Captiva Island, Florida

View from Blind Pass BridgeCaptiva Island is quiet, and remote. Visitors to Captiva Island arrive here by choice, not accident, as Captiva Island is connected to the mainland through a series of bridges.

Tourists arrive on Captiva Island by traveling to the northern tip of Sanibel Island and crossing over Blind Pass Bridge. Captiva and Sanibel Islands are both connected back to the mainland by one single bridge, the 3-mile long toll bridge, the Sanibel Causeway.

Captiva Island is world renowned due to it's shelling beaches. A popular shelling location is at Blind Pass between the two islands, but many visitors venture even farther by visiting the local marina for kayak & canoe rentals, and take the special boat tour available of the local shelling sandbars and uninhabited islands nearby.

Sanibel Lighthouse is located in Old Town, and was built in 1884 and it is Sanibel's oldest structure. Shelling is the most common activity on Captiva IslandVisit the Sanibel Historical Society for a walking and biking tour map that is approximately 2.5 miles long with more than 19 points of interest.

Bicycling is great on the island, with over 25 miles of bike trails on Captiva & Sanibel islands, take a unforgettable ride or a drive through the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge.

With more than 60 restaurants found on the two islands, many are found in Captiva Village.

Be sure to visit the historic Old Captiva House restaurant and taste their famous seafood bisque.

View All Listings by Captiva Island

Fort Myers, Florida

Chief Bily BowlegsFort Myers was established in 1850 as a military fort to fend off Seminole Indians that were massacring the area's few settlers. In 1858, after years of elusive battle, chief Billy Bowlegs and his warriors were persuaded to surrender and move west, and the fort was abandoned until 1863. In 1865 the fort was attacked unsuccessfully by a very small group of Confederates during the Civil War. After the war, the fort was again deserted.

By 1885, when Fort Myers was incorporated, it was the second largest city only to Tampa on Florida's west coast south of Cedar Key, even larger than Clearwater and Sarasota, also growing cities at the time.

Fort Myers first became a nationally known winter resort with the building of The Royal Palm Hotel in 1898. But what really sparked the city's growth was the construction of the Tamiami Trail Bridge built across the Caloosahatchee River in 1924. After the bridge's construction, the city experienced its first real estate boom and many subdivisions sprouted around the city.The Royal Palm Hotel

Fort Myers was the frequent winter home of Thomas Edison, & his friend Henry Ford and visitors today can tour those estates.

Ft. Myers is the current home of the Boston Red Sox spring training camp.

The climate is very mild November through May in Ft. Myers and in it's neighboring city, Cape Coral. These two cities are a popular destination for retirement.

View all Listings in Fort Myers, Florida

Clearwater Beach, Florida

Clearwater Beach is a barrier island connected to Clearwater via the Clearwater Memorial Causeway, an elegant four lane fixed span bridge. Clearwater Beach is a very popular and touristy beach destination for visitors and Floridians alike. Along the strip there are many beach apparel and gift shops along with trendy restaurants. Visitors traveling south on the Sun Coast Trolley will cross the Sand Key Bridge, heading towards Indian Rocks Beach.
Clearwater Beach
Local Festivals and Events

Indian Rocks BeachIndian Rocks Beach is popular destination due to it's free beach access parking. Gulf side, it has white sandy beaches, high rise condos and cottages along with businesses and restaurants, while the other side is the Intracoastal Waterway with canals, docks and residential housing. Visitors to the gulf beaches will find the Kooky Coconut, a sandwich shop near the public beach access that provides delicious snacks, Cuban sandwiches and frosty drinks.

Johns Pass Madeira BeachMadeira Beach is best known for the sea-themed John's Pass Village and Boardwalk. An unique retail shopping district with a variety of restaurants, the local fishing fleet, dolphin watching and shelling tours, boat rentals, parasailing and jet skiing.

Treasure IslandIt's easy to tell when you have reached Treasure Island, the Thunderbird Resort is a tall and well-known landmark, but the most distinctive feature on Treasure Island is the wide white sandy beaches set back far from the shore. Not only is the beach perfect for an afternoon in the sun, it is also beautiful after dark, and visitors can join in with Drumming on the Beach every Sunday night, until 10pm.

St Petes Beach - Don CeSar HotelSt Petes Beach has many great restaurants and attractions. The Don CeSar Hotel, built in 1928, and is locally known as the Pink Lady, is a visible and historic landmark. There are many style of accommodations available, from resorts, condos, and cottages, to bed and breakfast. Gulf side has the white sandy beaches, and along the Intracoastal are mangroves, marinas, plenty of sea birds, restaurants, and shops. Further south is Fort DeSoto Park, the ferry to Egmont Key, and the Skyway Fishing Pier.

