About Florida South Gulf Coast

A subtropical climate, gorgeous white sandy beaches, warm turquoise waters, a host of outdoor activities such as swimming, diving, fishing, sailing and top-class golf—not surprisingly, Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast is a magnet for those wishing to “get away from it all.”

Start your escape today by booking your vacation rental on FlipKey.

About the Florida Southwest Gulf Coast

Measuring around 200 miles from Tampa to the south of Marco Island, Florida's Southwest Gulf Coast incorporates many popular resorts along the way such as Fort Myers, Sarasota, Sanibel Island and Naples. There are also small quaint coastal villages offering independent shops and impressive eating establishments.

Warm weather is practically guaranteed here—Florida is 'The Sunshine State,' after all. Many of the towns on this Gulf stretch give off an affluent vibe. They are where arts, culture, fine dining and designer shopping mix with lazy beach days and rowdy watersports. In other words, the Southwest Gulf Coast is an all-round vacation destination with something to appeal to just about everyone.

Less developed than other parts of Florida, cities and beach towns on the Southwest Gulf Coast share the area with farmers growing oranges, sugarcane and tomatoes on huge swathes of agricultural land. Wildlife in the massive Everglades National Park inhabit the remainder.

What to do in Florida Southwest Gulf Coast

Join an eco-river tour from November to April and go search for some manatees (or 'Sea Cows') to photograph during their mating season. Some of the tours offer 'no manatee - no pay' deals, so you won’t be out of pocket if you don’t catch a glimpse!

Visit the huge Everglades National Park and look for alligators, dolphins and a breathtaking variety of colorful wildlife birds. Again, the best way to do this is via an organized tour.

Go shelling on Sanibel Island to find huge conch, whelk and cockle shells—it’s a great beach walk.

Art lovers can't afford to miss the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. Florida's official art museum, you'll see della Robia's Madonna & Child as well as paintings by masters such as Gainsborough, Rembrandt and Rubens.

Naples Botanical Garden has a huge variety of stunningly exotic-looking plants as well as a popular origami exhibition, outdoor jazz piano recitals and an impressive cafe where you can quench your thirst.

Top travel tips for Florida Southwest Gulf Coast

Book your accommodation well in advance if you plan on visiting from February to May, as this is peak tourist season. You'll get cheap deals in summer when temperatures and humidity are highest. It’s worth bearing in mind that hurricane season lasts from June to November.

Traffic congestion is bad, particularly in winter and especially at peak times of the day when locals are going to and from work.

Be mindful of the law if you plan on doing some shelling on Sanibel. That's because it's illegal to carry off a 'living shell'—that’s one with a sea creature still using it.

Guaranteed sunshine, beautiful award-winning beaches, lovely calm seas, and a cosmopolitan city feel when you feel like brushing the sand off and putting on something dressy for dinner… Florida's affluent Southwest Gulf Coast doesn't have to try too hard to entice holidaymakers to drop by—plan your visit with FlipKey today!