What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Florida? Is it Disney World? Or the world-renowned roller coasters? Of course, theme parks and Minnie and Mickey Mouse are a large part of what makes Florida such a beloved vacation destination. But the vast geographical landscape of the sunshine state offers so much more.
The 210 miles of Gulf from Tarpon Springs, North West of Tampa, to the Southern Tip of Marco Island, has seemingly endless white beaches, wildlife refuges, charming coastal towns and chic shopping excursions providing plenty of reasons to visit. If golf, tennis, boating or fishing are your favourite holiday pastimes or if you simply prefer to relax and unwind on the softest white sand in the country, then Florida's Gulf Coast is a region you need to consider. Its agreeable, year-round climate makes it suitable for you snowbirds to enjoy surplus luxurious and exciting amenities, while those further north of the equator freeze during the winter seasons.
Want to learn more? Here are the top 5 reasons why you should visit Florida’s South Central Gulf Coast for your next vacation.
With an annual average temperature of 91°F (33°C) in the summer seasons, Florida lives up to its reputation as the 'Sunshine State'. Yet, as the southernmost state closest to the equator, Florida maintains the best annual temperatures of the United States - with a hot yet extremely pleasant year-round climate.
Northerners typically start flocking to this part of the country around October, November through to April time due to the guarantee of a dry stay with a compromise of boiling temperatures. This makes for the perfect weather to enjoy the outdoors. And our Northern retired friends thoroughly appreciate this time of year to sit back, relax and unwind enjoying the sunshine states cushy recreational activities and agreeable sunshine.
It is estimated that over half a million retirees and snowbirds take up residence along the beaches of Florida. With bountiful palm tree lined beaches and island escapes just a boat ride away, it’s no surprise that Northerners set up shop here for the winter seasons.
Aside from the stunning gorgeous sunsets, the Gulf coast is home to award-winning beaches, renowned for their soft white sand and incandescent emerald green waters. Imagine blue skies and warm gulf waters. Think sunshine, white-sand beaches and uninhabited islands. From the crook of Northwest Florida to the tip of the Florida Keys, the calm gulf waters provide an attractive appeal for those winter sun worshippers who love to paddle in the warm turquoise waters.
You can bounce over to Barefoot beach in Bonita Springs near Naples, categorised as the "nation's best beaches", yet somehow remains largely unspoiled. A hidden gem for seashell hunting, birdwatching and taking long walks along the shallow waters. Alternatively, enjoy a couples retreat at Anna Maria Island and nestle in a sweet beachfront vacation rental. Winter never felt so good when you enjoy a beachfront candlelight dinner amidst the sensational sunsets.
A major oversight is the added health benefits that amount from moving to the South Central Gulf Coast. The warmer temperatures enables you to continue healthy habits like running, cycling and fishing activities, which may otherwise be tarnished by the tyrid of snow and rain synonymous to Northern temperatures.
The long stretches of white quartz is the perfect breeding ground to enjoy healthy excursions, with more coastline than any other state in the US - sailing, swimming and just walking around the gulf will before a favourite past time when you visit.
Enjoy the 7 mile stretch of quaint white sand beaches of Anna Maria Island - the perfect location to escape the hustle and bustle of commercialised chaos for a day of sunbathing, swimming or birdwatching. With many diverse wildlife species frequenting the coastline, you'll be amazed to watch the diverse array of animals migrate from the Arctic to South America during the colder seasons. Afterwards, go and see the incredible Robinson Nature Preserve, a gorgeous hiking and biking destination - with the rocky trails overlooking the emerald waters: sure to get your heart rate accelerating.
With its diverse and expansive geographical landscape, Florida is home to some of the most fantastic wildlife activities that you will experience nowhere else in the country.
To discover the natural beauty of Florida, head to the everglades - the "river-of-grass" that covers much of the lower third of the state. The Glades National Park in Naples is the only subtropical preserve in North America and part of the country's largest wetlands ecosystem. Here, you have access to your very own boat tour where you can explore the saltwater mangrove estuary portion of the park and spot a variety of exotic wildlife creatures from bottlenose dolphins, alligators and numerous bird species. A juxtaposition to the snowy rocky mountain views you’re use to up North.
Go see Port Charlotte and Boca Grande, neatly nestled in the heart of Southwest Florida, considered to be the number one fishing destination in the country - and with good reason. With over a kilometer of unspoiled coastline, these tropical paradises are a haven for anglers seeking lifelong memories and big catches between 80 to 120 pounds. The gulf waters are home to outstanding backcountry flats for snook, redfish and speckled trout - sure to make your vacation experience unforgettable.
And the best part, all of this is just a hope, skip and jump away from your luxury Boca Grande vacation rental.
There is less development on the Gulf Coast than in popular vacation destinations like Miami, Palm Beach or Orlando. However, the charming Gulf coast remains a quaint and unspoilt treasure, home to luxurious vacation rentals that will suit your every need.
Locations like Anna Maria maintain an old-fashioned charm away from the hustle and bustle of commercialisation, featuring colourful cottages on the beachfront which makes you feel as if you've stepped back into old Florida.
Step inside the cosmopolitan sophisticated beachside Naples vacation rentals. Each home providing a stylish resort location with an array of world class cultural events, activities and sophisticated dining just footsteps away to the sandy shores. Modern interior décor and ceiling to floor windows provide the most azure views that the gulf coast has to offer.
Indeed, with all the luxury trimmings and amenities, The gulf's vacation rentals appeal to you snowbirds looking for a luxury winter getaway. Whether you're looking for your own Captiva Island beachfront vacation rental, Siesta Key Condo, or cosy cottage rental with your own slice of seaside sanctuary in Anna Maria - the Gulf has it all. Perfect to escape the cold temperatures of the Northern climate and marvel in the hot, Floridian sunshine.
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