Island is a village at the end of the road on the west shore of
the Gulf Coast.
It is a piece
of Old Florida along with its close neighbor Everglades City three
nudge the boundaries of Everglades
National Park (map)
Island National Wildlife Refuge and provide astonishing habitats
for birds and sub-tropical wildlife unmatched in the U.S.
Culture and Arts
its impressive Philharmonic
Center for the Arts with theater, music, Broadway plays, and
a museum. Other excellent venues: Naples
Publick Theatre offering Shakespeare in the park, Opera
Naples, the Naples
Orchestra and Chorus, and for a really fun Sunday outing: the
Concert Band at Cambier Park. Downtown Naples is about a 45-minute
drive from the park.
is home to the famous Smallwoods
Store Museum, the spot where the infamous Mr. Watson was gunned
down by local residents, the central event of the novel, Killing
Up the road
a bit in Everglades City you'll find the Museum
of the Everglades, "a showcase for the history of the Everglades
region" sponsored by the Collier
County Museums with five area locations.
Florida International Airport offers major airline flights from
all over the world, about an hour and 15 minutes north, Rt. 75,
Lauderdale International Airport (104 miles east) and Miami
International Airport (82 miles east) are both viable options.
City offers a small General Aviation Airport and Naples
has its own municipal airport featuring local commercial flights
and general aviation.
the best and closest wildlife visitors centers:
Coast Visitor Center, Everglades City,
3 miles north of the Chokoloskee Island Park (CIP), includes
boat, canoe, and kayak tours, talks. (map)
Valley Visitor Center, about an hour east of CIP, great
7-mile tram ride and paved bike path. (map)
Corkscrew Swamp Boardwalk, about an hour north of CIP,
outstanding 2.5-mile walk through spectrum of habitats.
National Reserve, board walk and center, 8 miles northwest
of CIP (map).
Trail, Royal Palm Visitor's Center, fabulous trail and
boardwalk with birds everywhere, two+ hours east of CIP (map).
Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, two
hours north, fun day trip.
round trip to Everglades City involves a few back streets
linked to a bike path along the causeway, a good and very
safe daily workout with variations added by back streets and
along the Baron River docks in Everglades City.
can try the nearby Fakahatchee
Strand trail, and closeby that the Okaloacoochee
Slough (slew) provides a serious mountain bikers trek
called the Bear Island Trail.
Island, 24 miles northwest, offers miles
of marked in-road bike paths along its many back streets,
canals, and beaches. Similarly, downtown Naples offers marked
bike trails along city streets, separate bikeways, and vast
numbers of choices shown on this
great .pdf map.
biking, and kayaking trips are listed, with maps, at Trails.com
for the whole region.
kayak tours as well as hiking, birding, and biking tours can
be arranged at JT's Gallery, a short walk from the park at
flock to the region to embark on the 100-mile Everglades Trail
that winds through a sheltered labyrinth of Mangroves from
Everglades City to Flamingo. Numerous
guided tours help visitors organize trips of
varying levels of difficulty. A word of advice to kayakers:
don't leave shore without a GPS and detailed maps, especially
if you're not on a guided tour.
City provides 10
well-rated restaurants and grills including the historically
and Gun Club and Seafood
to home in Chokoloskee, a short walk from the Park, are The
Havana Cafe, excellent breakfasts and lunches with tasty Cuban
About 20 miles
away, another unique Old Florida island village, Goodland, offers
surprisingly fine and fun restaurants including The
Little Bar and the famously wild Stan's.
large grocery stores are Walmart and Publix, a bit more than a half-hour
drive on Route 41 going northwest. The very popular Beall's
Department Store is a frequent outing for CIP women hunting
for clothing bargains.
The men make
almost as many pilgrimmages to BassPro
Shops on Rt. 75 in South Fort Myers, a 1.2-hour drive.
5th Avenue is famous for its high-end shops and restaurants,
and once in the Naples area 45-minutes northwest, the shopping is
quick trip for repairs at Naples
RV Center or a 1.25-hour drive to Camping
World in Fort Myers.