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
Hounds in costume join Easter bunny at Doggie Egg Hunt
Mar 28, 2015 7:18 pm
These hunters used their eager noses, framed by whiskers resembling the Easter bunny's, to sniff out treats during a non-traditional egg hunt. It proved to be a howling good time.
Bill gives high school athletes options on where to play
Mar 28, 2015 4:00 am
High school athletes could act almost as free agents if a bill that reforms the Florida High School Athletic Association passes through the Legislature.
Is wider race probe of Fort Lauderdale police needed?
Mar 28, 2015 4:00 am
Overt racism is easy to spot and condemn. For instance, cops spewing racial slurs and making a video that seems to take perverse delight in showing a black man being bitten by a police dog and Preside...
Broward judge rebuffs demand he remove himself from massive caseload
Mar 27, 2015 10:30 pm
Prosecutors have called for a recently elected Broward circuit judge to remove himself from nearly 1,000 criminal cases because he showed favoritism to a defense lawyer.
Climate change: State lags whether phrase banned or not
Mar 27, 2015 10:04 pm
Whether or not Florida Gov. Rick Scott banned the phrase "climate change," there's no question the state has not made the issue a priority.
Hollywood gets its wish; homeless trek north
Mar 27, 2015 10:00 pm
Like ragged refugees seeking a promised land, a mass exodus of Hollywood's homeless hit the road for an undisclosed northerly destination shortly after noon Friday.
NAACP opens call center to root out racially-biased police work
Mar 27, 2015 9:45 pm
Local citizens who believe they've been victims of racially-biased police now have a path to pursue justice: an NAACP-run call center that will log public complaints.
Fort Lauderdale police officer subject of investigation
Mar 27, 2015 8:25 pm
A road patrol officer with nearly two decades on the job was relieved from duty with pay after an internal affairs investigation began in January.
FAU professor: women should not serve in ground combat
Mar 27, 2015 5:22 pm
Florida Atlantic University may have another professor with controversial ideas, a philosophy professor Carol Gould is speaking out against women serving in ground combat.
Broward ranks high for future community health
Mar 27, 2015 4:00 am
Lookin' fit and fine, Broward.