Subject: Boca Grande
Cruising News: We will be cruising the West Coast and would like to have recomendation on a marina to call home for a month …mid December thru Mid January In the Boca Grande area
I would like to hear from fellow cruises what they think
I live in Punta Gorda overlooking the harbor and keep my boat at Burnt Store Marina and was a live aboard there before we purchased our condo. I agree with the comments above, and a key item is will you have a vehicle and will you have the need for an airport. If you have to travel by air you should look at some of the marina’s in Ft Myers. If you are on the hook a lot I see many boats anchored in my front yard by Fisherman Village and dinky up during the day. If you can get a slip in Punta Gorda you can ride a bike to all the stores, including West Marine. If you have a vehicle Burnt Store has nice features, but it is +8 miles the the nearest store. The staff there is very friendly. South Seas Resort is nice (and very expensive), but they have removed the the channel markers as noted on charts. You can come in from the gulf or call them on the radio and they can tell you how to come in from the ICW. A place not as expensive, but a place my wife and I go to is Tween Waters on Captiva Island south of South Seas. From the dock to the beach it is about 300 yards. They do have monthly rates but the docks are not protected like the the other marinas in the area, but a good place to spend a few days. It is a 45 minute drive to the airport and has service to get you to the airport as Captiva is a resort location. You may find some one in Punta Gorda who will rent you a place in their back yard, as Punta Gorda is a boating community. If you do that, make sure they have sail boat access as the houses on the inside have to clear a bridge that are approximately 13 feet of clearance. Good luck and enjoy our part of the world.
I’m surprised that there has been very little mention of Laishly Marina. It is right downtown [in Punta Gorda], brand new and within walking distance of everything except Publix (approx. 2 mi.). Fisherman’s Village is great for it’s concentration of shops and restaurants and about a 15 minute walk to downtown. The quality restaurants, however,are downtown. Either way, you can’t lose.
Other choices might be Palm Island Marina (Cape Haze), Burnst Store Marina, Fishersman’s Village. We can give you a number of recommendations as we live in the area. One question is since you are leaving the boat, are you flying out of the area of driving?
Steve and Gina Smith
Boca Grande is a cute little town. There are two marinas worth considering. The high end place is Boca Grande Marina. Nice docks, the only place for diesel, expensive, arrogant staff. The low end is Whiddens Marina. Laid back, no amenities and cheap.
The town is a delight and either marina is within walking distance of everything.
I might add that at Boca Grande the lil grocery is rather expensive and if you wish to go off-Island you will need a car and to pay the expensive toll upon returning each time. All of the other marinas mentioned will require transportation for shopping or doing much exploring. You might consider Ft. Myers Beach which has a transportation system you can use.
Boca is delightful although has lost a lot of its charm as the local fisherman struggle to maintain property on the island due to taxation created by the demand of the weathy who are pushing out the more local populace. Not to say it isn’t nice it is, just not like it use to be. There are also smaller not well known local marinas in the Englewood area you might get into. The backcountry of Charlotte Harbor around Boca and Pine Island and Sanibel is delightful for inshore fishing as is the Boca Grande pass. You might consider checking out the Marinas on Sanibel and Captiva south of the Boca Grande pass.
The marinas in Boca usually have space, the others mentioned, in the past, have been full with a waiting list, don’t know about the effect of current
Wayne & Lynn
Recommending a marina is a lot like recommending a wife. A lot depends on the intended use.
If you need to be near an airport, Tampa, Sarasota and Ft. Myers can accomodate you although Tampa will probably win hands down on number of
available flights and number of cities served. If you want some “city life” Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota, and Ft. Myers will all
Boca Grande is one of our favorite places to be. Gasparilla Marina is on the mainland, just across the bridge. Good storage facility but not much for
liveaboards. On the island, Uncle Henry’s on the N end and Boca Grande Marina (formerly Miller’s) near the village are nice but pricey. Welcome to Boca Grande. As a fellow Krogen owner once told me, “All the damn rich folks are running us millionaires off the island”!
Burnt Store marina is nice but remote. Fisherman’s Village is located in the small town of Punta Gorda.
A buddy of mine strayed for a month at Cape Haze Marina in Englewood. Said it was cheapest around. I believe him since he is truly cheap. I visited once and it was not bad at all.
I lived in Punta Gorda for over 17 years and always enjoyed going to Boca Grande by car or by boat. The marinas there are very expensive…and the other reply didn’t mention uncle Henry’s at the north end. While the island is full of charm I would NEVER recommend trying to stay there for more than a night or two.
Directly opposite Boca Grande Pass by 10 miles is Burnt Store Marina which is also very nice, but it is another 10 miles to the grocery store! OK if you rent a car. Another 10 miles up Charlotte Harbor is Fisherman’s Village in Punta Gorda…a delightful town. I would put this marina as #1 for your needs.
If you want the best beach around, Boca Grand is it, but there is just so much to do on the little, very exclusive town. If you are at Fisherman’s Village, rent a car and still enjoy that beach!
Or go on down to Ft. Myers.
If you don’t mind being near the city, look at Legacy Harbour Marina on the Caloosahatchee River at Ft. Myers. It’s the cleanest, nicest marina in the area, great facilities and has a large, very friendly live aboard group. Grocery stores, shopping and night life are within walking distance. Just no beach.
I would recommend you consider Fisherman’s Village in Punta Gorda, just up from Boca if you’ll be staying on board. Right in a charming little town with shopping nearby. Boca is wonderful but you need a car to get to any shopping for groceries, etc.
Gasparilla Marina is another alternative. Also, Laishley Marina in Punta Gorda.
Lynne & Rich
I was at Boca Grande Marina in mid October. I found the staff to be very nice. You can rent a golf cart from the marina to get around town. The overnight dock fees are a bit costly for what you get. The showers/ land head are shared with the entire dock and not locked. The girls thought that to be a real draw back…One big note about Boca Grande….We were there on a Sunday and most all the shops in town were closed.
We’ve stayed at Palm Island Marina twice on our recent trip. Great place, great staff and reasonable dock fees. The “local” store for supplies is about 2 miles away. Talk to the staff, they may be able to help you with transportation.
Also have been to Burnt Store… really nice marina and again very reasonable. Nice staff.
If you’re going to be in the Pine Island Sound area, you have to stay at least one night at South Seas Resort/Marina. The dock fees are high but it’s a top notch marina. Treat yourself to this place. If you’ve got females on board, they’ll love it!! Everything about the place is first class..
Have a great cruise!