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The Best of Southwest Florida

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) is the lead marketing agency charged with bringing worldwide visitors to Lee County. Almost five million visitors spend nearly $3 billion annually. The VCB is funded exclusively by a 5 percent tourist tax and works to preserve and protect area beaches and the environment.

Recently, the VCB held its annual tourism summit. This year’s big news was a first-of-its-kind film called “Awaken,” which uses cutting-edge technology to showcase the most beautiful aspects of SW Florida as a destination.


The film compliments a digital ecological calendar that highlights the many, year-round, natural seasons and migrations of our area.

The goal is to share the natural beauty and diversity of the area, which will inspire both visitation and protection.

Fort Myers filmmaker, Cameron Michael, spent thousands of hours on location to capture beauty that is accessible to all.

Watch the film and share the beauty of Southwest Florida with your friends and family.

Manatee Park - A Unique Experience

Located in Fort Myers, Florida, Manatee Park is a unique place where visitors can view the endangered Florida Manatee in a natural environment. Manatee Park is a non-captive refuge, therefore they are free to come and go as they please.

Manatees are generally not present during the warm summer months.

The park also has an extensive butterfly garden. The park is a demonstration landscape for the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods (FYN) program. Picnic areas & shelters, fishing pier on the Orange River. Canoe/kayak launch to the Orange River. Program amphitheater and playground.

Althoug a rare sighting of a manatee is possible during April thru October, optimum viewing times are between the months of November and March due to the cooler gulf temperature.  The Florida manatees live along the coast of Florida and generally visit the park when the gulf temperatures dip below 68 degrees.  

PARK HOURS (year round) sunrise to sunset daily

December thru March hours of concession and kayak rental operation are 9:00 am -4:00 pm. Kayak rentals May thru October by reservation only (239)481-4600 

Driving Directions: Take I-75 to exit 141. Go east 1 1/4 miles. The park is on the right (directly across the street from the FPL Power Plant).

Andrew's View of Summer

Southwest Florida is a special place during the summertime. It is a place to enjoy unique outdoor adventures, cool critters and an enriching coastal lifestyle. The Fort Myers News Press features the award-winning photographs of Andrew West in their weekly feature called “ANDREW’S VIEW”.

Below is Andrew's View of Summer

Sanibel Island Ranks 3rd as Happiest Coastal Town in America

For the second year in the row,  the magazine "Coastal Living" has named America’s Happiest Seaside Towns. 

Coming in at #3 is Sanibel Island, FL

This is how Coastal Magazine describes our little piece of paradise; "Life in this South Florida island town is a pastel dream. Picture pale blue skies and white-sand beaches. The island was literally built on millions of seashells. When locals dig in their backyards, they turn up conch, scallop, and clam shells – intact. The town offers a quiet, away-from-it-all life. No stoplights, nor buildings taller than the tallest palm tree."

The millions of tinted seashells that have literally built the island on which this little town sits have made Sanibel famous around the world. Its 6,469 residents enjoy access to 15 miles of unspoiled beaches.

Even the Today Show got into the game, vividly describing each of the top 5 which includes:

#1 Beaufort, South S.C.

#2 Harwich Port, Mass.

#3 Sanibel Island, Fla.

#4 Sag Harbor, N.Y.

#5 Newport, R.I.

Click HERE to see the Today Show segment on America's Happiest Towns.

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