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
Pair in custody after chemicals found in car in Hollywood
Oct 31, 2014 7:08 pm
A man and a woman were taken into custody Friday after chemicals were found in the trunk of the car they were driving in Hollywood, police said.
Lauderdale Lakes commissioner could face school suspension
Oct 31, 2014 6:56 pm
A Broward County schools committee is recommending Lauderdale Lakes Commissioner Gloria Lewis be suspended from her teaching position for 10 days without pay for allegedly hitting a student in her cla...
Masked men fail to rob Dania check cashing store
Oct 31, 2014 5:33 pm
It was a treat-free trick that two masked men pulled on an employee of The Check Cashing Store in Dania Beach: They broke in to the business through the roof, and tried to rob the place on Halloween.
Boat show backwash: Idle speed zones on city streets
Oct 31, 2014 4:18 pm
Count on beach-area roads to be more jammed than usual this weekend as more than 100,000 visitors head to the city's waterways for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.
Uptown plans envision a village
Oct 31, 2014 4:14 pm
As plans move forward for uptown Fort Lauderdale's future, it's cars that are taking a back seat and pedestrians who are doing the driving.
NSU renames Oceanographic Center for Guy Harvey
Oct 31, 2014 3:13 pm
Nova Southeastern University plans to rename its Oceanographic Center in honor of wildlife artist and conservationist Guy Harvey.
Police release second sketch after Hollywood abduction attempts
Oct 31, 2014 11:26 am
After three attempted abductions of two girls and a woman in downtown Hollywood within the past two weeks, police on Thursday released a second sketch of possible suspects.
Inventor's app links history to location
Oct 30, 2014 11:59 pm
Ray Briant III wants to put history in the palm of your hand.
Helicopter, airboat used in rescue of missing man
Oct 30, 2014 11:43 pm
A helicopter, a K-9 unit and an airboat were used in the rescue of an 85-year-old man who was reported missing in West Palm Beach and found in Broward County.
Robber hits up Parkland bank, runs away
Oct 30, 2014 10:15 pm
The search is on for a hooded robber who demanded money from an employee at a Parkland bank and then ran away.