Tag Archives: Things to do in Florida

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..

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Barefoot in Bonita – America’s Second-Best Beach

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Boaters cruise past Barefoot Beach Preserve as the sun sets on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida. Barefoot Beach was recently named America’s second-best beach by DrBeach.org.

The website DrBeach.org has confirmed news that will be no surprise to Southwest Florida residents. The site has named Barefoot Beach Preserve in Bonita Springs as the second-best beach in America for 2015. The Florida gem trailed only Waimanalo Bay Beach Park in Oahu, Hawaii. Here’s how Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, a well-known coastal scientist who compiles the list, describes Barefoot Beach:

This beach in Southwest Florida is 8,200 foot long and located in a 342 acre park. The surf is gentle with waves generally being measured in inches, and the water is very shallow, making this a great beach for bathing and swimming for families. The sand is fine and contains many small shells.

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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.

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Florida, Know Your Birds: The Great Egret

The great egret is the beneficiary of one of the most successful conservation efforts in American history. In the early 19th Century, hunters almost wiped the birds out in search of the feathers. Now under legal protection, these birds (like these above, seen at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the Corkscrew Swamp Preserve) have made great strides.

Previous Know Your Birds:

The Ibis

Cheap Activities in Southwest Florida (4/5-4/11)

As season comes to an end so will the increased traffic, but also the increased activity.Fort Myers and the surrounding area becomes a shell (a conch, maybe) of the hub of activity it has been for the past months. There’s the impression, that might be true, that everything fun costs money. Not true! (Sometimes) So, I’ll try to create a list each week of interesting activities in Southwest Florida that cost little to nothing. This list will try to include some things for kids and adults. I’ll try to provide free activities for Fort Myers, Sanibel, Naples, and the beaches.

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