5 Reasons to Visit Southwest Florida
When most people think about Florida, they think Gulf Coast, Miami, or Orlando. But do yourself a favor and consider Southwest Florida as well. For the outdoor adventurer or wildlife lover, it doesn’t get much better. Here are some specific reasons why:
- Warm Weather (Year-Round)
If you live in a region where winter is cold and seems to drag on for months and months, you’ll love Southwest Florida. High temperatures in December and January are typically in the low-to-mid 70s. Lows hardly ever dip below 50 degrees. During the summer months, you can expect temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s. And while there is a lot of rain in the summer months, it typically comes in short bursts. Afternoon thunderstorms typically give way to clear, blue skies.
- World-Class Boating
If you enjoy boating – and yachting in particular – you’ll absolutely love Southwest Florida. It’s a boating haven with so much to see and do. Some of the top boating destinations in the area include:
- Cabbage Key. This small and intimate island looks like something out of a Jimmy Buffet song. There are no cars or paved roads on the island. There is, however, plenty of tequila and good food.
- Captiva Island. If Cabbage Key is laid back, Captiva Island is lively and vibrant. There are multiple marinas, resorts, a tropical downtown area, and a nine-hole golf course that runs along the coast.
- Sarasota. If you’re looking to dock your boat and enjoy some time on shore, Sarasota offers world-class shopping, dining, and (arguably) the best beach in America (Siesta Key).
- Close Encounters with Wildlife
Whether you want to swim with dolphins, feed string rays, go bird watching, or interact with otters and gopher tortoises, Southwest Florida has it all. You’ll love the ability to get up close and personal with wildlife in some of the more unique environments you’ll ever find in the state of Florida.
- Exceptional Fishing
It’s hard to beat the fishing in Southwest Florida. Whether you like deep-sea fishing or prefer to lazily cast a line from a coastal pier, there are plenty of options. But of all the spots, we’d recommend giving Tigertail Beach a try.
“Located at the northern end of Marco Island, Tigertail Beach offers easygoing fishing opportunities and, from June to September, it’s a Snook wonderland,” Tropic Trailer explains. “Tigertail is a level beach with a variety of fishing spots, from tidal pools to wading across the lagoon to casting a line in the Gulf on Sand Dollar Island.”
Other fishing hot spots include Mantanzas Pass Preserve (Fort Myers Beach), Bokeelia (Pine Island), and Boca Grande Pass (Boca Grande). They’re each known for their own types of fishing.
- Riding Airboats
Want a distinctly Floridian experience? Take an airboat excursion through the Everglades. These boats are designed in such a way that they can zip over the water without hardly disturbing the wildlife beneath. In addition to seeing herons, fish, bald eagles, turtles and gators, you may even catch a glimpse of a massive python snake.
Getting to Southwest Florida
Despite being close to the southernmost point of the United States, the Southwest Florida region is highly accessible for most of the country. Depending on exactly where you want to go and how you prefer to travel, you have a few options:
- The easiest and most convenient option is to fly in to Southwest Florida International Airport, which is located in Fort Myers (and just a short drive from Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Estero Island, Fort Myers Beach, and other hot spots).
- For those who live in the southeast, just take Interstate 75 south. It’s a long drive through Gainesville, Tampa, and Sarasota Springs, but you’ll eventually reach your destination.
- Of course, you can always reach Southwest Florida by water. Cruise liners often leave from the Gulf Coast, Tampa, and other locations that are a little closer inland. It’ll take a few days, but who cares when you’re relaxing in luxury?
Southwest Florida is too beautiful and exciting not to visit. If you’ve never been to the region – or have failed to explore it to its fullest – now’s the time to plan your next trip. It’s sure to be an exciting and memorable time.