Book your trip now to this off-season family resort getaway.
Tanner C. Latham

You’re transported back in time at the Gasparilla Inn & Club. The richness of the past remains--and still works. Children can have their fun at the pool at Gasparilla Inn & Club, while adults can enjoy the resort’s spa amenities, such as Gulf-side massages.

People around here talk about an old-Florida feeling. Drive up to the Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande, a property bathed in elegance, and you’ll understand. For generations, families have congregated at this historic 1913 resort for the youth programs and country club-style atmosphere.
Bonus: Make reservations this month, during the off-season, to enjoy all the amenities for a fraction of the price.

Stretch Out and Relax
Bringing a bunch? Rent one of the 20 multibedroom cottages, some fully outfitted with kitchens, surrounding the main inn. If you’re just getting away--something a little more romantic--reserve a room or suite in the inn. We were wonderfully impressed at how bright the rooms are, especially when the morning light comes streaming through the windows. Refreshing.

Beach Club Bound
Large palm trees shade the edges of the family pool at the inn’s private Beach Club. Of course, your stay entitles you to temporary membership (including access to the pool, full-service spa, fitness room, and tennis courts).

After a day in the sun, stick around for Sunset at the Beach, tapas-style dining around an open fire pit. Settle the kids in around the fire while you enjoy a fruity cocktail as the sun drops into the Gulf.

Dining Details
Chef James Dyer presents traditional Continental cuisine with a focus on fresh, local fish on his nightly menu. Place your dessert order early for the raspberry soufflé. During the spring, guys only need a collared shirt and slacks at dinner; ladies do well with casual dresses.
Editor’s tip: Breakfast is delicious, but be aware that the window is a bit skinny (7:30-9:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday and 7:30-10:30 a.m. Sunday).

Gasparilla Inn & Club: 500 Palm Avenue, Boca Grande, FL 33921; www.gasparillainn.com or 1-800-996-1913. Rates: European Plan (no meals included)--double occupancy starts at $236 per night. Modified American Plan (includes breakfast and dinner)--double occupancy starts at $346. Editor’s tip: In lieu of tipping, there’s an 11% service charge added to your bill.

Famous Guests
Stay at the Gasparilla Inn, and you’ll join a list of distinguished guests who’ve enjoyed the inn through the years, including the following.
J.P. Morgan
John Singer Sargent
Katharine Hepburn
Henry Ford
Thomas Edison
George H.W. Bush and family



A NOTE TO OUR READERS
"A Classic at the Right Time" is from the May 2008 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.