Southwest Florida occupies the southernmost shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico in the state of Florida, starting with Port Charlotte to the north and all the way to the Everglades. It is most famous for its beautiful beaches, exciting water sports, fine hotels and unforgettable shopping experience, as well as world class golf courses. The wonderful tropical weather and the warm Gulf breeze, which allow for activities in the sun all year round, are another reason why travelers from everywhere appreciate this lovely bit of Florida. Needless to say, Southwest Florida has all the elements of a once in a lifetime travel adventure, and it is no wonder that travelers from around the world easily pick this beautiful tourist spot for their next travel destination.
Comprising of the Gulf Coast counties of Collier, Charlotte, Lee, Manatee, Monroe and Sarasota, Southwest Florida is accessible to the rest of the world through the Southwest Florida International airport in Lee, to which most international carriers like Air Canada, Air Berlin and Westjet offer numerous flights. Others prefer to fly in through the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport, which is located between the counties of Sarasota and Manatee. Once in Southwest Florida, visitors can easily navigate its different parts by car or by riding its highly organized bus system, such as Manatee County Area Transit.
One of the most ideal ways to make the most of a Southwest Florida vacation is to hop from one county to the next, visiting the lovely attractions one after the other. A perfect way to begin this exciting exploration is by exploring Collier, Southwest Florida’s biggest county, and discovering many of its natural reserves and parks. Considered Florida’s Last Paradise, Collier prides itself on a number of beautiful parks and limitless opportunities to commune with nature and enjoy the great outdoors. Some of these must-visit parks include the Everglades National Park in Everglades City, where one can explore a lovely maze of mangrove islands called the Ten Thousand Islands. Open between 9am to 4.30pm daily, visitors will have plenty of time to enjoy an assortment of interesting activities including marveling at educational displays, watching orientation films, as well as participating in one of the boat or canoe tours. Another park in Collier that is worth your time is the Collier-Seminole State Park, which is home to the Bay City Walking Dredge, which was used to build the Tamiami Trail and is considered a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. The state park covers more than 6,000 acres of lush greeneries, mangrove swamps and a wide assortment of wildlife, including alligators, bald eagles and other bird species, pelicans and fox squirrels.
In Sarasota County, the best way to begin exploring is by visiting The Ringling Estate, located on Bay Shore Road. This is home to many of Sarasota’s beautiful attractions, including the 18th Century Historic Asolo Theater, the vast art collection at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, which is the first of its kind, and the romantic mansion of Ca d’Zan. Another must see Sarasota attraction is the Mote Marine Acquarium on Ken Thompson Parkway, where you can find a host of different species, including the manatee, an animal indigenous to Florida.
Meanwhile, there is no better place to start exploring the county of Charlotte than by heading straight to Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park that manages about 80 miles of the Charlotte Harbor shoreline. The Charlotte country state park is also home to a vast number of wildlife, as well as activities for kayaking and bird and animal watching.
Of course any Southwest Florida vacation ought to be concluded with a trip to one of its many beautiful beaches. Being any beachcombing activity by visiting the idyllic white sand beaches and the vast expanse of Gulf of Mexico in the city of Naples, starting with the beaches of Ft Myers, Vanderbilt and Clam Pass.
After spending a considerable amount of time under the sun exploring the great outdoors, participating in a number of exciting activities and spending endless of hours on the beach, one must cap a Southwest Florida vacation by trying out many of its lovely restaurants and trying out the mouthwatering seafood dishes. While winding down after a gastronomic adventure, one can spend the lazy night strolling and checking out a number of shops in the region and checking for unique items and wares and travel souvenirs.