Editor's note: Beaches and parks are listed geographically from north to south.
Beaches with this symbol have beach wheelchairs available, either provided as a courtesy, or available for (prearranged) rent and delivery from private companies.
Unspoiled and free from crowds, this naturally beautiful area ranges from the barrier islands along the Gulf of Mexico to the shores of Charlotte Harbor. This area is world-renowned for tarpon fishing. If you are eager to see fish up close, charter a boat and enjoy the sport first-hand. It's also a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, shelling and simply relaxing.
Englewood Beach is located near the Charlotte-Sarasota County line. Beachgoers will find taupe-colored sand and tufts of sea oats growing along the dune line. There is also a path leading to a more secluded white-sand beach.
Port Charlotte Beach Park
Port Charlotte Beach is a harbor beach highlighted by its popular complex, which features a beach club with boat ramp, fishing pier, grills, a pool and sporting activities like tennis, volleyball, basketball and horseshoes. Across the harbor from the complex, you'll find the quaint shops and tantalizing restaurants of Fishermen's Village.
Stump Pass Beach State Park
At the southern tip of Manasota Key and Peterson and Whidden Islands, Stump Pass has 1.3 miles of shoreline perfect for shelling, picnics, sunning and surf fishing. The soft sand is practically untouched and very secluded. Nearby nature trails provide short walks through subtropical vegetation.
Don Pedro Island State Park
Located in Charlotte County between Knight Island and Little Gasparilla Island, Don Pedro Island has approximately one mile of white beach and elevated sand dunes. There is swimming in the Gulf. In the summer, you can see the nests of Loggerhead sea turtles, but take care not to disturb them.
Boca Grande Beach
Set on the southern tip of Gasparilla Island, this park overlooks the Gulf of Mexico, and comes equipped with picnic areas, grills and restrooms. This is a nice place to rest and perhaps spot a tarpon rolling through the summer waters.
Gasparilla Island State Park
The Gulf of Mexico beaches provide year 'round excellent saltwater fishing in the waters adjacent to the park and in the deep waters of Boca Grande Pass. There is a two picnic area near the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse, built in 1890 and the oldest building on Gasparilla Island. Enjoy time swimming, shelling and picnicking around this area. There are dangerous currents in the pass; however, so swimming is not permitted in this area.
Wheelchairs available on a first-come, first-serve basis.