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
Malaysia Airlines says 'fearing the worst' for missing jet
Mar 9, 2014 6:37 am
Radar tracking a missing Malaysia Airlines flight indicated that it may have turned back from its scheduled route to Beijing before disappearing, and Malaysian rescue teams have expanded their search ...
The best and worst retailers: Publix vs. Walmart | Photo gallery
Mar 9, 2014 5:00 am
People love to hate Walmart.
Fishermen rescued off Key Biscayne after their boat sinks | Video
Mar 9, 2014 3:53 am
Officials say a group of fishermen whose boat sank off Key Biscayne spent more than 10 hours in the water before their rescue.
Dolphins expected to be big spenders again in free agency
Mar 9, 2014 2:02 am
The Dolphins are expected to bid high for some of the top free agent offensive linemenThe Miami Dolphins handed out the largest contract in free agency last offseason, giving Mike Wallace a guaranteed...
Will Saturday's Tiger be Sunday's Tiger?
Mar 9, 2014 1:34 am
Tiger Woods shot a 66 during the third round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, and is in prime position at DoralTiger Woods, who has become just as enigmatic as he used to be dominant, has done it aga...
The frustrating, confusing world of mental illness
Mar 9, 2014 12:22 am
Finding suitable treatment, shelter is no easy task After writing about mental-health crisis training for police last week, I got an outpouring of response from people who've been impacted by mental i...
SunPass making progress in bid for national use | Poll
Mar 9, 2014 12:14 am
Florida is making progress in its efforts to have SunPass accepted nationwide.
Hebrew school on wheels to start classes this fall | Video
Mar 9, 2014 12:14 am
Some observant Jews balk at Hebrew school because it interferes with soccer practice. Others don't have the money to pay a synagogue membership. Traveling Cantor Debbi Ballard says she has the answer....
Retiree helps right Medal of Honor wrongs | Photos
Mar 9, 2014 12:13 am
On March 18, at a White House ceremony, 24 soldiers will be awarded the Medal of Honor, all but three posthumously. President Barack Obama phoned Joe Rodriguez, of Dania Beach, to ask whether he would...
Sober homes face new government scrutiny
Mar 9, 2014 12:11 am
For years, the proliferation of sober houses has been a source of frustration for city leaders and neighbors.