Coasts of Florida continued…
The communities of Naples, Marco Island, Sanibel-Captiva, Pine Island and Everglade City are hidden gems of rich culture and food.
Paradise Coast of Florida is bathed in sunshine, but this sparkly title belongs to that stretch along the Gulf of Mexico from the Everglades, through Naples and Fort Myers—and along the legendary white sand beaches of Sanibel and Captive islands.
From Fort Myers head inland along the Caloosahatchee River for excellent fishing on lovely Lake Okeechobee.
A gator in search of lunch at Highlands Hammock State Park as seen from a tram tour. Next is the Tampa Bay area with bustling Tampa and artsy St. Petersburg.
Thomas Edison and Henry Ford who were good friends built adjacent winter homes in Fort Myers.
Spend the morning strolling along the beach collecting shells and enjoying the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Within 15 minutes of arriving here, you’ll be combing the beaches, doing the famous “Sanibel Stoop.”
Then head to J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, where footpaths, canoe trails, and a five-mile scenic drive invite you to explore its 6,000 acres. Here, you may spot any of 291 species of birds, more than 50 types of reptiles and amphibians, and at least 32 different mammals.
Now you're in my home town territory, Naples. A snowbird paradise. Got two Florida State Parks within shouting distance.
I was a Volunteer at Koreshan State Park. It's a historic jewel with the history of the first Settler and trading post as well as a launch point from the park to Estero Bay. Great camping park worth a visit. Coconut Mall is within shouting distance and in-between Fort Myers Beach and Naples/Marco Island.
Collier-Seminole Park is off of highway 41 (the original Alligator Alley) 10 miles from Marco Island. Marco's a great town with great snook and Red Fish fishing in canals from the park road to Marco Island.
Check out while you're there, Stan's Idle Hour in Goodland, Fl (old Florida fishing village) on your way to Marco.
They are Collier-Seminole State Park 20200 Tamiami Trail E. Naples, Florida 34114 Southwest Region (239) 394-3397 and Koreshan State Historic Site 3800 Corkscrew Road Estero, Florida 33928 Southwest Region(239) 992-0311
The tiny community of Goodland, located off State Road 92 at the southeast corner of the island, offers visitors a laid back charm unlike any other place in the region.
The stillness of the village, where cats and dogs can be found napping in the streets, changes drastically on Sundays when hundreds of residents and visitors make the pilgrimage to Stan's Idle Hour for an afternoon of outdoor music, drinks and dancing.
Today, Goodland continues to buck the significant development changes around it. There are about 400 year round residents here and everyone knows everyone, watches out for each other, and yet minds their own business. You discover Goodland when you discover her people - Goodland is it's people.
Stan Gober, owner of Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland has been hosting the Mullet Festival and Buzzard Lope Queen Contest for 12 years.
The Buzzard Lope is a dance based on "The Buzzard Lope Song" composed and sung by Stan.
THE BUZZARD LOPE QUEENS - Stan Gober, owner of Stan's Idle Hour Seafood Restaurant in Goodland has been hosting the Mullet Festival and Buzzard Lope Queen Contest for 12 years. The Buzzard Lope is a dance based on "The Buzzard Lope Song" composed and sung by Stan. Some of the words are:
The three-day festival attracts nearly 5,000 people to Goodland. Fried and smoked mullet are featured and in addition to the Buzzard Lope Queen event there is also a Buzzard Lope Princess day when girls from ages 6 to 16 compete for the title, a trophy and cash prizes.
Located a short ride from the Florida Everglades and close to Naples, Marco Island is the largest and only developed land in Florida's Ten Thousand Islands.
The tropical climate of Marco Island is a considerable attraction to the area, with the water being the next major attraction.
Collier Seminole State Park, just a few miles from Marco Island, has primitive camping, canoeing, fishing, boating, picnic grounds, and a mile-long nature walk.
See the Everglades like local gladesman have for over 100 years. Since the 1930's the swamp buggy has been unique to South Florida.
Tour with a 5th generation Gladesman Captain Steve's Swamp Buggy Adventures and listen to stories from the past and learn about future Everglades restoration.
You'll ride high above the grasslands and through ancient cypress swamp, across pine islands, and North Americas only sub- tropical wilderness.
Located a short ride from the Florida Everglades and close to Naples, Marco Island offers luxury resorts, beautiful beaches and unspoiled parks.
Traveling in Florida isn't complete without stopping at Everglades National Park—a swampland just outside Miami, where visitors can see alligators.
Welcome to Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and the first national park in the country established to protect an ecosystem and the abundance of life it nourishes.
Everglades National Park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther.
Life here is a world apart
It is perhaps a more fortunate destiny to have a taste for collecting shells than to be born a millionaire.—Robert Louis Stevenson
One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few. —Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea
To be continued...