Bradenton, Anna Maria Island
Wake up in your charming beachfront cottage and head to Ginny’s &Jane E’s to indulge in their famous crème brûlée French toast. Afterward, visit Pine Avenue, the heart of Anna Maria Island, and paint a sand dollar keepsake at the Shiny Fish Emporium. Rent a bicycle from Beach Bums and tour the island. Be sure to stop at Coquina Beach, voted best “island sand” in the US by Condé Nast. To finish off the day, enjoy a picture-perfect sunset and watch dolphins at play while dining at the Sandbar Restaurant.
Begin your day even before sunrise to find the best seashells along the beach at the 1884 Sanibel Lighthouse. Then put on some sneakers and find out for yourself why the USA Today newspaper ranked the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island as great for birdwatching. After a chilled shrimp and fruit salad lunch at The Island Cow, be amazed at one of the U.S.’s most-visited historic homes, the Thomas Edison & Henry Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. There you can explore the inventor’s laboratory and a museum.
Take an early morning walk along Marco Island’s crescent-shaped white sand beach. Search for shells and birdwatch at Tigertail Beach on the island’s north end, a top spot on the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail. Later, book a sightseeing cruise on board Pure Florida’s Double Sunshine, which departs from Tin City on the Old Naples Waterfront. For a delicious meal, stop at Pinchers Crab Shack next to the docks at Tin City and enjoya grouper sandwich and slice of key lime pie. Explore the Children’s Garden and the Naples Botanical Garden.
Start your day with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and pastries in downtown Sarasota before heading to Bayfront Island Park for a stroll alongside Sarasota Bay. Hop over to St. Armands Circle for retail therapy and lunch at al fresco dining spots. Then grab a paddle and kayak through the mangrove tunnels on Lido Beach. You can spend your evening gazing at a sunset on Siesta Beach, where the luxurious quartz-white sand is unmatched. Top off your day with cocktails and dinner in Siesta Key Village.
Southwest Florida is full of great ways to spend your days. What will you choose?
Now it’s your turn! Which places have you been? Where do you want to go? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us all!