Leave your car and your cares at the marina because Little Gasparilla is accessible only by water taxi! That means our beaches are uncrowded and tourists and traffic are just a mainland memory. If you are looking for a quiet tropical island to relax and unplug, Little Gasparilla is your dream vacation spot. Our "nightlife" consists of giant sea turtles laying their eggs -- our only bar is the sand bar where you can find sand dollars and shells!
Driftwood Cottage is one of Little Gasparilla's most enduring landmarks. It has been perched on the dunes for nearly 50 years and has seen many storms and many families come and go, yet it endures as a testament to the strength of a well-built Old Florida cottage. The inside features Florida heart pine walls and ceilings and some of the best views you will find on Little Gasparilla's beach. A brand new kitchen with a stunning hammered copper sink is a pleasure to cook in. New granite counter tops echo the color of the sand right outside the kitchen window and the kitchen offers views of the driftwood dotting the beach after which the cottage is named.
The cottage has been newly painted in bright blue hues to match the sea with sunny yellow accents. It has a spacious outdoor deck under the sea grapes perfect for relaxing in the cooling sea breezes and enjoying the fresh air.
Two cozy bedrooms, one with a double bed and one with two twins, are perfect for a couple or small family. The house has one bathroom which could be considered either quite rustic or "urban chic" depending on your viewpoint. It is lined in galvanized tin with a simple shower and small sink. There is a spacious open-air outdoor shower which most prefer because showering outdoors is the way we do it on LGI!
There is a large screened porch with a dining table for outdoor dining. The porch has great views of the beach and delightful breezes day in and out. It functions as another living room and you will most likely spend most of your time on the porch reading, relaxing with a good book, and enjoying the cooling breezes.
The beach is just 15 steps from the front of the cottage, so you can meander down to the beach for a swim, come home easily for lunch and a nap, keep an eye on the kids from the front porch and run home in an instant if you have forgotten something -- or grab a quick snack. No more trudging 10 minutes over hot sand pathways with umbrellas and beach chairs and towels and coolers and the diaper bag -- everything you need is literally 15 steps away. This cottage is the height of convenience: cozy and comfortable, warm and welcoming and a unique and unusual place from which to enjoy the best of Little Gasparilla Island.
Please note that this cottage does have another house that sits RIGHT in front of it. (How they ever got a permit to build it is a mystery to us.) The plus is that it blocks the hot summer sun and the worst of the wind and the rain in a storm. But, you do not have unobstructed views directly west. There are great views to the southwest and north west. But there may be people on the beach right in front of you at times.
LITTLE GASPARILLA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...PLEASE READ!
• You cannot drive your car to the house or the island and the only access is via water taxi; there is no vehicle ferry.
• You must park your car at the marina at the mainland but it will be perfectly safe there; parking is $6 a day.
• The water taxi is $10 per person each way and he will drop you right at our dock. Normal ferry hours are approximately 8-5 every day.
• All homes come with a grill; this home has both a charcoal grill AND an electric grill.
• All homes come with beach chairs and an umbrella.
• You must bring all groceries to the island with you.
• There are no stores of any kind on the island, not even a convenience store.
• There is no need to bring drinking water; the water from the tap is safe and drinkable.
• There are first responders on the island and we have 911 service in case of an emergency.
• Golf carts are not necessary; the island is only 100-200 yards wide in most places and our concierge will meet you upon arrival to bring you to the house. But they are fun to go exploring.
• You can fish off the dock or the beach but non-Florida residents will need to purchase a fishing license.
• The beach is dog-friendly but dogs must be under your control, non-aggressive and most homes charge a pet fee of $100 per pet.
INTERNET: There is no wired internet service on the island. There are a couple options for wifi. Most people just opt to use the mobile hotspots on their smartphones, especially if they have unlimited data or a large data plan. Cell service is excellent and that is the most convenient option...and it seems to work a bit faster. We can provide instructions on hot spotting if you are not familiar. If you do not have a smartphone, we provide a free Verizon jetpack BUT you have to purchase data AND YOU MUST REQUEST IT IN ADVANCE. You can either bring a Verizon card with you OR we can sell you one when we bring over the jetpack. You can buy as much data as you need, but it IS expensive....so we urge guests NOT to plan on using the jetpack for entertainment...no streaming music or videos, etc. It is more than adequate for checking emails, etc. and most people use about 2G of data per week which is $35. 5G is $60 and 10G is $100. (It is sort of like a cruise where you have to pay for the minutes you are on-line.) You just need to let us know in advance so we can make sure we have a fully charged jetpack available for you. If you bring a Verizon card with you, we can show you how to add the data. Or, we can pre-add data prior to your arrival but you have to let us know how much you think you will need. Just keep in mind that it is NOT the internet you are used to on the mainland, and anything that uses up a lot of data will increase your costs. (It is especially helpful to remind kids and teenagers who are used to unlimited data!) We usually suggest that people download books and movies to their tablets or e-readers BEFORE coming to the island.
PLEASE NOTE: We do require that two members of each group must be over 25 years of age. We apologize, but we can NOT rent to college groups as a courtesy to the homeowners and our island neighbors. Guests will be evicted if found not to meet age requirements upon check in. Additionally, we can not exceed capacity in island homes due to the fragile septic systems.