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 plans to extend University Drive
Sep 1, 2014 4:00 am
Q: I know it's been discussed before and rejected to extend University Drive into Palm Beach County and connect it to Palmetto Park Road. Since they are developing the wedge, are plans back on the tab...
`Everglades quarter' highlights Florida ecology
Aug 31, 2014 4:11 pm
New coin expected to be popularCoin collectors, nature lovers and anyone with change in their pockets soon will discover a new quarter featuring a long-necked anhinga spreading its wings in semitropic...
Seminole Hard Rock revenue equal to 8 other So. Fla. casinos combined
Aug 31, 2014 3:05 pm
State figures show Seminole making $2.1 billionThe Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has been the king of South Florida casinos since opening in 2004, and recent state revenue figures show exactly...
Labor Day report: Florida wage gap widens
Aug 31, 2014 2:06 pm
Women make gains, but many workers have stagnant payWorking hard but still struggling to get ahead?
Joan Rivers reportedly on life support | Video, photos
Aug 31, 2014 12:54 pm
LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) -Joan Rivers remains unconscious since being rushed to a New York hospital on Thursday morning, according to ABC News.
Labor Day freebies, dining deals and coupons | Doreen's deals
Aug 31, 2014 11:45 am
You won't have to work hard to score big savings with my Labor Day weekend roundup of freebies, coupons and deals on fun things to do around South Florida.
Big savings, little work on Labor Day
Aug 31, 2014 4:00 am
Monday marks the official end of fun in the sun.
Big data boosts enrollment at tiny Lynn University
Aug 31, 2014 4:00 am
As students return to campus at Lynn University in Boca Raton , they may notice there's a lot more of them.
Coral protection could have wide-ranging impact | Photos
Aug 31, 2014 3:24 am
A federal decision to protect an unprecedented variety of corals found in South Florida could affect beach restoration work, coastal development, channel dredging and fishing.
Ugly cash fight over disabled man's $10 million win
Aug 31, 2014 3:19 am
Eric Brody's family sued by former law and PR firmsWho would sue a brain-damaged man whose life was ruined when a speeding cop plowed into his car 16 years ago? His former law and PR firms, naturally....