scoops is basically the equivalent to half a tub of UK ice cream!

After a short wander around the local gift shops, clothing shops, and fishing shops (all of which are very, very expensive), we drive back home to Englewood. The drive back across the bridge that connects the island to the mainland is always picturesque and acts as a final reminder of why it’s worth making the trip to Boca Grande every year we return to Florida.

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