Southwest Florida

Peace River Seafood in Punta Gorda is located in a Cracker cabin under spreading oak trees.

Peace River Seafood: Cracker cabin is a real crab shack

Peace River Seafood in Punta Gorda is a true Florida crab shack; they don’t come more authentic than this. From its 1927 Cracker cabin to the buckets of fresh blue crabs, it’s a little piece of old Florida.

Save the Florida Panther day: Swamp walks, buggy rides on March 17 in Naples

Save the Florida Panther day: Swamp walks, buggy rides on March 17 in Naples

You can take a slog through the swamp to see native orchids, a buggy tour through cypress swamp or a guided bird walk or plant identification walk. All the events are free.

Peace River: Florida canoe trip is an easy adventure

Peace River: Florida canoe trip is an easy adventure

There are prettier rivers and wilder rivers, but the Peace River offers something you can’t find elsewhere: A place to paddle and camp through an undeveloped forest filled with wildlife within an easy drive of 7 million South Florida residents.

Kayak Gasparilla Sound  for dolphins, white pelicans

Kayak Gasparilla Sound for dolphins, white pelicans

Gasparilla Sound is an out of the way aquatic preserve where you’re likely to see dolphins, osprey and white pelicans while mulllets jump like popcorn. It’s a place made to explore by kayak.

Barefoot Beach, ‘second best beach in America,’ is wild & wonderful

Barefoot Beach, ‘second best beach in America,’ is wild & wonderful

BONITA BEACH — This beach occupies one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast, and its a place for finding shells, sand dollars, gopher tortoises and, best of all, unadorned natural beauty.

Ochopee: Cutest, smallest post office in the US

Ochopee: Cutest, smallest post office in the US

A scenic road through Everglades National Park also brings you past a cute little roadside stop: the smallest post office in the US. In an era where post offices are being closed to save money, this little outpost dating to 1953 is a survivor.

Free trail maps are great inspiration for Gulf Coast paddling trips

Free trail maps are great inspiration for Gulf Coast paddling trips

It’s time to plan this season’s canoe and kayak outings, and a free set of excellent paddling trail maps from the Great Calusa Blueway is certain to give you inspiration.

Anclote Key

Anclote Key: Wild isle but hard to reach

Anclote Key Preserve State Park, is actually four islands 3 miles off Tarpon Springs, accessible only by boat. If you can get there, you can see its 1887 lighthouse, miles of pristine beaches scattered with shells and one of the few undeveloped islands left on Florida’s coast. You can reach it by kayak or tour boat.

See white pelican migration on Florida’s Gulf Coast

See white pelican migration on Florida’s Gulf Coast

A bird with a wingspan of 9 feet is a sight to behold. Now picture hundreds of them, flying in formation, with Gulf Coast beaches and barrier islands as a backdrop. That’s the migration of the White Pelican, which return to Florida every October to November.