Views along the Sanibel Causeway and Captiva Drive star in many commercials, but all of the coastal islands promise glimpses of sea and local color. The drive through Bonita Beach, Lovers Key and Fort Myers Beach and another from Lido Key through Anna Maria Island in Sarasota and Bradenton are particu-larly representative of island life.
From Fort Myers, head east along Route 80 to visit the small towns of riverside Alva and Labelle, and lakeside Clewiston. Glimpse the region’s rural, agricultural personality along the way. Or plan a trip to Pine Island to the northwest. Its four communities are known for exotic fruit farming, ancient Calusa shell mounds, an artists’ village and fishing.
In the Port Charlotte area, a road trip to Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island scores for historical intrigue and lovely beaches. To its north, Sarasota lays claim to a number of small organic and other farms you can visit. Cross the Manatee River from Bradenton to reach the attractions of Palmetto, a riverside beauty also known for its agricultural heritage.