The annual Charlotte Harbor Freedom Swim is July 4, but while folks cross the 1.5-mile wide Peace River, this isn’t a race. It’s a “bobblefest.”
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.
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.
This tiny fishing village wedged between Bradenton and Anna Marie Island celebrates its rich heritage as a commercial fishing hub.
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.
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.
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.
The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, an Audubon Society preserve, takes you on a hike via boardwalk with good wildlife viewing and exquisite scenery.