Tag Archives: beaches

Four Reasons to Love Southwest Florida in the Fall

Southwest Florida is the definition of tropical. It’s the ultimate vacation spot and the spot every couple looks for in a honeymoon. Summer is drenched-in-sweat hot, but for the other nine months of the year it is a paradise. Here’s what we’re looking forward to as fall comes, temperatures moderate, and snowbirds return to Southwest Florida.


A storm rolls in over the lighthouse on Sanibel.
A storm rolls in over the lighthouse on Sanibel.

1. Long Walks on the beach – Fall and winter are the perfect times to hit the beach in Southwest Florida. While spring and summer feature the bathwater-warm water that some may seek, cooler temperatures in the winter give you a chance to explore. Many beaches in the area – Barefoot Beach Preserve, Bowditch Point, and Lover’s Key come to mind – have nature trails. Some places offer kayak or stand-up paddle board rentals as well.


Courtesy Lee County
Courtesy Lee County

2. Farmer’s Markets  – Farmer’s markets disappear when the weather heats up. The largest in the area is Friday mornings at Lakes Park in Fort Myers. The newest will be Saturday mornings at Florida Southwestern University (Formerly Edison College). Many of the markets include crafts and art as well as fresh fruits and veggies.


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3. Migratory Birds Return – Winter in Florida attracts all types of snowbirds – the literal kind. Shallow wetlands come alive and teem with aquatic life, which brings in all kinds of herons, egrets, and other birds. Winter is a great time to catch a glimpse of many birds, like the white pelican at the J.N. Ding Darling preserve on Sanibel, you don’t get a chance to see during the rest of the year.


Courtesy Mann Center
Courtesy Mann Center

4. Shows at the Mann –  Traveling broadway shows make their homes at the Barbara B. Mann Center in Fort Myers throughout the fall and winter. The 2015-16 series kicks off with the “Sound of Music” in January and features “Kinky Boots” and “Matilda” as well as several other show. Find the complete schedule on the Mann’s website..

Expressions of a Joyful Day at the Beach – Postcards from Florida

Postcards - 8 for $6 on Etsy.
Postcards – 8 for $6 on Etsy.

There are a couple of things that I really like to do. Well, if I think about it, there’s a ton of things I like to do. BUT, two things I like to do are take pictures and send postcards. It started out with postcards to older relatives who weren’t hip to the email, but I realized how much a little piece of paper and a 34-cent (now 35 since May) stamp could mean to anybody.

Not long after I moved down here, about a year ago, I started taking pictures. Lots of pictures. So, I was sitting on a pile of pictures and a pile of bland, boilerplate postcards. So I printed my own postcards.

Then, I figured, “I could sell these.” This is the ultimate betrayal of the mind. It’s the equivalent of “we should buy a bar,” or “we should start a band.” Even if the only musical experience is Rock Band on the Xbox.

So, it’s me, my fiance, the dog, the cat, and a pile of postcards. Pretty postcards. Minimalist expressions of the true joy that only a day on the Southwest Florida beaches can provide. Several dozen minimalist expressions. I have set up an Etsy shop. The postcards come in a neat envelope. If you message me on Etsy and let me know you read about this on photosfromflorida.net or our Facebook page (facebook.com/photosfromflorida) I’ll drop a little something extra into the envelope as well. (Not money!)

Anyway, you get eight postcards for $6 (cheap!). You can find them by clicking the banner below. Thanks for following PhotosfromFlorida. Most importantly, even if you are on the email bandwagon and don’t need postcards, I truley hope you enjoy PhotosfromFlorida as much as I enjoy producing it. Thanks!

– Ben Andersen

Sanibel Island Lighthouse … Part 2

The lighthouse beach on Sanibel Island has a rich history (Detailed in Part 1 here). One of the best spots for Southwest Florida birding can also be found on the beach.

Continue reading Sanibel Island Lighthouse … Part 2

Sanibel Island Lighthouse … Part 1

The first settlers arrived on Sanibel Island in 1833. Quick growth over the next 50 years sparked calls for a lighthouse to help with commerce. By the late 1870’s travel in the Gulf of Mexico demanded a lighthouse. The tower opened in August 1884. Since 1950, the U.S. Coast Guard property around the lighthouse has been a wildlife refuge.

Continue reading Sanibel Island Lighthouse … Part 1

Birding on Marco Island

Marco Island is renowned for its pristine beaches and world-class accommodations. The birding can be first-class, as well. This is an interesting time of year to visit the Southwest Florida spot looking for birds. It’s not peak migration time, but many nesting colonies of birds have taken over much of Tigertail Beach on North Marco Island. Areas are marked off to protect the flocks of black skimmer, least terns, American oystercatchers, and Wilson’s plovers that call Marco Island home.

Continue reading Birding on Marco Island

Conservation Season is in High Gear

As tourism season ends, something else is flocking to Florida’s beaches. It’s the time of year where coastal birds come home to roost and sea turtles begin to lay their eggs in the sand. There are some simple ways you can help Florida’s wildlife flourish.

Continue reading Conservation Season is in High Gear

Scenes from a Sanibel Beach

Even on a beautiful Sunday afternoon with highs touching 90 degrees and bathwater blue-green water, there were maybe 100 people on Bowman’s Beach. The birds and dolphins took advantage to enjoy their day at the beach.

Continue reading Scenes from a Sanibel Beach

Birding in Southwest Florida

Southwest Florida is a haven for finding exotic birds. Here’s a collection of some of the best shots collected in the past few months. Most of these were taken at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve or the J.N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island. Click below to check out the video.

Continue reading Birding in Southwest Florida

Five Spring Break Activities in Southwest Florida

Spring Break can be a great time for students, parents, and teachers. It can also be stressful – What do we do now? Luckily, Southwest Florida has an almost infinite supply of fun (and cheap, if not free) activities to entertain children and adults. Continue reading Five Spring Break Activities in Southwest Florida

Birding on Sanibel Island

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island is one of the top spots for finding water birds in the United States. Growing up on the East Coast I was familiar with herons, egrets, and the occasional bald eagle, but the variety of them in Florida came as a shock. Check out these shots from the Darling Preserve.