South Central Gulf Coast
The South Central Gulf Coast offers beautiful beaches, glorious weather, stunning islands and historic cities and towns. Anna Maria Island is the perfect destination for those who wish to get away from it all and wash away their cares in the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Cape Coral is the destination of choice for the water sports enthusiasts. With over 400 miles of navigable waterways, lake and a river, the city opens up vistas for endless marine fun.
Fort Myers beach promises some of the best sunsets in the Florida region while the town of Fort Myers is home to one of the first forts ever to be built along the Caloosahatchee River as a base of operations against the Seminole Indians.
Sanibel Island is another interesting destination in the South Central Gulf Coast. You can simply laze away the beach to get away from it all or indulge in some great outdoor activities such as golfing, fishing, boating, and canoeing. Sarasota invites the golf enthusiasts and is home to several golf courses designed by famous names such as Bobby Jones and Donald Ross. You can also visit Siesta Key, a beautiful barrier island about eight miles long and located just offshore of Sarasota.
Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico in Florida with beautiful turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. With its laidback ambience, the place boasts an old Florida charm where flip flops are a way of life and the main aim is to get away from it all. In keeping with this spirit, the island does not have high rise condos but several quaint villas, restaurants and shops where you can experience the old world living amidst stunning surroundings. The island was originally used for hunting and fishing and the only way to reach it was by boat. Today the Anna Maria Island Historical Society showcases the island paradise in the original form it was discovered by the local American Indian tribes and later by Spanish explorers.
Cape Coral is a city in Lee County in Florida. With over 400 miles (640 km) of navigable waterways, it has more miles of canals than any other city in the world. Because of this it is also known as the ‘Waterfront Wonderland.’ Besides the canals, there are several lakes and a mega river also. For some great family fun, you can head to the Sun Splash Family Waterpark, which offers more than two dozen wet and dry attractions on 15 tropical acres. For something more passive, you can drift down to the Yacht and Racquet Club.
Fort Myers is a popular tourist town in Southwest Florida. Fort Myers was one of the first forts built along the Caloosahatchee River as a base of operations against the Seminole Indians. Boasting great weather, it is famous for its beaches, fishing, golfing and shopping. It is also the venue of the Butterfly Estates, a butterfly conservatory found in the river district area. The conservatory houses all the species of butterflies native to Florida. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates is another major attraction of Fort Myers. Spread across 15,000 sq. ft., the museum houses hundreds of Edison and Ford inventions and objects, video theatres, and changing special exhibits.
Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers Beach is a town located on Estero Island in Lee County in Florida. The city has some of the best sunsets in the Gulf Coast and the cloud formations and weather only add to the beauty. Till the bridges connected Fort Myers to Estero, the town was just a 7- mile stretch of coastline known for its shallow water and no undertow. These days the beaches remain but they have been complimented by various recreational facilities like Lovers Key State Park, where back bays and mangrove forests provide the perfect platform for great kayaking and wildlife watching.
Sanibel Island is a short ride away from Fort Myers International Airport, Florida. World renowned for its shelling beaches and what is known as the ‘Sanibel Stoop,’ the town has everything for a truly unforgettable holiday experience. You can simply laze away at the beach to get away from it all or indulge in some great outdoor activities such as golfing, fishing, boating, and canoeing. There are several bike paths waiting to be explored and theatrical productions to be enjoyed. While there, you can also explore the renowned J.N. “Ding Darling” National Wildlife Refuge & Bird Sanctuary and visit the Point Ybel Lighthouse, which has guided seafarers to Sanibel Island’s shores since 1884.
Sarasota is a city located in Sarasota County on the south western coast of Florida, near Tampa Bay Area and Fort Myers. Its boundary includes Sarasota Bay and several barrier islands between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico. These islands that separate Sarasota Bay from the gulf are known as Florida Keys and these are famous for their fine sandy beaches. The warm climate has added to Sarasota’s popularity as a tourist destination. Many golf courses dot the area, many of which have been designed by world-famous golf architects including Donald Ross and Bobby Jones. Sport fishing is another favourite activity.
Siesta Key is a beautiful barrier island about eight miles long and located just offshore of Sarasota. The area offers a tropical environ and is blessed with fine, white sandy beaches and charming hideaways. There is always plenty to do amidst the warm breezes and the cool waters. The island is home to Siesta Village which is famous for its wild parrots and many other shore birds including terns, plovers, ibis, spoonbills, and storks. It is little wonder that bird watching is a favourite activity here. You can also see several species of exotic flowers, tropical trees and flowering shrubs. Offshore dolphins and manatees can be seen frolicking in the gulf and bay waters.