A Lovers' Beach
Mangrove trees and sea oats hem the beach's edge, creating a deserted-isle look you've only seen in movies. At Lovers Key State Park, just south of Fort Myers Beach, you may as well be secluded from the rest of Florida, especially in the midst of the off-season (May until November).
"This is America's beach," says a visitor from Michigan. "Just dig in with your shovel, and you know you'll find something." After scampering for the perfect shells, doze beneath the shade-giving mangroves.
If all that rest works up an appetite, try the Grilled Grouper Sandwich ($8.95) at Doc's Beach House, not too far away in Bonita Springs. Continue enjoying the Lee County sunshine at one of their tables right on the beach.
Find Solace in the Sanctuary
One of the first things you'll notice when strolling into Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a gradual drop in temperature. As the 2 ¼-mile boardwalk winds its way through an open prairie, a pine thicket, and finally into the largest forest of ancient bald cypress trees in North America, the air becomes refreshingly cool. "This season is one of the best times to visit," says executive director Ed Carlson. "There is an amazing competition among all the plants to determine which has the most beautiful leaves." The best secret, though, is that it's mosquito free, thanks to the resident mosquito fish that eat the larvae.
You'll find the paths leading to these Lee County treasures are anything but worn. Their charm remains preserved by those in the know and enhanced by those, like you, who seek them out.
For more information: Contact the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau, 1-888-231-6933 or www.fortmyerssanibel.com.
It's no secret that two of the Lee Island Coast's most cherished amenities happen every day. Here are May's estimated sunrise and sunset times from the beginning to the end of the month.
Sunrise: 6:50-6:35 a.m.
Sunset: 8:01-8:17 p.m.
This article is from the May 2004 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.