The big chill has begun, and we're already mapping out our escape routes. We don't know what your 2024 bucket list travel plan entails, but we're pretty sure digging your toes into the white sandy shores of the world's best beaches has to be pretty close to the top of the list. Florida’s Paradise Coast is only three hours away for Canadians, but with 30 miles of white sand beaches and over 300 sunny days a year, it couldn't be more different.
Tucked away in Southwest Florida, the Paradise Coast is a natural and cultural gem that will not only top up your Vitamin C but also provide a full schedule of things to do on vacation. Sunbathe or surf on the Gulf of Mexico, get a slice of culture at one of the many galleries and theatres, or take your tastebuds on vacation in the world's stone crab capital.
When it comes to accommodation, there's everything from affordable luxury at the AAA Four Diamond properties to motels and campgrounds. Plus, if you're looking to explore more than just your surroundings, the Paradise Coast — renowned for being one of the happiest, healthiest communities in the U.S. — has a whole host of wellness experiences to help you recharge and find peace. Here are the highlights you can't miss in Florida's Paradise Coast:
Florida's Paradise Coast: The highlights
Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in North America and part of the largest wetlands ecosystem in the U.S. The important habitat for rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the Florida panther is also one of the only 24 Unesco World Heritage sites in America.
The Stone Crab Capital of the World
Everglades City is known as the Stone Crab Capital of the world. Despite its population of only 500 people, this area of the Paradise Coast draws in fans from around the world for this delicious seasonal delicacy during peak stone crab season (October to May). Enjoy the sustainable seafood, then have some shipped home to enjoy later.
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge is a pristine saltwater wilderness that protects some of Florida's most important habitats. The refuge is part of the largest expanse of mangrove forest in North America, with approximately two-thirds of the refuge consisting of mangrove forest. Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge is also home to loggerhead sea turtles, mangrove cuckoos and black-whiskered vireos, plus it's a top spot for anglers.
Clam Pass Park
Located in County Collier, Clam Pass Park is a stunning family-friendly beach with white sand, tranquil waters and plenty of marine life. Clam Pass has 35 acres of coastal habitat and flora and fauna, including butterflies and mangroves, which it conserves with its three-quarter-mile boardwalk. Visitors can also rent water sports equipment.
To learn more and to start booking your trip, head to paradisecoast.com