View Listings near Clearwater Beach in Florida

Tampa, Florida

Tampa offers many adventures, a lot of fun, along with it's well-known sports teams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Tampa Bay Rays.

Fun Places to Visit near Tampa Florida

Ybor City: Historic District filled with eclectic shops, stunning artwork, murals and architecture. Make sure your stay in Tampa includes a visit to Ybor City, and stay long enough for a delicious meal at the famous Columbia Restaurant.

Tarpon SpringsTarpon Springs: Take a day, or a weekend and travel to Tarpon Springs and their famous sponge docks. Have a delicious Greek style meal (or two), wander through the Greek Village shops, and take an afternoon boat ride out into the harbor to see dolphins and other wildlife.

Honeymoon Island: Beautiful Island park at the end of Dunedin Causeway, with beaches, trails, showers and concessions. For those who want an adventure, you can take the Ferry to Caladesi Island for a spectacular beach day.

Fort DeSoto: Plenty to see and do at Fort DeSoto, over 7 miles of beaches and waterfront, an old historic fort, real cannons, spooky old ammunition bunkers to explore, boat launching, camping trails, and fishing piers. You can also take the Ferry to Egmont Key.

Florida Aquarium: Wild Dolphin Cruises: Want to experience the amazing, graceful and beautiful wild dolphins that call Tampa Bay home? Check out the Wild Dolphin Cruise departing daily from The Florida Aquarium.

View all Listings in Tampa Florida

Titusville, Florida

Space launch at the Kennedy Space CenterTitusville is named for Colonel Henry T. Titus who in 1867 founded the early settlement which developed into the city. The area around Titusville has been populated since 6000 B.C. by Indians known as Ais. These Indians had a long stable culture and lived along the shores of the Indian and Banana rivers. The Indians first encountered the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon in the early 1500's. By the late 1700's the Indians that had lived for centuries in the same area had been almost completely decimated by disease, malnutrition and warfare.

Historic Landmark Home in TitusvilleDuring the 1920's came the Florida Land Boom, and the architecture of the period was typically Spanish, Spanish Colonial, Italian, or a mixture. Titusvillle like many Florida cities built many historical buildings. The the Boom collapsed by 1926, and following the effects of the Great Depression, Titusville experienced little growth for decades. During the 1950's the space industry began, with a missile testing range built at Cape Canaveral. As the Space Industry grew, the population tripled and by 1960, Titusville was experiencing a tourist industry for the as first time as thousands visited the area to witness the space launches.

weightlessness in Titusvillle FloridaToday visitors to the area can experience the weightlessness of spaceflight, skydive at the SkyDive Space Center, visit the US Space Walk of Fame Museum, and the US Astronaut Hall of Fame at the Kennedy Space Center.

Annual Titusville Events
Annual Indian River Festival 
Annual Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival
Annual Sea Turtle Festival
Main Street Titusville- ongoing events

View all Listings in Titusvillel, Florida

Cape Canaveral, Florida

Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and Space LaunchDuring the 16th century, Cape Canaveral was referred to "Canaveral" which refers to canebrake, because the region had a very high production of sugarcane.

Since 1947, Cape Canaveral has been the principal U.S. launching site for long-range missiles, earth satellites, and manned space flights. The area around Cape Canaveral, nicknamed the Space Coast, has attracted many nearby space-related industries.

Mosquito Lagoon, Bird nesting kayakingThe distinctive black and white bands of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse have marked it so since 1873. The Lighthouse is located inside Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and as of July 2012, is open for tours.

Nature wildlife areas include Mosquito Lagoon: a group of small islands that provide important nesting areas for birds. Indian River, a waterway that forms part of the Intracoastal Waterway, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge located next to the space center, and Canaveral National Seashore, a barrier island park. Access to the last two parks may be restricted during launch-related activities at the Kennedy Space Center.Cape Canaveral beaches

Annual Events in Cape Canaveral
Fall Fest & Annual Chili Cook Off
Spring Festival
Friday Fest

Lobster Fest
Space Coast Music Festival

View all Listings in Cape Canaveral, Florida

New Smyrna Beach, Florida

New Smyrna Beach Exciting Waterfront "Loop"Visitors to New Smyrna Beach should visit the "Waterfront Loop" it is nearly 6 miles and has 4 distinct districts: Canal Street is known for it's Art Galleries and Artist workshops, Flagler Avenue is is close to the beach and filled with shops, Inns, and dining. The North Causeway district is close to the water, with marinas, fishing piers, and parks. Third Avenue is also known as "Eat Street" with more than 20 restaurants, health food stores, grocery and sundries. This creates a charming downtown district filled with shopping, restaurants, and of course, 13 miles of pristine beaches.

