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
FLL airport Ebola prep: Quarantine hangar, hand sanitizer
Oct 24, 2014 6:47 pm
You're inside a jet airliner soaring toward Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. You hear sneezing, then the whispers: Someone on this plane might have Ebola.
Comments sought on passenger rail plan
Oct 24, 2014 6:32 pm
Harboring some worthy thoughts on train travel? Here's your chance to share.
Mega medical group primes for more growth
Oct 24, 2014 5:30 pm
Born as Pediatrix in 1979, Sunrise-based Mednax is now a mature 35. And the medical group has been prolific.
Plantation man's computer contained child pornography, authorities say
Oct 24, 2014 5:12 pm
A potential bond of $251,000 was set instead at $40,000 Friday for a Plantation man accused of having more than two dozen child pornography images and videos on his computer.
At Broward Center, Ghost Light Society lights the way
Oct 24, 2014 4:21 pm
The young-patrons group celebrates five years of fundraising and influence with a Saturday-night soiree.The young-patrons group celebrates five years of fundraising and influence with a Saturday-night...
Dunkin' Donuts killer's sentencing postponed again
Oct 24, 2014 10:22 am
Sentencing for convicted killer James Herard, who faces the death penalty for his role in the November 2008 murder of Eric Jean-Pierre in Lauderhill, has again been postponed.
Homeless advocates say new Fort Lauderdale laws won't silence them
Oct 24, 2014 10:16 am
The homeless may not have a place to live, but they and their advocates turned City Hall into a part-time residence this year as they fought against a wave of homeless restrictions.
Sunrise man claims class ring lost 40 years ago
Oct 24, 2014 9:23 am
Barry Greenfield is getting back the class ring he lost 40 years ago, but he's more intrigued by the man who held on to it that entire time with the hope of finding the ring's owner.
'Fort Lauderdale is prepared' for Ebola
Oct 24, 2014 9:12 am
As an Ebola scare sweeps the world, Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue officials assured the public that they're ready for it and have been for years.
Man secretly videotaped woman, kids in bathroom, authorities say
Oct 24, 2014 8:57 am
A 32-year-old North Lauderdale resident is facing two charges of video voyeurism after authorities said he used a camera to surreptiously record a woman and her two children as they used the bathroom ...