SOUTH­WEST FLORIDA: Dar­ing wilder­ness, daz­zling arts

Travel Guide to Florida - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY CHELLE KOSTER WAL­TON

South­west Florida goes to ex­tremes when it comes to wel­com­ing and en­gag­ing its vis­i­tors. It bal­ances wildlife-rich Ever­glades back­coun­try with the art of mas­ters, beach aban­don with so­phis­ti­cated mu­se­ums, home­towns with home runs. Soon, six ma­jor-league base­ball teams will spring train here. Al­ready its sport­ing rep­u­ta­tion for golf, fish­ing, boat­ing, pad­dling, and now pick­le­ball spreads wide. Throw in su­perb shop­ping, din­ing, and the­ater and you in­deed score a home run. Stretch­ing from the Ever­glades in the south to Sara­sota–Braden­ton in the north and from the Gulf of Mex­ico in the west to the shores of Lake Okee­chobee east­ward, the re­gion cov­ers all the bases.

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