People take pride in the fact that there isn't a single traffic signal on either island. You know what stops people around here? Sunsets so breathtaking they leave you speechless. Water so translucent you can see a cormorant swimming beneath your boat when you go canoeing.
All sorts of other critters make you pause with delight. This morning, I watched cars filled with visitors halt to see raccoons play in J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Not far from the dunes on Bowman's Beach, signs in neighborhoods urge motorists to slow down for tortoises.
Take Time for Turtles
Linda Logan, general manager of the Song of the Sea resort, leads guests on beach walks to mark nests of loggerhead turtles. Females crawl ashore in darkness to lay their eggs. During the nesting season, from May through October, beach residents and visitors have to turn off or shield any lights that can be seen from the beach to avoid confusing the hatchlings.
"May and June are two of my favorite months," Linda says. In the value season--which lasts until early November--the islands are less crowded, and room rates drop dramatically.
left: Beaches get fewer visitors when the off-season starts in May, but days remain sunny and blissful.