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
APNewsBreak: Email shows U. Iowa 'mandate' for female coach
Aug 31, 2015 6:59 pm
University of Iowa athletics department administrators ordered a female be hired over male candidates for an assistant track coaching job regardless of qualifications, an internal email from the head ...
Long-time prosecutor who investigated Winston is retiring
Aug 31, 2015 6:31 pm
The Florida prosecutor who investigated numerous state politicians and conducted a high-profile probe into rape allegations against Jameis Winston is ending his lengthy career.
Fred is easternmost hurricane to form in tropics of Atlantic
Aug 31, 2015 6:21 pm
Weather forecasters say Hurricane Fred is easternmost hurricane known to have formed in the Atlantic tropics, and the first to actually pass over the Cape Verde Islands as a hurricane
5 Things to Know in Florida for August 31
Aug 31, 2015 11:33 am
Your daily look at news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.
After criticism, UF professor gives Monsanto grant away
Aug 31, 2015 8:17 am
A University of Florida horticulture professor targeted by activists for accepting $25,000 from the biotech company Monsanto is donating the money to a food pantry program.
Steven Sotloff's parents opens up as 1-yr anniversary nears
Aug 31, 2015 8:12 am
It's been one year since the Islamic State group released a video showing a jihadi behead American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff and now his parents are speaking out in a rare interview.
UCF students want to make bionic arms for Syrian children
Aug 31, 2015 8:02 am
University of Central Florida engineering students who have used 3-D printers to make prosthetic arms for children with missing limbs want to help children in Syria.
Orlando airport services 3.5 million travelers in July
Aug 31, 2015 7:27 am
Nearly 3.5 million passengers passed through Orlando International Airport last month, an increase of more than eight percent from last year.
2 injured when small plane crashes off Florida expressway
Aug 31, 2015 7:00 am
Two people have been injured after their small plane crashed off a busy South Florida highway.
Experts say tough talk on China overlooks economic realities
Aug 31, 2015 1:03 am
If there was ever a week for the Republican presidential candidates to talk tough on China, this was it. Spurred by the stock market's wild ride, they lashed out at the world's most populous nation.