'Paradise Coast' of Florida
The PARADISE COAST is in Southwest Florida, on the Gulf side of the state, west of the GOLD COAST and south of the SUN COAST. The PARADISE COAST is located in Collier County and includes key areas of Naples, Marco Island, Everglades City, Immokalee and Ave Maria.
There is another coast named LEE ISLAND COAST which is not as well known or reported, of which some sources include the city of Naples. The LEE ISLAND COAST officially consists of the coastal areas and islands of Lee County. For practical purposes LEE ISLAND COAST is mentioned with the Paradise Coast herein. The principle cities located within the LEE ISLAND COAST area include Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Estero Island/Fort Beach, Bonita Springs and the islands of Sanibel and Captiva.
The PARADISE COAST name references the natural splendor of southwest Florida's land and water. The Everglades is a wondrous natural park, Naples is a charming coastal resort town, Marco Island encircled by thousands of islands and the location of it all joins the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico, hence the term - The PARADISE COAST. The LEE ISLAND COAST name derives more from a geographical location than of referencing the qualities or history of it's location, unlike all of the other Florida coastal names.
Naples, Marco Island and the western, portion of the Everglades there are countless outdoor adventures, culinary delights and arts and culture. On the coast is the charming ressort city of Naples, offering great shopping, a thriving arts and culture scene, fresh local cuisine, and much more.
Naples has been named the number one "Small Art Town" in the U.S. (John Villani, The 100 Best Art Towns in America), and "America’s Best All-Around Beach" (Travel Channel), and number two on Trivago.com’s list of "Top 10 U.S. Cities for Quality Accommodations." Naples was also the Conde Nast Traveler readers’ choice list at number twenty and on the list of thirty "Best Small Cities in America." Naples has also been listed in the "Top American Cities for Food" by readers of Conde Nast Traveler.
Marco Island is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico on one side and pristine mangrove estuaries on the other, and is the largest of the area’s “Ten Thousand Islands.” Visitors to Marco Island can enjoy beautiful, white-sand beaches, a variety of water activities including backcountry and offshore fishing, boating and paddling and fresh seafood at local restaurants. Marco Island was named the number one "Island in the U.S.") and the number four "Island in the World" (TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands awards.)
Located just south of Naples and Marco Island, Everglades National Park is the only subtropical preserve in North America and is part of the largest wetlands ecosystem in the United States, and it is one of twenty-one World Heritage Sites in the USA. Everglades City is a quaint Old Florida style small town on the edge of the Everglades, providing access to the beautiful Ten Thousand Islands and Wilderness Waterway, a saltwater wonderland area with boat tours, fishing trips and guided paddling adventures.
The PARADISE COAST provides varied outdoor recreational opportunities including hunting, off-road vehicle access, hiking, paddling, biking and several long wilderness drive areas and more than 80 percent of Paradise Coast is dedicated to parks and nature preserves, with much of this area covered by the Everglades ecosystem and its many inhabitants, including alligators, crocodiles, bottlenose dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, many hundreds of species of colorful birds, fresh and saltwater fish, bobcats, Florida black bear and the endangered Florida panther, not to mention many more.
LEE ISLAND COAST consists of nearly 50 miles of white sandy beaches. In addition there are over 100 coastal islands off the mainland, which are part of the Barrier Islands, making this area popular among boaters, divers and beachgoers. LEE ISLAND COAST was the former winter home to Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Their legacy lives on in the area with celebrations and historical tours. Beautiful beaches amidst acres of natural foliage of the LEE ISLAND COAST enhances outdoor activities and adventure, and this area is home to a variety of Florida wildlife. The LEE ISLAND COAST is rich in history and provides an atmosphere of adventure for the historian, as well as the naturalist."
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