Our Trip

Table of Contents


Our Florida trip began in Orlando (1999 city pop. 184,639 and avg. age 33), the hub of Central Florida and the most frequent destination in the state
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Sanibel Island
While Sanibel Island and Captiva Island bill themselves collectively as the "Islands of the Arts," Sanibel struck me as much more the Island of Upscale Resorts. We
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By the time we'd flown from D.C. to Orlando, gotten our baggage and picked up our car at Avis, it was pushing 4 PM. We drove as far as Lakeland; then we got an . .  


J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
One of Sanibel Island's most memorable features was the J. N. Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Its 6,354 acres of fresh-water and salt-water marshes and . . 

Our plan for the day was to drive to Clearwater Beach and then down the Upper Gulf Keys to Sarasota. Outside Lakeland, we hit fog so thick we had a hard time seeing... 


Captiva Island
Across the cause-way at the upper end of Sanibel Island lies its sister island, Captiva. Captiva has far less commercial development than Sanibel. Neither . . . 

Clearwater Beach
The weather gods did not smile on us that morning.
We hoped to have breakfast in the sun at a sidewalk cafe overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Clearwater Beach. . .


The Naples - Ft. Myers Area
We planned to explore the Naples - Ft. Myers area but Sanibel and Captiva islands proved too interesting. As a result, we only had time to drive around Naples on . . 

Bellair Beach
Sand Key Boulevard, all the way from Clearwater Beach to Treasure Island, is a nearly unbroken strip of beach towns, fast food restaurants, condos, motels . . .

Big Cypress National Preserve
We took the Tamiami Trail (US 41) from Naples to the Big Cypress National Preserve largely to pick up a park pin for Alan Bow. The most interesting part of . . .

Treasure Island
South of Sand Key is Treasure Island and we got lucky. We had searched fruitlessly in the fog and rain from Lakeland to Clearwater Beach and then with . . .

and its neighbor Florida City, both popular retirement communities, are less than an hour from Miami. This modest 3-bedroom home, in a gated . .

St. Pete's Beach
The last major town we visited before leaving the Upper Keys was St. Pete's Beach. St. Pete's is one of the original destinations for winter tourist and still gets a . .

7/15 Everglades National Park
Our second major side trip was to the Everglades National Park. From Homestead, we drove the 38 miles to Seminole at the southern tip of the Park, stopping . . .

St. Pete's Beach to Bradenton
Florida has some pretty spectacular bridges. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is one of them. It spans the mouth of Tampa Bay as it meets the Gulf of Mexico . . .

8/16 Biscayne National Park
From the Everglades NP, we drove over to the Biscayne National Park headquarters and Dante Fascell Visitor Center at Convoy Point, which are located nine miles . . .

Anna Marie Island
I liked the quiet ambiance of Anna Marie Island. Its close proximity to the attractions in nearby Sarasota and Bradenton, including the Sarasota Opera, Selby . . .

8b/17 Indialantic
From the Biscayne National Park, we took the Florida Turnpike north to Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley), turned east for a few miles and the headed north again...

Longboat Key
Below Anna Marie Island is Longboat Key, the "Rolls Royce of Islands" It is home to 8,000 full-time and 12,000 part-time upscale residents whose average . .

8c/18 Hutchinson Island
This picture might have been taken in almost any comfortable suburb in Florida.The major difference between this scene in the Miami area and some place...

Sarasota Country
is probably the geriatric capital of the country (36.4% of its residents are age 65 or over compared with Utah County, Utah where the . . .


Daytona Beach
We skipped the Space Center at Cape Kennedy and drove directly up to Daytona Beach where we spent the last three days of our tour with Nancy Jane . . .