22 days in Southwest Gulf Coast Itinerary

Make it your trip
Fly to Tampa International Airport, Drive to Sarasota
1
Sarasota
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Everglades City
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Marco Island
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Fort Myers Beach
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Captiva Island
— 1 night
Drive
6
Sanibel Island
— 5 nights
Drive

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Sarasota — 5 nights

Sarasota is a city in Sarasota County on the southwestern coast of the U.S. state of Florida. Explore hidden gems such as Venice Beach and Stump Pass Beach State Park. Visiting Robinson Nature Preserve and De Soto National Memorial will get you outdoors. Get out of town with these interesting Sarasota side-trips: Venice (Detwiler's Farm Market & Spas & Wellness) and Englewood (Englewood Beach & Manasota Key Beach). The adventure continues: grab your bike and head to Legacy Trail, savor the flavors at Siesta Key Rum, walk around South Lido Park, and take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

For reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Sarasota trip itinerary tool.

Cedar Rapids to Sarasota is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and car. You can also drive. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time is 1 hour. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Cedar Rapids in January; daily highs in Sarasota reach 72°F and lows reach 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can drive to Everglades City.
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Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Beaches
Side Trips

Everglades City — 2 nights

Everglades City is a city in Collier County, Florida, United States, of which it is the former county seat. Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): identify plant and animal life at Big Cypress National Preserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Mon): cast your line with a fishing tour, then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and then stroll through Loop Road.

To see photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Everglades City trip planning website.

Traveling by car from Sarasota to Everglades City takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car. In January, daily temperatures in Everglades City can reach 73°F, while at night they dip to 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can drive to Marco Island.
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Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Tours
Side Trip

Marco Island — 5 nights

Marco Island is a city in Collier County, Florida, United States, located on an island by the same name in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Southwest Florida. You'll discover tucked-away gems like South Marco Beach and Reel Kind Fishing and Tours. Step out of the city life by going to Keewaydin Island and Briggs Nature Center. Next up on the itinerary: head off the coast to Cape Romano, explore the activities along Capri Paddlecraft Park, walk around Caxambas Park, and look for all kinds of wild species at Otter Mound Preserve.

For maps, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read our Marco Island day trip website.

You can drive from Everglades City to Marco Island in an hour. January in Marco Island sees daily highs of 73°F and lows of 53°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sat) so you can drive to Fort Myers Beach.
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Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches

Fort Myers Beach — 3 nights

Fort Myers Beach is a town located on Estero Island in Lee County, Florida, United States. Get outdoors at Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Bonita Springs Public Beach. Step off the beaten path and head to Clam Pass Park and Koreshan State Park. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Fort Myers Beach: Wicked Dolphin Distillery (in Cape Coral) and Bird Gardens of Naples (in Naples). Next up on the itinerary: walk around Lakes Regional Park, take in the waterfront at Cape Coral, and don't miss a visit to McGregor Blvd.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Fort Myers Beach using our trip planner.

Drive from Marco Island to Fort Myers Beach in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 79°F in February, and nighttime lows around 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can drive to Captiva Island.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
Side Trips

Captiva Island — 1 night

On the 8th (Wed), view the masterpieces at 2 Islands Gallery, get a taste of the local shopping with Jungle Drums Gallery on Captiva Island, FL, then cast your line with a fishing tour, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Captiva Chapel By-The-Sea.

Plan a Captiva Island trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

You can drive from Fort Myers Beach to Captiva Island in an hour. In February in Captiva Island, expect temperatures between 79°F during the day and 58°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to drive to Sanibel Island.
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Tours · Spas · Outdoors · Wildlife

Sanibel Island — 5 nights

Take a trip to Sanibel Island if you like pretty sunsets and luxurious resorts.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Blind Pass Beach Park and Gulfside Beach. Escape the urban bustle at Tarpon Bay Beach and Pond Apple Park. There's much more to do: explore the galleries of Sanibel Historical Museum and Village, look for gifts at Bailey's General Store, get interesting insight from Tours, and stroll around Lighthouse Beach Park.

To see photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, use the Sanibel Island trip maker app.

Sanibel Island is just a short distance from Captiva Island. February in Sanibel Island sees daily highs of 79°F and lows of 58°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Southwest Gulf Coast travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Wildlife Areas · Fishing Charters & Tours