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...
Many of today's seniors enjoyed an era where they weren't overly concerned about locking their doors and windows. They were even farther away from a time where they had to exercise genuine caution when talking on the phone or reading their email. Even the Read more...
South Florida News from The Sun-Sentinel
Hope for miracle dims but search goes on for missing boys
Jul 30, 2015 7:19 pm
Families hoped for a miracle even as science nagged that one was improbable and rescue crews went into a seventh day of searches Thursday for two teens missing at sea.
The Latest: Family vows to continue private search for boys
Jul 30, 2015 7:11 pm
The latest on the search for the two Florida teens who went missing while on a fishing trip off Florida's Atlantic coast:
David Cassidy prepares to auction Florida mansion
Jul 30, 2015 7:03 pm
Like many of his baby boomer peers with grown children and debts to settle, one-time heartthrob David Cassidy is looking to downsize.
Hulk Hogan's privacy lawsuit against Gawker set for 2016
Jul 30, 2015 6:50 pm
A Florida judge on Thursday set a trial date of March 2016 for a lawsuit brought by Hulk Hogan - the biggest name on pro wrestling marquees in the '80s and '90s and later a reality TV star - against t...
Oops! GOP chair might not be allowed at party's big event
Jul 30, 2015 5:40 pm
Florida Republicans will host the GOP presidential candidates at their premiere fundraising event of the year, but the state party chairman, the House speaker and 79 other Republican representatives m...
Deep end: Redland water polo phenom swims onto world stage
Jul 30, 2015 4:12 pm
When Donna Johnson decided to raise her five children in the peaceful, pastoral splendor of the Redland, she chose a five-acre plot dotted with mango, avocado and sapodilla trees.
Sheriff: Undercover deputy shoots man who attacked him
Jul 30, 2015 3:33 pm
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says an undercover deputy shot and wounded a man early Thursday in Lake Worth.
Fantasy 5 results in rolldown after no one picks 5 numbers
Jul 30, 2015 1:48 pm
No one selected all five numbers in the "Fantasy 5" game resulting in a rolldown.
Ingalls is largest manufacturing employer in Mississippi
Jul 30, 2015 12:35 pm
Huntington Ingalls Industries has given its first tour of its Shipyard of the Future, showing off the company's emphasis on efficiency in the four years since it was spun off from Northrop Grumman, an...
Investigators looking for man who took iPad from little boy
Jul 30, 2015 12:08 pm
Broward Sheriff's investigators are searching for a man they say snatched an iPad from a 4-year-old boy as he watched cartoons while waiting for his mother at a beauty salon.