Southwest Florida's Most Beautiful Beaches

It's no secret people flock to southwest Florida for its inviting year-round temperatures. The pristine beaches, though, are what gave the area its nickname, Paradise. The soft, white sand and clear, blue water are the stuff tropical dreams are made of. From Fort Myers to Marco Island, you'll find vegetation and wildlife near the water that few other places in the United States have to offer. Listed below you'll find a few of our favorite beach getaways.

SWFLinfo_beaches_01.jpgFort Myers and Sanibel Island

Family Fun magazine dubbed the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel tops in the southeast United States. Easy access to the sand and pleasant water temperatures make the area a favorite locale for beach-goers of all ages.

Gulfside City Park on Sanibel Island is ideal for those seeking to dodge large crowds. Lofty Australian pines near the center of the island provide shade for a quaint picnic. The park offers an excellent opportunity for shelling.

Recreational vehicle travelers will find Sanibel's Tarpon Bay Beach more accommodating and popular than Gulfside City Park. Concessions are available during the winter.

If picturesque scenery and water sports are what you seek, South Fort Myers Beach is the place for you. Parasailing and fishing are just two of the activities visitors enjoy each year. Underneath a quaint gazebo couples get married year-round at Lovers Key State Recreation Area, Florida's newest state park. Lovers Key is as far from the crowds as you can get. Dolphins frolic all around nearby Estero Bay. Kayaks are available for those wanting to venture into the water.

SWFLinfo_beaches_02.jpgBonita Springs, Naples and Marco Island

The southern beaches of Collier County have become known as the Paradise Coast over the years thanks to pristine waters, white sand and inviting temperatures.

A broad boardwalk that traverses sand dunes is the main attraction along sleepy Bonita Beach.
Farther south, Barefoot Beach Preserve has a learning center and nature trail families will love. Turtles, ospreys, bald eagles and an assortment of wildlife make the area an ideal place for nature lovers.

Just past a field of mangrove swamps lies Delnor-Wiggins State Park a 300-foot beach perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Scuba diving, snorkeling, boating, fishing, hiking and kayaking are popular activities at the park.

In Naples crowds flock to Vanderbilt Beach, Lowdermilk Park and Naples Municipal Beach and Fishing Pier.

Vanderbilt Beach encompasses Gulf beaches and a tropical coastal hammock. Bird watching and shelling are always popular at Vanderbilt.

Lowdermilk features a gorgeous beach, picnic areas, sand volleyball courts, and a host of ducks that call the park home. The beach is within walking distance of trendy Fifth Avenue South where bistros and specialty shops cater to locals and tourists alike.

The boardwalk at Naples Municipal Beach and Fishing Pier offers a perfect vista of glorious sunsets just about everyday. The pier juts deep into the Gulf, and fishermen love it. No fishing license is required, so as long as you've got a fishing pole and some bait, you're in good shape.

SWFLinfo_beaches_03.jpgMarco Island

On Marco Island, the four-mile sun soaked stretch from South Marco Beach to Tigertail Beach offers some of the most breathtaking beaches in all of southwest Florida. Warm temperatures make Marco Island an ideal place to spot dolphins, manatees and an assortment of colorful oceanic wildlife. Don't miss the herons, gulls and sandpipers at nearby Sand Dollar Island.