Turnbull ColonyNew Smyrna Beach is also full of history, originally established as a colony in 1768 along the west bank of the Indian River by a Scottish physician. After Dr. Turnbull's workers revolted and fled, the area was sparsely populated due to the intimidating presence of Seminole Indians. It wasn't until the arrival of the East Coast Railway in 1892, that the town began to thrive and expand.

Avoid shark bites by staying out of cloudy waterNew Smyrna Beach is so temperate, the growing season is virtually all year round. New Smyrna Beach also has the "dubious" honor as USA's shark bite capital, having had more confirmed shark bites than any other region. Apparently young Blacktip and Spinner sharks can't distinguish very well between feet and fish, and a few visitors each year will get their feet mauled, especially when the water is murky.

Jazz Festival

Shrimp & Seafood Festival

View all Listings in New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

swim with the whalesDaytona Beach is the perfect Florida Vacation Destination with plenty of things to see and do. One of the most famous features of Daytona is it's hard packed sand beach. The Beaches are always open and free to pedestrians! Cars are allowed on the beach in designated areas from sunrise to sunset, depending on tidal conditions. The hard packed sands are also ideal for bicycle riding.

Ponce de Leon LighthouseThe tallest lighthouse in Florida is located at the southernmost tip of the Daytona Beach area in the town of Ponce Inlet. Visit the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum website to learn more,

Manatees and dolphins are commonly seen in the waters surrounding Daytona Beach. Visitors during the winter months can even see migrating Right whales directly from the shore!

Visitors can enjoy recreational activities like kayaking, parasailing, "banana boat" rides and jet boat thrill rides. Sit back and relax aboard a scenic riverboat excursion. You'll be amazed by the variety of wildlife and beautiful estates along the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway.

Spend the day by the newly rebuilt Main Street Pier. There are shops and a good seafood restaurant & rooftop bar built directly onto the pier.

Daytona 500The other famous feature of Daytona is the Daytona International Speedway.

A 480-acre motorsports facility that is home to the biggest, richest and most prestigious stock car race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series- the DAYTONA 500. The track offers three separate tours that take race fans inside the hallowed grounds of NASCAR's marquee race track.

View all Listings in Daytona Beach, Florida

Haines City, Florida

Citrus Growers AssociationHaines City is yet another Florida town that took root after the South Florida Railroad reached the area. Local businesses that sprung up consisted of citrus farms, which today continues to be the dominant employer in the area.

Haines City Citrus Growers Association was founded as an agricultural cooperative by six local citrus growers in 1909.  The packing house has undergone many expansions over the years, but is still located at it's original 7.5 acres in downtown Haines City, Florida.

Historic Polk Hotel lakeland FloridaThe success of the citrus farms, lead to the development of Haines City downtown area, which many of those building are now listed in the National Historic Register. The Polk Hotel is one example, it was built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style.

While Haines City remained a small Florida town with old world charm for many decades, it recently has seen substantial growth, due to it's close proximity to Disney World Theme Park. In 2010 a new theme park opened in Haines City, called Legoland. Legoland Theme Park in Haines CityLegoland caters to families with children of ages 2-12, and younger children will indeed enjoy the rides, shows, and attractions in the park.

Annual events in Haines City Florida:

Haines City Fall Festival

Street Painting Festival

Haines City Oktoberfest

Sandspur Seafood Festival

View all Listings in Haines City, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Lake Mirror Promenade Lakeland FloridaLakeland has over 38 lakes, many which were phosphate mines that eventually filled with water. Phosphate mining was one of the prominent industries in Lakeland, mining around Lakeland began in the late 1800s.

The Spanish-American War in 1898 spurred development in Lakeland, as over 9,000 troops were stationed there. Rapid construction began and a number of historic buildings that exist today were built: The Terrace Hotel, New Florida Hotel, the Polk Theatre, Promenade of Lake Mirror, Polk Museum of Art, Park Trammell Building, and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce.

Frank Lloyd Wright at Southern CollegeIn the 1930's Frank Lloyd Wright was invited to Florida Southern College, and today it is the location of the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world. Visitors to the "Child of the Sun" Visitor Center can see a vast display of photographs, furniture, and drawings depicting Wright's work at the College.

Today visitors to Lakeland can take a 90 minute segway tour beginning at the Lake Mirror promenade, visit the famous historical buildings, the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings at Florida Southern College, and eventually return to Lake Mirror through the beautiful gardens and native landscape at the Southern Landings wetland park.

Every spring Florida's Strawberry Festival is held in Lakeland, a tradition for over 75 tears. Other annual events in Lakeland include:

Strawberry Festival in Lakeland FloridaLakeland PigFest

Child of the Sun Jazz Festival

Sun 'n Fun Fly In

Mayfaire by the Lake

Festival of the Fine Arts

Lake Mirror Classic Auto Fest

Holiday Walk-a-bout

View all Listings in Lakeland, Florida