The Island in General

How big is the island?

  •  The island is comprised of three islands that were actually at one time, separated by deep water channels. The channels, over time, have filled in making the three islands one lone island. The current length is about 7 miles with variations in width. 
  • The part typically referred to as “Little Gasparilla Island” is about 2 miles long. The remaining 5 miles is made up of Don Pedro and Knight Island , both of which are north of Little Gasparilla Island. 

Are there any paved roads on the island?

  •  No, and this is a good thing. The twisting sand trails add to the charm and appeal of the island. They are fantastic for early morning or late evening walks and general exploring. Some guests opt to rent a golf cart for more access or longer excursions. 

How many houses are on the island?

  •  There are about 400 single family homes and about 130 individual condo units on the island. The condo units are all located at the south end of the island. Gasparilla Villa is located away from the condos on the north end. 

How far is the beach from the house?

  •  Assuming a somewhat leisure pace, the beach is about a three minute walk down a short sand path right behind Gasparilla Villa. The path leads you through a mangrove forest with a board walk over the wet area. 

Are there any restaurants or stores on the island?

There is no infrastructure on the island, the only business is the golf cart rental.  There are many restaurants that are nearby and accessible by water taxi or private boat.

Are there any golf courses on the island?

As a barrier island, water is a scarce resource so golfing can be done on the mainland.

Packing For Your Visit

What do I bring?

  • Pack light!!! You will probably spend the entire time in a bathing suit or shorts and a t-shirt. You might want a light weight windbreaker and a rain coat. You will need to bring sun block, bug spray, fishing gear and all your groceries since there are no stores on the island except for the golf cart rental shop. 941-697-3820
  • The Villa has its own list of amenities and furnishings. Please check this first to see what you may need in addition to what is already provided. Paper towels, napkins, and toilet paper are provided as well all necessary cleaning supplies including dish washing and dishwasher soap.
  • There are a variety of cooking spices and condiments provided. We have an informal “co-op” arrangement. Use what you need and leave anything extra behind. If there is a favorite spice or condiment that you must have or simply can not live without, be sure to bring it with you. All necessary cooking and eating utensils are provided. If you need something special be sure to email Teresa and ask. If we don’t have it perhaps we can get it for you. 

What about the golf cart rental?

  • The golf cart rental shop is on island time. This means that a 10:00 a.m. delivery will arrive around tenish. Keep in mind that tenish may have a somewhat wide range associated with it. We recommend making a reservation as soon as you reserve Gasparilla Villa.  Call again the day you arrive. Details on golf cart rentals are below in Transportation While on the Island. 941-697-3820 

Where do I shop for groceries?

  • You will need to buy all your groceries before you meet the water taxi or before you launch your boat. There are two Publix grocery stores on your way to the island. Publix is a large, clean, well organized grocery store with an excellent reputation throughout Florida . Adjacent to Publix is a liquor store.
  • When checking out of Publix, please ask the clerk to double bag your order for your trip to the island. They sometimes call this a “boat bag”; it is a paper bag with a plastic bag wrapped around it. This makes it easier and safer to transport your groceries in the boat. You might want to bring an ice chest for the perishables. Publix sells a cheap ice chest that will serve the purpose. 

Where do I park?

  • We suggest that you park at Eldred’s Marina . Eldred’s is a small mom and pop marina that mainly sells bait while also providing a boat ramp and parking for cars and trailers. Pay for your parking upon your arrival. 
  • As rates may change, we suggest you call Eldred's to find out the parking rate and launch fee.  This marina is one of the last good deals left in Florida .
  •  941-697-1431
  • Go to "parking" tab for more information.

What time is check in?

  • Check-in is after 4:00 p.m. on your arrival date. Early or late checks-in times are always possible but please make arrangements in advance. If the Villa is not rented the morning of your arrival, check in time is fairly loose. If you plan on arriving early, be sure to call or email Jib or Teresa to be sure that the Villa is not rented for the morning. 

How and when do I contact the Island Mate?

  • Please contact the Island Mate a few days ahead of your arrival so she will know when to expect you.  You Island Mate is Jennifer, who happens to be Teresa's sister.
  • Please call her at 303-809-0493 or email at rummysway@gmail.com

Where do I launch my boat?

