There are hundreds of island resorts in Florida, but very few of them are only accessible by ferry or private boat. Our choices here show the strange diversity of the remaining unattached island vacation choices.
FOR THE VERY RICH: You can almost swim over from South Beach to the expensive Fisher Island Hotel and join the 226 households on what was once the one-family island retreat of the Vanderbilts. Fisher Island is the richest per capita island in the USA and staying here will make you feel you are Oprah Winfrey or Julia Roberts or Andre Agassi..
FOR THE SIMPLE ADVENTURER, we have the Pelican Inn on Dog Island on St. George Sound in the Panhandle. There’s just eight small A/C kitchenettes, but you’re right on a beautiful, probably deserted beach. Dog Island got famous when a You Tube group satirized Dog Island as a retreat only for dogs. You can bring Fido to the Pelican but that will be $10 per day extra.
FOR THOSE WHO WANT PRIVACY, I suggest renting a beach house on Don Pedro Island, north of Boca Grande in Charlotte County. Rental prices are incredibly low for modern vacation homes and condos, but you’ll need to ferry over all your food and drink. Part of the island is State Park, again accessible only by boat so your moonlit walks on the beach will mean you might be all alone.
FOR FAMILIES: (see photo) Just north of Don Pedro is Palm Island, with the southern part dotrted with beach homes and the northern half Palm Island Resort. There are condos and beachside villas of all sizes, but the resort has the Rum Bay Restaurant and Coconut Cafe for those who want to entertain others. And tons of recreation facilities and pools and boats to rent.