Latest results from the red tide testing by the state.
Southwest Florida is known for some of the best beaches in Florida, wildlife and birds, gateway to the Everglades and the Ten Thousand Islands and other outdoor getaways.
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
The following are recent stories about Southwest Florida.
Secluded campground tucked into the shady woods of Oscar Scherer State Park with access to a fabulous rail trail linking Sarasota to Venice.
Stone crab season starts Oct. 15 and Everglades City, a small, isolated fishing village south of Naples, is a place to feast on this Florida favorite in an authenic Old Florida atmosphere. Two of our favorite stone crab restaurants are reopening Oct. 16 for the season after severe flooding from Hurricane Ian.
Due to Hurricane Ian, the annual Naples Stone Crab Festival has been postponed. A new date has not been announced.
Kayaking the Braden River, with time at Jiggs Landing and Linger Lodge, is a delightful trip back into Old Florida. Both outposts date to the 1940s and the scenic river that connects them preserves much of its natural beauty.
There are few parks in Florida with as much to offer as Pinellas County’s Fort DeSoto Park. And no park in the state, not even Everglades National Park, attracts as many visitors.
Discover a less well-known string of islands — Gasparilla Island, Don Pedro Island and Manasota Key. Each holds a spectacular state park with top beaches.
Miss the change of seasons? Here’s fall in South Florida: Fields of wild sunflower bloom in Florida every fall, and a preserve near Immokalee is the best place to view them. The preserve opens for this occasion on Friday Oct. 8 and Saturday, Oct. 9, 2022. You must reserve ahead.
Naples is a wealthy enclave with lush, tropical neighborhoods and lots of natural beauty close and accessible. Here’s a guide to things to do outdoors in Naples and surrounding areas.
Florida’s celebrity in the orchid world — the ghost orchid — is blooming at the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, attracting orchid fans who want to spot this rare variety.
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.
Lake Placid has quite a few stories to tell, and they are told in murals. On the walls of 50 buildings. All over town.
The annual Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim on July 4 is a non-competititve swim across the 1.5-mile wide Peace River. Some kayak, some swim, some just float. It’s been a local tradition for 30 years.
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. The good news: It makes a satisfying daytrip, especially on a bike.
This paved bike trail system has it all — spectacular scenery, a smooth paved surface with few road crossings and great amenities and stops along the way. And it keeps getting better. The final northern segment to downtown Sarasota just opened.
The best Southwest Florida camping can be found in public parks, beaches and forests where the costs are low and experience is wild.