Eldred's Marina

  • We recommend using Eldred's Marina.   You can launch your boat and park your car and boat trailer.  This place makes it simple for you.   One stop shopping.

How do I contact them and where are they located?

  • 6301 Boca Grande Cswy
    Placida, FL 33946-0236
    26° 49' 53.04'', -82° 16' 13.09''
  • (941) 697-1431 

Launch fees and parking rates?

  • Please contact Eldred's for current launch rates and parking rates.
  • (941) 697-1431

Eldred's History

  • In the 1960's,  Jim Dixon and his wife Marion began running the Marina which was named Eldred’s Marina after Eldred Dixon, Jim’s Uncle.  
  • This is a part of old Florida most folks don't get to experience.

Eldred's Services

  • This is not a full service marina, meaning no gas for the boat, however you have a nice boat ramp,  boat slips, parking for your car and trailer, bait – fresh and frozen and tackle, ice.  There are some convenience store items like milk and bread (no beer), and some Little Gasparilla Island T Shirts, hats and other items.  
  • Visitors can  deposit their trash for a fee when leaving the island. 

Orchids

  • There is a greenhouse next to the marina store where you can purchase orchids, yes, beautiful orchids.  Ask the owner about the history of the orchids.

Transportation to the Island

How do we get to the island if we do not have our own boat?

  • There is only one water taxi service and it is run by Captain Emmitt Shane.  941-697-5777.  You should contact him to get current rates.    He is  U.S.C.G. licensed, Insured and Inspected, and his crew are here to help you reach your final destination in paradise.
  • Normal operating hours are 8:30 AM to 5 PM and a one-hour advance notice of your desired departure time is preferred.

If I bring my own boat, where do I launch it?

  • There are many options. We recommend Eldred’s Marina . Eldred’s is close to Little Gasparilla and Publix. Call them for current parking and launch rates 941-697-1431.
  • Your car and trailer can be parked there over night. There is a free public boat ramp next door to Eldred’s but the free public boat ramp charges for parking. Be advised that Eldred’s takes a dim view of someone using the free public boat ramp and then parking at their marina. 

Where can I rent a boat?

  • Boat rentals are readily available through a variety of companies. Some companies have new boats while others rent older well used boats. Newer boats tend to be very reliable while older boats are not so reliable. On the other hand, newer boats are more expensive to rent. 
  • We recommend using Gasparilla Marina, they are close and have newer boats in great shape.  There is a link to their website on our Activities tab.

How can I become more confident about operating a boat in unfamiliar waters?

  •  First, order two excellent publications from Jib or Teresa. The first is U.S. Aids to Navigation System, by the U.S. Coast Guard. The publication is designed to help the boater better understand the U.S. aids to navigation system and how lights work. The second publication is The Florida Boater’s Guide by The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This guide includes a Florida fish identification guide and discusses rules of the road, legal requirements of boating, VHF radio, and lots of basic boating information.
  • Finally, order a nautical chart from Jib. There are two charts, both of the west cost of Florida but of two different scales. They are manufactured by Maptech, are waterproof and are identical to the U.S. Geological Survey charts. 

What happens if my boat is damaged at the dock?

  • This is one of those questions that fall under the “do you really need to ask?” category. Unfortunately, we had a guest who tied his rental boat up to the dock and failed to consider the tide and wind changes. The boat was damaged and the guest decided that it was our fault. We need to be clear that you are responsible for any and all boat damage incurred by or at the dock. 
  • If you rented a boat and you are not sure how to tie it up properly, be sure to ask the rental company for proper instructions. If you own your own boat you should know how to do this. We never thought we would have to mention this seemingly obvious concept, but your boat is your responsibility. 

Your Island Accomodations

How do we check in to get our keys, ask questions and get oriented to the villa?

  • Your Island Mate is Jennifer who happens to be Teresa's sister. Upon arrival, she will greet you at your dock and show you around the property. She will acquaint you with the layout, electrical switches, and help answer any questions that may arise. Please call her prior to your arrival so she will know when to expect you. She can be reached at 303-809-0493 or rummysway@gmail.com. Be sure to ask her about sea grape jelly. 

