The Lower Gulf Coast

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Lower Gulf Coast - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    There have been big changes here at the museum and it all starts before you even enter, with giant shell photos on the exterior of the building...Read More

  • 2. Imaginarium Science Center

    Museum/Gallery

    Kids can't wait to get their hands on the wonderful interactive exhibits at this lively museum–aquarium combo that explores technology, physics...Read More

  • 3. J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    More than half of Sanibel is occupied by the subtly beautiful 6,300 acres of wetlands and jungly mangrove forests named after a conservation...Read More

  • 4. Sun Splash Family Waterpark

    Amusement Park/Water Park

    Head here to cool off when summer swelters. Nearly two dozen wet and dry attractions include 10 thrill waterslides; the Sand Dollar Walk, where...Read More

  • 5. Alison Hagerup Beach Park

    Beach–Sight

    This park, once called Captiva Beach, is acclaimed as one of the nation's most romantic beaches for its fabulous sunsets—the best view on Sanibel...Read More

  • 6. Babcock Wilderness Adventures

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    To see what Florida looked like centuries ago, visit Babcock's Crescent B Ranch, northeast of Fort Myers. During the 90-minute swamp-buggy-style...Read More

  • 7. Bowman's Beach

    Beach–Sight

    This long, wide beach on Sanibel's northwest end is the island's most secluded strand, but it also has the most amenities. Park facilities include...Read More

  • 8. Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium

    Observatory/Planetarium

    Get a look at Florida's native animals and habitats. Boardwalks and trails lead through subtropical wetlands, a birds-of-prey aviary, and a...Read More

  • 9. City of Naples Beach

    Beach–Sight

    There's something here for everyone just west of the 3rd Street South shopping area, but what gets the most attention by far is the historic...Read More

  • 10. Collier County Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    To get a feel for local history, stroll the nicely presented indoor vignettes and traveling exhibits and outdoor parklike displays at this museum...Read More

  • 11. Conservancy of Southwest Florida Nature Center

    Zoo/Aquarium

    If you’re looking to connect with nature, this is the place, regardless of age. Take a 45-minute electric boat tour (ages 2+) along the Gordon...Read More

  • 12. ECHO Global Farm Tours & Nursery

    Garden/Arboretum

    ECHO is an international Christian nonprofit striving to end world hunger via creative farming. A 90-minute tour of its working farm is honestly...Read More

  • 13. Everglades Wonder Gardens

    Zoo/Aquarium

    Opened in 1936 by two retired moonshiners from Detroit, the Everglades Wonder Gardens was one of the first roadside attractions in the state...Read More

  • 14. Golisano Children's Museum of Naples

    Museum/Gallery

    This bright, cheery 30,000-square-foot ode to playful learning burst onto Naples's cultural scene in 2012 after a decade of much-anticipated...Read More

  • 15. Gulfside Park Preserve

    Beach–Sight

    The beach is quiet, safe from strong currents, and good for solitude, bird-watching, and shell-finding. There are restrooms, and long stretches...Read More

  • 16. Lowdermilk Park

    Beach–Sight

    Do you prefer your beach loud and active with a big dose of good old-fashioned fun? Kids running around in the surf, volleyballers hitting the...Read More

  • 17. Lynn Hall Memorial Park

    Park/Playground

    At the 17-acre park in the commercial northern part of Estero Island, the wide, sandy shore slopes gradually into the usually tranquil and warm...Read More

  • 18. Manatee Park

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    Here you may glimpse Florida's most famous, yet often hard to spot, marine mammal. When Gulf waters drop to 68°F or below—usually from November...Read More

  • 19. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

    Zoo/Aquarium

    The lush 44-acre zoo got its start as a botanical garden in 1919 and has since drawn visitors curious to see lions, tigers, bears, leopards...Read More

  • 20. Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    In the midst of 110,000-acre Rookery Bay National Marine Estuary, the center dramatically interprets the Everglades environment and local history...Read More

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