Whidden's Marina, Boca Grande, Florida - a hidden treasure

On a recent family trip to Florida (my first holiday there), we stayed at a rented place on Boca Grande (Big Mouth). Boca Grande is, it seemed to me, a place of the wealthy, mostly for the wealthy. I was overjoyed when I found Whidden’s. According to their website (http://whiddensmarina.com/), the place was: “One of Boca Grande’s oldest marinas, in those days [1920’s], Whidden’s was also a well known Boca Grande night spot, dance hall and restaurant. All that has changed, but not the flavor and old fashioned hospitality of this “Old Florida” establishment.” It’s aplace I would have loved to have seen in its heyday.
It is still a marina, although very authentic in its “old Florida charm.” It houses a museum which is a collection of fishing reels, rods, motors, all sorts of memorabilia, covered in dust. Old photos, and parts litter the place, and I loved it. There were some souvenirs to be had from beautiful air plants and postcards, to hats! I found the perfect lid for $6.00. If you like old-time eclectic, and don’t mind dust, this place is a treasure, filled with treasure.
Whidden’s Marina, 190 First Street E., Boca Grande, Florida 33921
We cycled there (although a lot of folks use golf carts) and had a great visit. It reminded me of the more local (for me) Main Street Museum in White River Junction, Vermont, and the Main Street’s great-grandfather The Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.
Photos by Simon Brooks © 2022.

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