Where, oh where, in FLA????

Jan 26, 2005
Marysville, WA
Well, finally got our travel plans set for this month, and it looks like the 11th-14th will be in FLA. Saturday the 11th we will be in the Port Charlotte area, Sunday the 12th is busy with the Everett Hawks game in Miami. We are planning to stay in Naples and are wondering what folks suggest for the 13th and 14th, or places in the Port Charlotte area, I can probably sneak a couple of hours in there as well :lol: .

I am also contemplating what lenses to carry. I will have the 70-200 f2.8 VR as well as my 120-300 f2.8, plus 1.4 and 2.0 TC's. How much will I miss it if I don't bring my 500mm along? Given that, at best, I will have a couple of days for "serious" shooting, I don't want to haul along extra bits if I don't need them.


ps. We don't mind driving, so if somewhere is a few hours away, not a big deal.
Jan 26, 2005
Ohio & Florida
Hi Retief,

We have not spent much time on the west coast of Florida in several years, but close to Port Charlotte is the Ding Darling NWR on Sanibel Island. It might be nearly as good as the Merritt Island NWR on the east coast of Florida.
You might also want to look at the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary northeast of Naples. (I have not been there, but I have seen photos posted from there.)
On the way back from Miami, you might want to check out the Recreation Stop on I-75 a few miles west of the Ft. Lauderdale toll booth. It is right along the highway and only a 15 or 20 minute stop at most. I have posted some photos from it here in Places to Shoot:
Again, I have only been there in March, so I don't know what you might see other times of the year.

You might want to check with Harris (Backdoctor), he is on the east coast almost directly across from Port Charlotte. We met him there in February and he showed us several locations to shoot in the area before we headed north to Merritt Island.

Gaye spends the winter on the West Coast and may be able to make some suggestions also.

Post a summer update here when you get back!
Bob & Nan
Last edited by a moderator:
Feb 14, 2005
Huntsville, AL
I've made a number of trips to South Florida. With only a couple of days, I would drive west from Naples on the Tamiami Trail. There are a couple of side roads that are good for scenics and alligators. Stop at the Big Cypress Vistiitor Center. Or stop by a couple of entrances to the Everglades. Check a map the first one is at Everglades City ( I think ) and the second is at Shark Valley. If you have time go the main entrance of the Everglades and do an evening and morning at Anhinga Trail. Can't guarantee how good birding will be. I've only gone there in the dry season (winter). Clouds should be better this time of year. Also, Clyde Butcher's studio is on Tamiami traill. He's a well known large format B&W photog. Only, about an hour or so from Naples is Corkscrew Swamp, and a bit more than an hour from Ding Darling NWF on Sanibel Island. Good luck.
May 24, 2005
Salem, NH
I concur...Sanibel Island is wonderful. Captiva Island as well.

Captiva Cruises
Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (C.R.O.W.)
Everglades Day Safari
J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Sanibel Lighthouse

Lots there...shoreline, wildlife, lighthouse, etc.


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