Florida's Lower Gulf Coast is a series of layers: on the outside, a string of barrier islands with popular and crowded beaches; next, a series of large and small communities anchored by Sarasota in the north and Naples in the south; and finally, virtually empty rural areas that are largely sawgrass wilderness.
Virtually all of Florida south of Lake Okeechobee and outside the coast strips is taken up by the Everglades. This "River of Grass" is crossed by I-75 in the famed "Alligator Alley" that runs between Ft. Lauderdale and Naples. But from Naples north along the coast is a virtually unbroken string of small towns and cities, joined together by their proximity to the Gulf and the fishing, shipping, and tourism industries that developed and sustains this region.
Sarasota is considered the major cultural center of the region. This city developed a reputation as an artists' colony in the 1920s, and today the town is known worldwide for its music festivals, its ballet, opera, and theater. Farther south, Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, and Fort Myers are the major urban centers.
With hints of Spring in the air after what seems like an endless winter, warm weather communities are seeming more and more attractive to retire to. Why live in an area where you look forward to a few short summer months, when you can live in warmth year Read more...
South Florida News from The Sun-Sentinel
No bail for Lauderdale cabbie accused of raping passenger
Mar 6, 2015 6:00 pm
A Fort Lauderdale cab driver accused of kidnapping and raping a Canadian fare will not be allowed out of jail as he awaits trial, a Broward judge ruled Friday.
Broward teachers, district reach deal on long-awaited raises
Mar 6, 2015 5:56 pm
The Broward school district and its teachers union have finally reached an agreement to give 14,000 teachers their promised pay hikes.
Eight Broward cities to hold elections Tuesday
Mar 6, 2015 3:26 pm
Voters in eight Broward cities will go to the polls Tuesday, deciding races for mayor in Miramar and Plantation and filling 13 other commission or council seats.
Traffic jam? Signs to advise alternate routes, estimated times
Mar 6, 2015 2:19 pm
When a highway accident jams traffic, commuters get warnings posted on overhead signs but no advice on what to do.
Car hits Fort Lauderdale restaurant; driver hospitalized
Mar 6, 2015 12:26 am
A 43-year-old woman was taken to the hospital Thursday afternoon after the car she was driving left the road and crashed into a Fort Lauderdale business.
Police seek men in connection with fight at Lauderhill gentlemen's club
Mar 6, 2015 12:05 am
Police on Thursday released photos of two unidentified men wanted for questioning in connection with a fight at a gentlemen's club in Lauderhill.
South Florida flights affected by LaGuardia runway skid, more snow
Mar 5, 2015 11:50 pm
Nearly 180 flights into and out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport were canceled or delayed Thursday because of snowy weather and a runway mishap at a New York airport.
Fort Lauderdale's planned aquatic center still causing waves
Mar 5, 2015 10:43 pm
Plans for a new Fort Lauderdale aquatic center have been swimming in controversy for years.
El Nio confirmed, may reduce hurricane threat
Mar 5, 2015 10:33 pm
The climate phenomenon called El Nio has arrived for the first time in five years, and with it could come a decrease in the upcoming season's risk of hurricanes.