The beaches are wide and flat and seem to go on forever. The sand is light brown. There are no parking lots, no lifeguard towers, no snack bars, piers or jetties. But there is a lot of peace and quiet.
Little Gasparilla is so close to the mainland you could almost throw a rock across from one shore to the other, yet there is no bridge, so you need a boat. Until recently, you either needed your own boat, or you had to make use of the Palm Island Transit Car Ferry Sevice. The ferry is nearly as long as the crossing it makes. It's the only way to get cars onto the island for the few residents that have homes there. There are few roads on the islands and there is no where to park unless you live there and have a driveway. The problem has been that once the car ferry drops you off, it's at least a 45 minute walk or more to Don Pedro Island State Park, which is located about mid-island.
Now a new ferry service is serving Don Pedro Island State Park. Grande Tours of Placida has started a ferry service to the park and leaves the dock at 10am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, returning at 2:30pm. That's a fairly short day, but it's a good start. Grande Tours also rents kayaks, so that is another option. The cost of the trip is $18 per person, which also includes the park entrance fee.
To see photos and read more about Palm Island and Don Pedro Island State Park, visit my website at http://www.beachhunter.net/palm_island.htm.
To find out more information about Grande Tours and their ferry, visit their website at http://www.grandetours.com/.
Read an article from the Ft. Myers News-Press about Betsy Clayton's trip to Don Pedro on the ferry.