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
Heat can beat Charlotte this way – but anyone else?
Apr 24, 2014 3:02 am
Heat beat Bobcats, 101-97, to take 2-0 series leadMIAMI — Nervous now?
Heat meander, eventually close out Bobcats 101-97 for 2-0 series lead
Apr 24, 2014 2:13 am
For just about all of the 48 minutes, the Miami Heat searched for motivation, purpose, the very type of perseverance Al Jefferson was providing for the Charlotte Bobcats.
Miami Dolphins 2014 schedule released
Apr 24, 2014 12:02 am
The Dolphins will host the New England Patriots in Miami's season opener Sept. 7.
Sunrise takes stand against puppy mills
Apr 23, 2014 11:59 pm
A new city law aims to protect animal lovers from unknowingly buying a sick dog born in a puppy mill.
Live updates: Charlotte Bobcats at Miami Heat
Apr 23, 2014 10:51 pm
FCAT problems fixed in Broward, Palm Beach
Apr 23, 2014 10:24 pm
Computer problems that prevented some students from taking the FCAT Tuesday appear to be solved in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Bond denied for man accused of leaving injured bicyclist behind dumpster
Apr 23, 2014 10:19 pm
A Pompano Beach man accused of hitting a bicyclist with his car, leaving the injured man behind a dumpster and not calling authorities will remain in jail until trial, a court ruled Wednesday.
Woman spent elderly Alzheimer's patient's money on penthouse, Bentley, say police
Apr 23, 2014 8:52 pm
Nancy Tsai, 66, facing theft, exploitation of elderly person chargesRavaged by Alzheimer's, a 92-year-old Palm Beach woman's mental capacity was deemed non-existent. She reacted to her surroundings as...
Baywatch at 25: The most famous alums | Photos
Apr 23, 2014 6:04 pm
It's been 25 years since David Hasselhoff and company began running the beaches of Los Angeles County in red swimsuits.
New specialty license plates hit Florida roads | Photos
Apr 23, 2014 5:07 pm
The specialty license plate spigot has been tightened in the last few years, but there are still drops getting through including two new plates on the road this year and at least four new potential pl...