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.
South Florida News from The Sun-Sentinel
No bond for Pompano driver accused of running over woman twice
Nov 24, 2014 6:43 pm
The Tamarac man facing a first-degree murder charge after a woman was run over twice outside a Pompano Beach grocery store was ordered was ordered held without bond on Monday.
Horse owners say their beloved equines are suffering after eating tainted feed
Nov 24, 2014 10:36 am
Horses at a Davie boarding farm and riding school, worth thousands of dollars, are dying one by one. The apparent culprit: Tainted feed.
Volunteers help search for missing Fort Lauderdale woman
Nov 23, 2014 6:13 am
Little C.J.s mother couldnt be found in time for his second birthday.
37 kids get permanent homes at adoption awareness event
Nov 23, 2014 5:00 am
When asked during the adoption hearing for her 2-year-old nephew Tijwuan why she wants to take on the boy, 23-year-old Theara Edwards answered, "Because I love him dearly and I want him all to my...
Pedestrian struck by car in Lauderhill
Nov 23, 2014 12:04 am
A woman was seriously injured when she was struck by a car in Lauderhill on Saturday afternoon, according to a fire-rescue official.
Hunger striker vows not to eat until Fort Lauderdale homeless can be fed in public
Nov 22, 2014 7:54 pm
Jillian Pim said she hasn't had a bite to eat since police cited Arnold Abbott three weeks ago for feeding the homeless at Stranahan Park.
Auto avenger: Downtown Fort Lauderdale worker saves drivers from tow trucks
Nov 22, 2014 4:36 am
From a conference room on the third floor at work, Danny Haughton sees it happen. He doesn't know the men and women who park in the vacant lot across the street, but he knows they're about to be towed...
Homeless man struck by hit-and-run driver
Nov 22, 2014 1:58 am
A homeless man was taken to the hospital early Thursday after he was found lying injured on a road in Deerfield Beach.
Man accused of pimping runaway, 16, in Fort Lauderdale
Nov 21, 2014 11:46 pm
A 43-year-old man is accused of having sex with a teenage girl and providing her as a prostitute for other men.
'Criminal Casanova' duped women from coast to coast, police say
Nov 21, 2014 10:44 pm
It seems Cooper City was the most recent stop on Trevor D. Thornton's nationwide trajectory of deceived, scorned and ripped-off women, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.