Lake Placid has quite a few stories to tell, and they are told in murals. On the walls of 50 buildings. All over town.
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.
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.
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.
The best Southwest Florida camping can be found in public parks, beaches and forests where the costs are low and experience is wild.
Few South Florida hiking or biking trails rival this 12-mile-long trail near Naples for scenery and wildlife. It deserves to be known outside the Naples area.
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.
You can get gator tail and swamp cabbage at this festival. But the real reason to go is to revel in a last corner of small town America in Florida — beauty pageants, high school bands, armadillo races and a rodeo.
When it’s chilly, you can see dozens of manatees at this free park. Even without manatees, the Orange River is a beautiful kayak trail through Old Florida scenery.
Our guide lists more than 350 locally owned craft breweries in Florida, easily referenced by region and by city.
The Everglades Seafood Festival in Everglades City is back in 2022 with fresh local seafood, country music, carnival rides, arts and crafts.
Vast and remote, the Ten Thousand Islands off Florida’s southwest coast seems challenging to visit, a labyrinth of twisting channels through thousands of remote mangrove islands.
Red tide barely detectable off Northwest Florida coast.
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.
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, 2021. You must reserve ahead.
So many things that make Lovers Key State Park so lovable: A 2.5 mile beach lined with natural vegetation that is perfect for swimming, beachcombing and bird watching, and mangrove-lined waterways that attract both manatees and kayakers.
Punta Gorda is blessed with a beautiful riverfront location, but it doesn’t have a beach. And there lies the reason it has an off-the-beaten-track quality. It’s a great place for kayaking, biking, hiking, birding and discovering funky crab shacks and other authentic Florida experiences.