The southwestern region of Florida which is known as southwest Florida. The perceived region starts from the south of Tampa bay area and extends up to north of the Everglades. It has Lake Okeechobee to its east while has the Atlantic coastline in west. Counties in the region include Lee, Charlotte, Manatee, Sarasota, and Collier among others. The region’s most populated county is Lee while Cape Coral stands as the most populated city with 154,305 inhabitants according to 2010 census.
Up until recently, the development of this region was relatively lower than the other parts of the state, mainly due to lack of proper attention given by commercial developers. However the technology and real estate boom seen in these areas off late has given an enormous spurt to the growth infrastructure in the area. Numerous residential high rise condominium projects have popped up on downtown Fort Myers, while southern part of Lee county is hosting many commercial infrastructure projects. While there are notable signs of urban sprawls, constant remedial measures are being taken to preserve the agricultural lands in the east near the Everglades.
The region is connected with a good network of roads and highways, most notably the Interstate 75 and Tamiami Trail. Further infrastructure development is being planned by the regional planning council. Major cities in the region are well connected with each other as well as other cities by Greyhound lines. The region has two major airports which has served 8.78 million passengers combined since 2009. These airports have flights connecting 3 European, 2 Canadian as well as 36 domestic destinations and is easily accessible by air. The port of Manatee serves as the regions only major port which is used by commercial and cruise ships alike.
Southern Florida has moderate temperatures during the winter, making it a seasonal home for many people in the US. Tourism has been an economic driver in the region as it hosts some great beaches and attractions. Some of the notable areas include –
Bonita beach – Apart from the beach itself, Bonita springs has interesting museums, gardens, nature trails and a 156 foot water tower which can give a truly wonderful and scenic experience.
Longboat key – The place is known for its various residential condominiums and houses which are inhabited by seasonal visitors during the winter months. It also has quite a number of good restaurants to serve these temporary residents.
Marco Islands – The Marco islands in southwest Florida holds a historical value as it housed Calusa Indians and Spanish explorers.
There are various other places like the Sarasota jungle gardens and land reserves in Naples in Southwest Florida which offer Wildlife and nature tourism. With careful planning and administration, Southwest Florida maintains its tourism heritage while bolstering the regional economy with commercial development as well.