Gulf Coast - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Gulf Coast

Gulf Coast

Off Florida's west coast adjacent to the pretty inland city of Fort Myers is a sprinkling of coastal islands resting in the tranquil Gulf waters. Many have been carefully developed as pristine and appealing resorts which, together with Fort Myers Beach and the sophisticated town of Naples further down the coast on the mainland, have made this area with its subtropical climate an extremely desirable holiday destination.

South west Florida is the ideal place to enjoy leisure and pleasure in the great outdoors, it being one of the warmest areas of the United States. In the height of summer ocean breezes keep things cool while visitors enjoy swimming, sunning, shelling or playing a round of golf. Nature lovers are drawn here because of the area's close proximity to the Everglades National Park, the Big Cypress Swamp and numerous other wetland reserves, wildlife refuges and habitats. Then, of course, there are the miles of beautiful beaches, washed by the warm Gulf waters and covered in a fascinating array of seashells. Winter is 'in season' in this part of the world, which stays warm while the more northerly states freeze. Little wonder that the Gulf Coast has become a magnet for visitors whom locals term 'snowbirds' migrating from the north to winter here.

Information & Facts


The climate in southern Florida is subtropical and humid, with temperatures ranging from 60°F (16°C) in midwinter (which is peak tourist season) to around 80°F (27°C) in summer. The summer heat and humidity along the coast and on the islands is tempered by the ocean breezes from the Gulf of Mexico, and by frequent afternoon and evening thundershowers, which accounts for most of the region's rainfall. The winter months are dryer. The area is prone to being hit by tropical cyclones, but local communities have adapted to cope with these occasional storm threats.

Getting Around

The main Gulf coast cities of Fort Myers and Naples both have public buses. Greater Fort Myers is served by Lee Tran, which connects to the beach trolley service on Estero Island and the resort area of Fort Myers Beach. The beach trolleys operate every 15 minutes from 7am to 9.30pm and cover the full length of Estero Boulevard on the barrier island. In Naples visitors enjoy riding the trolley, which makes 25 stops between Olde Naples and Vanderbilt Beach every day. Not only is this a useful transportation service, but the two-hour loop comes with a narration from the driver, which makes it an informative sightseeing tour as well. There is no public bus service connecting to Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and no public transportation on the small islands themselves. Cars are not encouraged on the streets with no parking permitted anywhere except on the Sanibel Causeway or some municipal pay lots. Bicycles are the favoured means of transportation on the resort islands. The resorts and cities of the Gulf Coast all have cab services available.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

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