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Visiting here, I found myself amazed that places like Anna Maria Island survive — a low-rise beach town with quaint cottages and a spectacular beach. Daytrippers will be happy to learn they can skip the weekend traffic and parking hassles with an affordable new ferry service from Bradenton.

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There’s a good reason Boca Grande is a favorite among the rich and famous: It’s beautiful, unspoiled and preserves the charm of Old Florida. It makes a satisfying daytrip, especially on a bike. Another plus: The historic lighthouse at the southern tip just reopened 16 months after being slammed by Hurricane Ian.

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Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs has survived since 1936. Now it’s a small but serene spot to enjoy glorious flora, colorful birds, gators and more. It’s located on Old 41 Road, a pocket of Old Florida that is having a renaissance.

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