Southwest Florida is a region in the U.S. state of Florida. It comprises the Gulf Coast counties of Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier.
- 1 Boca Grande
- 2 Cape Coral
- 3 Englewood
- 4 Everglades City
- 5 Fort Myers - Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel and the exotic beaches of Captiva Islands.
- 6 Marco Island - Relatively undiscovered small town with beautiful beaches.
- 7 Naples - Enjoy the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, world class shopping, golf courses and the nearby untamed tropical wilderness of The Everglades.
- 8 Port Charlotte
- 9 Punta Gorda
- 10 Sarasota - Popular resort and timeshare destination.
- 11 Venice
- 1 Big Cypress National Preserve
- 2 Captiva Island
- 3 Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
- 4 Everglades National Park
- 5 Little Gasparilla Island
- 6 Myakka River State Park
- 7 Sanibel Island
- 8 Siesta Key
One of the best beach areas in Florida, the Southwest is about as "Florida" as anywhere in the state. This region is densely populated, prosperous, and popular with tourists with its mild winters and suburban feel. Although there are no big cities in this area, many of the mid-sized cities have grown to become metro areas, such as Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers, and Naples.
Sarasota is just south of the Tampa Bay Area and is at the northern end of the region. One of the adjacent barrier islands, Siesta Key, is an acclaimed tourist destination due to its white sand of its beaches. The smaller town of Venice lies to the south, and beyond it Port Charlotte (and its suburb North Port) and Fort Myers (and its suburb Cape Coral) are two of the largest and most important cities in this region, both stretching across estuaries of two different rivers.
In the south, on the border with the Everglades, the beaches closest to the Everglades' swamps are in Naples and Marco Island. Naples is on the mainland, while Marco Island to the south, the last tourist destination of the Gulf Coast before the Everglades, is on an island that extends into the Gulf.
The climate is a little variable here, with southern winters milder than northern winters, but there is no true "winter" in this region. It is semitropical, like Miami on the other coast, although perhaps slightly more exposed to cold air masses from the north.
- Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport (SRQ IATA), located on the border between Sarasota and Manatee counties.
- Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW IATA), located in Lee County.
- Charlotte County Airport (PGD IATA)
I-75 is the main interstate, going from Miami in the southeast to the Tampa/St. Pete area in the northwest.
- Collier Area Transit (CAT). is public transportation for Naples, Immokalee, Marco Island and Golden Gate City (Santa Barbara) in Collier County. They also offer connections to LeeTran in Coconut Mall in Lee County via their 'LINC' (R 600) route from Creekside Transfer Center.
- Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT). - Public Transportation in Sarasota and the surrounding areas of Sarasota County. They also operate an intercounty bus service (Rt #99) up to Bradenton from downtown Sarasota (1st & Lemon Station) along US Hwy 41 via airport.
- Lee Tran. operates local bus service between Fort Myers, Ft Myers Beach, Cape Coral, Pine Island (Rt #600) and Lehigh Acres in Lee County.
- Charlotte County Transit, ☏ +1 941 575-4000. Charlotte County Transit is a shared ride curb-to-curb transit service provided to the general public throughout Charlotte County. Service area consists of all of Charlotte County and includes the Charlotte County portion of Englewood, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and the surrounding areas; including Lake Suzy area in Desoto County. Reservations required for pick-up no fixed route services.
The beach towns have the most sites, including some attractive commercial areas. On the mainland there are a few historic sites.
- Marco Island, Captiva Island, and Sanibel Island in Southwest Florida.
- Fakahatchee Strand State Park for wild orchids
Find a boat tour around the intracoastal waterway or the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico if you can.