Southwest Florida

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve: Free, wild & five minutes off I-75

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve: Free, wild & five minutes off I-75

Next time you travel Florida’s west coast on I-75, take a five minutes detour in Fort Myers to discover a magnificent slice of old Florida – a 1.2 mile boardwalk through an unspoiled cypress swamp called Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve.

Ivey House Bed and Breakfast in Everglades City is designed for outdoors-oriented visitors. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Ivey House in Everglades City: B&B for outdoors folks

If you’re visiting the western entrance to Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands, there is a bed and breakfast that caters specifically to kayakers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts – the Ivey House Bed and Breakfast in Everglades City.

Fort Myers Beach shrimp boat by Albert Heaps via Flickr

Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival, March 10-11, 2018

This isn’t frozen shrimp or imported shrimp or farmed shrimp. The huge boiling pots at the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival are filled with fresh, right-off-the-boat Gulf pink shrimp. Members of the Lions Club have perfected the cooking technique over 50 years of Shrimp Festivals.

The view from the water (Photo by Constance Mier)

Smallwood Store in Chokoloskee: Everglades icon still owned by original family

Smallwood Store is an exceptional slice of Florida history at an end-of-the-road site overlooking Chokoloskee Bay near Everglades City.

A post office on Pine Island (Courtesy of Chief Dennis, Tarpon Lodge)

Pine Island: Step back in time, without a tourist in sight

Pine Island never was a big tourist destination. And that’s why it is such a refreshing place to explore today. It’s full of groves and plant nurseries with a few stops that make it worth exploring.

Naples beach: Discover hidden Clam Pass Park, where you ride the tide

Naples beach: Discover hidden Clam Pass Park, where you ride the tide

In honor of the upcoming beach season, Florida Rambler is highlighting a Beach of the Week throughout summer. This week, it’s Clam Pass Park, a hidden beach in Naples with a shallow, safe pass that lets you ride the tide in and out of a tropical lagoon.

Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin/Clearwater.

Caladesi Island: Kayak to a wild beach

Caladesi Island State Park, off the coast of Clearwater and Dunedin, has been called the best beach in America. What’s even better? Kayaking to Caladesi and seeing wonderful wildlife along the way.

Not a soul in sight.

Tigertail Beach, a Marco Island adventure, where you wade to wild beach

Tigertail Beach is for adventurers who love unspoiled beaches where you can walk for miles. You reach this beach by wading across a shallow lagoon. It’s full of seashells, wildlife and it’s a birding hot-spot.

Sunflowers at Pepper Ranch in 2013. Photo by Ron Perkins.

Sunflowers in Florida: ‘Stunning’ fall scene at Oct. 1 sunflower festival

Fields of sunflower bloom in Florida each fall, and a preserve near Immokalee celebrates with a sunflower festival Saturday, Oct. 1. The blooms last two to three weeks. This sunflower only blooms in Florida and Georgia and is common: Watch for it blooming along roadsides in early fall.

A sand version of "The Don" and, in the distance, the iconic pink Don CeSar Hotel on Pass A Grille beach.

Pass-a-Grille, one of Florida’s best beaches in a charming historic town

The beach is spectacular here — wide white sand, clear blue-green water. But the Old Florida charm of Pass-a-Grille, a community within St. Pete Beach, is what makes it stand out.