How is the drinking water?

  • Little Gasparilla is a barrier island so we gather rain water in cisterns. Good clean sweet fresh water is provided for drinking from a reverse osmosis system. All the water is very safe as it goes through a large RO system, then UV light.
  • Water should be used conservatively, and showering should be kept short. Please be environmentally aware by conserving water.
  • There is a downstairs outside shower on well water that you can use to rinse off with during the day. It has both hot and cold water and is completely enclosed.

What kind of electronics are there?

  • There is a DirecTV Satellite available so loads of channels to choose from.  The TV has a HDMI port. There is a VCR and DVD player. There is a small library of movies for your enjoyment.
  • Feel free to bring your favorite VHS or DVD movies with you.

Is WiFi available?

There is WiFi available free of charge.

Reservations and Refunds

How do I make a reservation?

  • Experience has taught us not to take reservations over the phone. Reservations are made when we receive your check or when you make a deposit through PayPal. (PayPal tab)
  • Reservation dates are on a first come first serve basis. If you want or need to plan on a certain date, we suggest you reserve your time slots early. 
  • The deposit is 50% of the total rent including the tax but not the refundable damage deposit. 
  • Note that your account must be paid in full 30 days prior to your arrival. You can always make a reservation at the last minute as one never knows if there is a vacancy or not. In this case, the total amount will be due. 
  • Go to the reservations tab to begin your reservation using PayPal.

What are the costs?

  • The rate is $1,350 per week or $192.86/night with a 3 night minimum.
  • Taxes are 12% (6% sales tax, 5% local tourist tax and 1% county tax).
  • There is a refundable damage deposit of $300.
  • Cleaning service $150
  • Non-refundable pet fee $75
  • 50% deposit with final 50% due 30 days prior to arrival

What happens if we cancel our reservation and need a refund?

  • 100% refund for cancellations made 30 days prior to your arrival.

When should be receive our deposit back?

You will receive your deposit back within two weeks of your departure.

Fishing

Do I need a fishing license?

  • Maybe,  maybe not. You do not need a saltwater fishing license if you are under 16 years of age, a Florida resident 65 years of age or older, planning on using a fishing guide.  You will need a license to fishi off the dock or from the beach. You will need a license if you fish from a boat.  
  • Details can be found at http://myfwc.com/license/recreational/visitors/. Licenses can be obtained locally from most good sporting goods stores.     

What if I want a fishing guide?

  • No problem. We have a number of excellent fishing guides that we recommend. Please see our Area Activities list.
  • Make your reservations early as these are some of the best guides in the area and they book up quickly. If you do book one of the guides we have listed, please give us your feed back so we can rate the guides.   
  • Click on the fishing photo on the left and it will take you to Placida Fishing Charters.

Where do I get local information about fishing?

To see what is biting in Placida, click on the photo to the left, then scroll down the page and it will bring you to a section that includes the various fish that are biting in Placida depending upon the month.

Departing

What time is check-out?

  • Checkout is anytime before 10:00 a.m. on your departure date. 
  • If the Villa is not rented for the afternoon of your departure day, then checkout time is fairly loose. A later checkout time is possible but only if the Villa is not expecting guests later that day. Regardless, all late checkouts must be made in advance. If you plan on departing late be sure to call your Island Mate as well as the water taxi. 

What do I need to do the day before our departure day?

  •  The day before you leave, if it is applicable, you should call the water taxi to reconfirm your departure time.
  •  If you rented a golf cart, call to confirm pick up. Finally, call your Island Mate to confirm your checkout time. Be sure to give them enough time to inspect your cleaning if you choose this option. 

What do I need to do on check out day?

  • Remove the sheets from the beds.
  • Load the dishwasher and start.
  • There is no garbage service on the island.  You are responsible for removing all of your garbage.  It goes with you on the water taxi or on your boat.  Eldred's Marina will take your garbage for $1/bag regardless of size.
  • Your Island Mate will take care of recyclables, just keep them in a separate container and leave the container downstairs.