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 fall to 76ers in finale, open playoffs Sunday vs. Bobcats
Apr 17, 2014 2:53 am
It will be Pat Riley vs. Michael Jordan in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Pembroke Pines woman accused of giving Botox injections out of her garage
Apr 17, 2014 2:30 am
A 43-year-old woman has been arrested and accused of practicing medical procedures without a license in the garage of her Pembroke Pines home, police said.
Boynton man bitten by snake describes 'pounding' pain | Video, photos
Apr 17, 2014 2:22 am
An avid outdoorsman, Ryan Toogood fishes for sharks in the Atlantic, hikes alligator habitat in the Everglades and even owns a pair of snake-proof boots.
Gunman steals key allowing access to thousands of mailboxes | Video
Apr 17, 2014 1:15 am
Thousands of mailboxes could be compromised after an armed robber stole a postal key from a mail carrier in Lauderhill, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
South Florida-to-Orlando rail plan draws critics along route
Apr 17, 2014 12:26 am
Leaders try to ease concerns about noise, delays WASHINGTON — Plans to link South Florida to Orlando with speedy passenger-train service brought an initial burst of excitement from promoters...
Live updates: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat
Apr 16, 2014 11:56 pm
Mr. Cocaine's last name surprises judge
Apr 16, 2014 11:23 pm
The judge did a double-take and there were giggles aplenty in bond court Wednesday when a bailiff announced the name of a man arrested for drug possession: Edward Cocaine.
Fort Lauderdale to homeless: Don't go (in public) | Video
Apr 16, 2014 11:12 pm
The city is trying to take back its streets — and sidewalks and downtown and parks — from the many homeless people who live here, leaving critics with an unanswered question: What ...
Royal Caribbean to base Quantum of the Seas in China; Anthem heading to N.J.
Apr 16, 2014 10:32 pm
Anthem of Seas pulled from Port Everglades, redeployed to Cape Liberty, N.J. In a move that at least one South Florida cruise industry specialists calls “shocking,” Royal Caribbean...
Parents of baby in near-drowning thank officers, paramedics who helped | Video
Apr 16, 2014 10:31 pm
When a Miramar woman saw her 20-month-old daughter floating face down in a relative's pool, she thought it was a bad dream.