Florida is known as the sunshine state. Beautiful weather with
plenty of sunshine and a great deal of water! Florida is huge, with
probably the most famous part, Orlando to the North. On the East
coast beaches stretch from Jacksonville in the North, past Cape
Canavoral down to Miami in the South.
At the southern most tip of Florida you will find the Florida Keys
and the West Coast is devoted generally to a more rural setting with
waterways, islands and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Some
areas of this coastline are still relatively undeveloped and for
those who enjoy a mixture of plenty of things to do and the sheer
luxury of 'chilling out' this comes close to paradise for many
The climate is generally very pleasant with the year round good
weather being one of the main reasons for Florida's popularity
amongst its millions of annual visitors. October through to April
are usually warm and mostly dry with January being the coolest
month. July and August are the hottest and the weather can be muggy
at this time of the year as the annual rainfall arrives.
The heat is often relieved by inshore breezes from the Gulf which
provide a welcome break. When it does rain, it usually rains in
short bursts, sometimes for as little as a few minutes, often in
late afternoon or early evening and can be accompanied by
spectacular lightning storms. The average temperature throughout the
state is around 80 degrees.
The soft Gulf beaches stretch for miles and never seem to be
crowded. Most beaches have public amenities and those around
Englewood are safe for young and old alike. If you prefer something
with a more Caribbean setting, take a trip over the toll bridge onto
Gasparilla Island. Caught in a time capsule, this beautiful little
island hosts multi-million dollar properties and exciting beaches
sharing their treasure chests of shells and fossiled sharks teeth
These beaches are perfect, but be aware that swimming is not
permitted at the end of the island and most beaches do not have
lifeguards on the island. You swim at your own risk.The reason for
the swimming ban at the end of the island will be apparent when you
visit. Boca Pass is the exit point for both the Myakka and the Peace
rivers into the Gulf of Mexico. They come together and force their
way through the pass creating racing currents which are beyond the
average swimmer but dolphins love it there!
Fishing is a 'must' for the enthusiast and each year, the Tarpon
game fish gather in the Boca Pass and offer great sport to both
local and international anglers. The competitions are held just
offshore and spectators get a marvelous view of the boats from one
of the lighthouses situated at the waters edge. For a more peaceful
day, anglers will find plenty of opportunity to take a boat out into
the Gulf or the intercoastal waterway with local experts and enjoy
catching a wide range of large fish. If you enjoy eating fish, try
the Grouper fingers. A large, but delicate tasting fish which has to
be caught locally in order to appear on the menu. Grouper are not
sold at the fish market.
Water enthusiasts will be in heaven with the warm waters of the Gulf
of Mexico and the secret world of the intercoastal waterways. You
will share the Gulf with pods of dolphins passing happily along the
coast. The Inter-coastal waterway separates the land from the sea in
many places and is a boaters paradise playing host to a wide range
of wildlife including the gentle manatee and particularly birds such
as the 'white pelican', cormorants and the 'osprey'. They are
actively encouraged to nest along the waterways and you can see
dozens while you are enjoying the pleasures of boating.
Golf is a 'must' for many Americans and in an area where the weather
is good and life is for enjoying, golf courses come as standard and
you will be spoilt for choice. There are currently 6 courses within
the Rotonda Development and upwards of 30 outside within a 15-20
mile radius. From May to October the courses are quiet and tee times
can often be arranged the same day. Many courses include an electric
golf cart as part of the fee and a few courses insist on their use.
Long Marsh club is less than 10 mins walk from the villa.
Restaurants are everywhere and you can enjoy friendly and attentive
service while enjoying a spectacular sunset or simply enjoying the
warmth of Florida's weather. It is not expensive eating out here,
but if you are prepared to pay a little more, there are some
excellent restaurants in the area, particularly in Port Charlotte
and Boca Grande.
Did we hear Shopping? Port Charlotte has its own mall (covered
shopping center) which can be enjoyed by everyone. Venice is just a
few miles up the road and has some very pretty shopping areas around
the coast. There are 2 discount outlets, one to the north and one to
the south. Between them they offer over 400 outlets!
Attractions are available, but don't damage the relaxed and
leisurely pace of life in Charlotte, voted best small place to live
in the South of the USA. You can kayak up the Myakka River, visit
the Shell Factory, take a day to tour Captiva and Sanibel islands,
visit nature reserves or even take a trip on a swamp buggy. You will
leave Florida with more things on your list to do next time than you
started with at the beginning of your visit.