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
At least 9 people hit by lightning on L.A. beaches
Jul 28, 2014 4:05 am
One man was killed and at least eight others were hurt when lightning from a rare band of summer thunderstorms struck Venice Beach Sunday afternoon.
SunPass works on compatibility with other states
Jul 28, 2014 4:00 am
Q: Will SunPass be compatible in the near future with Illinois' I-Pass?
3 men rescued after boat capsizes, sinks off Delray Beach
Jul 28, 2014 2:24 am
Three boaters in distress were rescued Sunday afternoon by two lifeguards and a good Samaritan after their vessel capsized more than a mile offshore, officials say.
Police: Man shot in Miramar, gunman on the run | Video
Jul 28, 2014 1:44 am
Police were investigating a Sunday night shooting that sent one man to the hospital with at least one gunshot wound.
LeBron James ditches No. 6, to again wear No. 23 with Cavs | Photos
Jul 28, 2014 1:43 am
LeBron James is finished with the Miami Heat. He's also finished with the No. 6 he has worn during the past four NBA Finals and to celebrate his only two NBA championships.
Nobody pushes Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks around | Video
Jul 27, 2014 9:25 pm
Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks has gained a well-earned reputation as being Miami's toughest playerRandy Starks has a take no prisoners approach to life, so anyone standing in his way better m...
A1A getting makeover north of Sunrise Blvd. | Video
Jul 27, 2014 8:46 pm
A storm-battered stretch of A1A is getting a permanent facelift, with amenities that will make it much more inviting for bicyclists and pedestrians.
'Lucy,' 'Hercules' beat expectations at box office
Jul 27, 2014 6:29 pm
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Lucy," starring Scarlett Johansson as a woman with a super-powered brain, collected $44 million to win the domestic box office race, outmuscling "Hercu...
Practice report: Live updates from Dolphins training camp | Video
Jul 27, 2014 6:12 pm
Michael Thomas and Jordan Kovacs are the third team safeties today.
Bank manager leaves sugar-filled envelope, reports it as suspicious package, agents say | Video
Jul 27, 2014 1:07 pm
Katie Kim-Sue Smith no longer employed by SunTrust; facing federal chargesOn a weekday morning in June, a mysterious envelope appeared outside a SunTrust bank branch in Wellington. The suspicious pack...