Pirate Island in Florida: Gasparilla Island

The legend of the pirate José Gaspar, has been a cause for parades, parties and treasure hunting in Florida for years.

José Gaspar, is a mysterious pirate whose story was heighten by a promotional brochure seeking tourist to the Gasparilla Inn in the 1900s. The author freely admitted the story was fictional, but that has not stopped retelling of tales of this legendary character.

Gasparilla Pirate Festival

In 2021, due to the pandemic, the festival was cancelled. It is normally held the last Saturday in January. In 2022 the festival is set to take place on January 29th in Tampa Florida. There will be a children’s festival that is on January 22nd.

Gasparilla Island

Gasparilla Island is a small barrier island located near Tampa Florida.

Gasparilla Island, Florida

The island is home to Gasparilla Island State Park , the Gasparilla Inn and Club and the Boca Grande Lighthouse . There is even rumors of a lost treasure, somewhere along the Peace River.

Gasparilla Treasure Hunting

Although the story of Jose Gaspar was said to be a fictional tale, that doesn’t stop people from attempting to find the lost treasure. One of the best TV shows ever, Expedition Unknown, goes in-depth explaining the hysteria over Gasparilla. In the episode titled: The Search for Florida’s Lost Pirate , host Josh Gate’s goes above and beyond researching, treasure hunting, and even partaking in the festival. It is a must see, and an insightful journey.

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