Tag archives for Boca Grande

America does beaches extremely well, a point I didn’t begin to realize until my 20s, when I tried to sunbathe on a jam-packed stretch of Spanish shore. But too many of the towns along our coastlines have become charmless and generic. They feel like shopping malls with sand. Then there are those that shine. Here are seven of the best.

By the time I get to Gasparilla Island, a glorified sandbar off Florida’s west coast that’s about an hour’s drive from Fort Myers or Sarasota and a whole lot harder to reach from everywhere else, Labor Day has come and gone. I’m seeking the warmth of the sun, and a genuine Florida beach town that will serve as an antidote to the forests of condos and hotels that line the coasts north of Miami and south of Tampa. I find it in Boca Grande.