DREAMSCAPES WINTER 2019/2020
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WHERE GULF COAST TREASURES ABOUND
 
(2019 - Fall/Winter Issue)

Writer: BRUCE SACH



I gaze out the windows of our inn onto the shimmering Gulf of Mexico. Aside from the odd bird, nothing stirs. Then I notice something else. A native bird? Not exactly.

On Sanibel Beach, shell collecting, best done stooped over, is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. After some time and practice, you may even happen upon a rare junonia shell, which may get your photo in the local paper. Sanibel is where you feel at one with the community, and not a mere visitor.

The whole area, including Captiva Island, works hard at maintaining its quiet, understated ambiance. No buildings higher than a native tree are allowed and neither are chain restaurants. Tourists can easily spend as much time on bikes as in their car and local boat excursions into the J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge remind everyone of the area residents’ devotion to nature.

The Captiva Cruise, which leaves from Captiva Island for Cabbage Key one hour away, is another excellent way to experience the local vibe. Money may not grow on trees, yet in the Cabbage Key restaurant, dollar bills fall like autumn leaves from the ceiling. The tradition of attaching dollar bills to the walls and ceiling was begun by mariners decades ago. Be sure to order their frozen key lime pie—another favourite tradition.

The city of Fort Myers has its own natural splendours. Manatees can be viewed in the warm waters near the power plant at the Manatee Park, located within the city limits. The No. 1 indoor nature spectacle is the Butterfly Estates, where Floridian species are carefully bred. Recently released butterflies flit about, hoping to mate.

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates, near downtown Fort Myers, are especially beautiful in December. The houses are decked out in tasteful Christmas decorations, with gifts from 100 years ago, when the Edison and Ford families began wintering here.

And for those who love beaches and sand, check out the sand-building competition happening from November 22 to December 1 at Fort Myers Beach.

Travel Planner

For more information on all there is to do and see in The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, visit FortMyers-Sanibel.com.

 
 
 
 
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