The Lower Gulf Coast: Places to Explore


  • Cabbage Key

    Cabbage Key is the ultimate island-hopping escape in these parts. Some say Jimmy Buffett was inspired to write "Cheeseburger in Paradise" after a visit to its popular restaurant.... Read more

  • Cape Coral, Pine Island, and North Fort Myers

    Cape Coral is determinedly trying to move from its pigeonhole as a residential community by attracting tourism with its downtown reconfiguration, The Resort at MarinaVillage, and destination restaurants... Read more

  • Estero/Bonita Springs

    Towns below Fort Myers have started to flow seamlessly into one another since the opening of Florida Gulf Coast University in San Carlos Park and as a result of the growth of Estero and Bonita Springs... Read more

  • Fort Myers

    The city core lies inland along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, a half hour from the nearest beach. The town is best known as the winter home of inventors Thomas A. Edison and Henry Ford.... Read more

  • Fort Myers Beach (Estero Island)

    Crammed with motels, hotels, and restaurants, Estero Island is one of Fort Myers's more frenetic gulf playgrounds. Dolphins frequently frolic in Estero Bay, part of the Intracoastal Waterway, and marinas... Read more

  • Gasparilla Island (Boca Grande)

    Before roads to the Lower Gulf Coast were even talked about, wealthy Northerners came by train to spend the winter at the Gasparilla Inn. The inn was completed in 1913 in Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island... Read more

  • Marco Island

    High-rises dominate part of the shores of Marco Island, which is connected to the mainland by two bridges. Yet because of its distance from downtown Naples, it retains an isolated feeling much appreciated... Read more

  • Naples

    Poised between the Gulf of Mexico and the Everglades, Naples belies its wild setting and Indian past with the trappings of wealth—neo-Mediterranean-style mansions, neatly manicured golfing developments... Read more

  • Sanibel and Captiva Islands

    Sanibel Island is famous as one of the world's best shelling grounds, a function of the unusual east–west orientation of the island's south end. Just as the tide is going out and after storms, the pickings... Read more