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Boca Grande :: Naples :: Fort Myers :: Marco Island
The Gulf Beaches

Bordered on the south and east by the Florida Everglades National Park and on the west by the calm waters of the Gulf Of Mexico, this area contains some of Florida's most beautiful regions. 

Many consider that the finest collections of beaches in the USA are to be found here. It also provides visitors with some of the best opportunities for accessing the natural attractions.

Development of the area started in the late 1800's. Early industry involved steamboats running between Tampa and Havana carrying Cuban tobacco that became cigars in Tampa  factories.

Early American icons such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and John Ringling established winter homes on this side of the Florida peninsula and contributed to much of the history that is still on display today.

The du Ponts established the Nantucket look-alike village of Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island. Theodore Roosevelt was just one of thousands of anglers drawn to this area to enjoy the best tarpon fishing in the world.

The Tampa - St Petersburg - Naples area is rapidly becoming one of the favored destinations for visitors to Florida due to its numerous vacation highlights. This is hardly surprising given the region's access to the Gulf Of Mexico, the Gulf Beaches, excellent natural attractions along the coast and in the nature reserves, and the development of resorts to cater to every wish.

Naples is only 36 miles (58 km) from the western entrance to the Everglades National Park, so combining the Everglades with a beachside vacation is easily done in south west Florida.  Marco Island is a popular destination for vacations, with excellent beaches and a cluster of up market waterfront resorts fronting onto Gulf of Mexico shoreline.

The 10,000 Islands to the south attracts visitors who enjoy unspoiled nature at its best.  Naples is acknowledged as the home of the most affluent residents in the region. This is where visitors come for boutiques, galleries and cultural arts. It is also, in true Florida fashion, the location of enough golf courses to become known as "Golf Capital of America."  It's also a great place to appreciate some excellent beaches and fine dining. 

The area around Fort Myers has lovely beaches and a rich history, much of which centers around the inventor Thomas Edison who built his winter home and laboratory here in 1885. Edison's home, botanical gardens and laboratory, as well as the home Henry Ford built next door, are now favorite tour stops for visitors.  

 Its just a few minutes drive to Fort Myers Beach, a relaxed beach side town that provides a good assortment of affordable lodgings. Sunsets here are quite spectacular and provide a great end to a day spent enjoying all sorts of water sports.  Tiny Sanibel Island and its neighbor Captiva Island make excellent day trips from the mainland. Both have great views of sand, sea and sky. Over 160 varieties of shells are found on Sanibel Island, more than any other place in the USA.

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