There are many great places to visit in Florida’s Gulf Coast. In this article, I’ll share my favorite things to do, and show my favorite area’s on the west coast of Florida.
What is Florida’s Gulf Coast?
You can find Florida’s Gulf Coast in the southwest area of Florida. It’s next to the Gulf of Mexico and is well-known because it has some gorgeous beaches and a very relaxing vibe. In this area, you can also find a couple of interesting musea and some State Parks.
All the way to the south, you can find a small town called Everglades City. It’s located near the entrance of Everglades National Park, has barely 700 inhabitants, and it gives you a bit of a jungle-vibe. For me, visiting the Everglades is one of the highlights of your Florida road trip itinerary.
Located in Everglades City is one of the visitor centers of Everglades National Park, and you can go on several airboat tours. But it’s even more fun to explore the park during this Mangrove tunnel kayak eco-tour. You have a big chance of seeing some huge alligators!
Naples is the place where apparently a lot of people goe when they retire and go golfing. There are so many golf courses! It’s also a great place to go when you’re young because it has a gorgeous beach. There are many great things to do in Naples. Make sure to visit the pier, it’s an interesting sight with all the fisherman and you have a good chance of seeing a dolphin swimming around.
You can also opt to go on one of the boat tours that will show you the houses of the rich and famous. On the way back, the boat will be followed by several dolphins that jump out of the water, which is an awesome experience.
Sanibel & Activa Island
Sanibel and Activa Island are located a little north of Naples, and a perfect place if you need some peace and quiet. The beaches are gorgeous, and if you like to find some large shells, this is the place to go!
The Ringling, Sarasota
Unfortunately, this is one of the places I had to skip during my trips to Florida, but I will definitely visit this museum when I go back to Florida. From what I’ve heard, visiting The Ringling Museum is one of the best things to do in Florida.
The Ringling is an estate of the brothers Ringling, who were famous circus artists in the nineteenth century. At the estate, you can visit some beautiful buildings, including a circus museum, an art museum, and the manor. The gardens are a beautiful sight as well. It must be a great sight to visit!
You can find more information on the Ringling on the official website.
Fort de Soto
The beach at Fort de Soto is famous and declared as the most beautiful beach in the world multiple times. It sure is beautiful! A great place for a picnic, jump into the ocean or just read a book.
Salvador Dalí Museum
The Salvador Dalí Museum in Saint Petersburg is originated from a private collection of the art collectors Reynold en Eleanor Morse. It is housed in a fantastic futuristic building with a matching garden, completely in the style of Salvador Dalí. If you love this artist as much as I do, you have to make sure to visit this museum.
It’s a pity I also had to skip this place during my time in Florida, but Crystal River is definitely on my list for the next time when I visit Florida’s Gulf Coast. The water here has such a warm and constant temperature, that manatees love this place. You have a good chance of seeing these large and gentle animals if you visit Crystal River in the months between November and March.
These were my favorite things to do on Florida’s Gulf Coast! What places would you love to visit?
Best guidebooks for a trip to Florida
I’ve traveled to Florida a couple of times, and I love to get prepared by checking out the best guidebooks. These are my favorite Florida travel guides:
Would you like to read more about traveling in the USA?
Check out one of these articles:
- Bucket list: the most beautiful places in the USA
- Road trip itinerary: Florida in 2 weeks
- 5 amazing USA road trip itineraries
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