Southwest Florida

Southwest Broward is known for some of the best beaches in Florida, wildlife and birds, interesting historical spots and as a launching point to see the Everglades and the Ten Thousand Islands.

Here are some of our favorite places to begin your exploration of the area. Each of these stories contains links to places to kayak, hike, bicycle and fascinating historic sites.

  • Everglades City, a historic fishing village known for its stone crabs
  • Marco Island, a beach resort close to the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands
  • Naples, a good basecamp for exploration of nature-rich region
  • Fort Myers Beach, an Old Florida beach town
  • Sanibel, an unspoiled island where seashells litter the beach.
  • Punta Gorda, natural beauty and historic charm
  • Venice, Mediterranean-influenced city with old world charm

We recommend:

Hiking: Myakka River State Park near Sarasota and Bird Rookery Swamp near Naples.

Biking: The Legacy Trail in Venice and the many bikes trails on Sanibel Island.

Kayaking: The little known Shell Creek near Punta Gorda and the joys of paddling with manatees in winter on the Orange River in Fort Myers.

Camping: There’s tent camping on the beautiful wild island of Cayo Costa State Park.  One of our favorite campgrounds for both tents and RVs is Camp Venice on the Myakka River.

Interesting Old Florida spots: Historic Smallwood Store near Everglades City and Koreshan Historic State Park near Naples.

The following are recent stories about Southwest Florida.

 

One hiking trail in Fakahatchee Strand takes you to this spot -- the boardwalk next to the "Fakahatchee Hilton." (Photo: Bonnie Gross)
Bike & Hike, Everglades, Kayak & Canoe, Southwest Florida

Fakahatchee Strand: Big, wild and great for Everglades hiking and kayaking

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park — the biggest state park in Florida — is a vast, wild place near Everglades City. Year after year, we drove right past, but there are three great reasons to spend time here. We’re glad we did.

Everglades Seafood Festival, Everglades City
Festivals, Southwest Florida

Everglades City Seafood Festival: Feb. 8-10, 2019

Seafood lovers mark their calendars for the annual Everglades Seafood Festival in Everglades City, gateway to the Ten Thousand Islands. This free event packs ’em in for fresh seafood, country music, carnival rides, crafts booths — with an estimated 50,000 people expected to attend this year’s event in a remote corner of Florida.

Fort Myers Beach shrimp boat by Albert Heaps via Flickr
Southwest Florida, Unique eats

Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival, March 9-10, 2019

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.