Sitting halfway between Sarasota and Fort Myers at the southern tip of the Cape Haze Peninsula, Boca Grande is a historic, affluent village. Alluring to groups is Boca Grande's laid-back, yet sophisticated lifestyle: Its "Main Street," with no stoplights, billboards or fast food chains. Instead, there are upscale art galleries, trendy boutique shops and fine-dining establishments. Meeting venues in Boca Grande tend toward the intimate; post-meeting activities include the area's phenomenal tarpon fishing and shell collecting on Boca Grande's seven miles of beaches.
Boca Grande is located 35 miles from Southwest Florida International Airport and 48 miles from Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.
Hotel venues in Boca Grande that feature the genteel, Old Florida lifestyle include the 139-unit Gasparilla Inn & Club, which has 6,000 square-feet of meeting space. The property offers privacy and exclusivity, a spa, fitness and beach club, and the Pete Dye-designed Gasparilla Golf Club course. For outdoor events, the hotel's Gasparilla Inn Croquet Event Lawn can accommodate banquets and cocktail parties for up to 300. Other accommodations options include the 84-room Boca Grande Club with 1,700 square feet of meeting space, 90-room Palm Island Resort with 1,000 square feet of meeting space and the 100-room Cape Haze Resort with 900 square feet of meeting space.
For special events, Gasparilla State Park, with its restored Boca Grande Lighthouse built in 1890, offers groups swimming, snorkeling, fishing and nature walk activities as well as two picnic areas with covered tables and restroom facilities. The on-site Armory Memorial Chapel, a recently restored 1950s chapel, is available for small receptions.
Enjoying the pristine surroundings dominates after-meetings activities in Boca Grande. Some of the more popular pursuits are fishing for tarpon at Boca Grande Pass, arguably the world's best tarpon fishing spot; chartering a boat to Cayo Costa State Park, where a nine-mile, white-sand beach is a mother lode for seashell collecting; boutique shopping and dining on Boca Grande's Main Street; and playing golf at courses such as the Gasparilla Golf Club, Coral Creek club, and Rotonda Golf & Country Club, which has four courses.
Dining venues in Boca Grande are highlighted by The Pink Elephant at the Gasparilla Inn, a 60-year old restaurant serving regional cuisine, seafood and steaks with an upstairs dining room, downstairs pub and outdoor patio. Other high-profile group-friendly dining possibilities include Eagle Grill and Miller's Dockside Bar and Grill at Boca Grande Marina and PJ's Seagrille, which can accommodate up to 200 people for sit-down dinners.