*Island Room, elegant, 352-543-6520, islandroom.com.
Cedar Key Chamber of Commerce, 352- 543-5600, cedarkey.org.
Gasparilla is a Gulf of Mexico barrier island about 23 miles southwest of Punta Gorda. It is connected to the mainland by the Boca Grande causeway. To get there: Take U.S. 41 or Alligator Alley west, connect with I-75 north. At Punta Gorda or Port Charlotte, take U.S. 41 to State Road 776, then go south onto State Road 771 and across the Boca Grande causeway. Nearest major airport is Southwest International at Fort Myers.
One of Florida's most storied hostelries, the Gasparilla Inn is a bastion of old-time elegance.
A winter oasis in years past for such people as Thomas Edison and Katharine Hepburn, the inn still attracts some of the nation's elite. The family of George H.W. Bush are regular guests.
Not so welcome on the island are iguanas, which have multiplied in such numbers that the county hired a trapper to get rid of them.
Condos and homes also populate the island. Visitors may be seen swimming, shelling and fishing, or hiking or biking on the Gasparilla Island-Boca Grande rail trail, which runs the length of the island. At its southern terminus is Gasparilla Island State Park, home to the Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum.
In spring, anglers descend upon the island, whose location next to Boca Grande Pass makes it a prime site for world-class tarpon fishing.
Where to stay:
*Gasparilla Inn, open November to June, rooms $265 to $395; 941-964-2201, gasparillainn.com.
*Anchor Inn, one and two bedrooms, $157-$297; 1-800-741-3074, anchorinnbocagrande.com.
*Innlet on the Waterfront, standard rooms and efficiencies, $120-$175; 941-964-4600, innlet.com.
Where to eat:
*The Pink Elephant, 941-964-4540, gasparillainn.com.
*Loose Caboose, 941-964-0440.
*Outlet Restaurant, 941-964-2246.
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