SOUTHWEST FLORIDA may be fringed by white-sand bays and dotted with tropical islands, but there’s way more here than postcard-perfect views. This is a region home to the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the country and more shell varieties than anywhere else in the US. It’s a habitat for bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles, wild cypress forests and more than 300 species of birds. Basically, it’s an insanely good-looking Pinterest board come to life. Here’s proof.

1. Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve proves there truly are wild places left in the world.

Get moving! Guided walks of the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve are held daily at 9:30am & 1:30pm this month. #ftmyerssanibel

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2. Baby turtles hatch on Southwest Florida’s beaches every fall.

Turtle love #ftmyerssanibel

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3. Action shots in the water come easy when the temps are bathtub warm all year round.

4. Roseate spoonbills nest in Sanibel Island‘s mangroves.

Did you know? More than 300 bird species live on The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.

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5. In fact, mangroves provide essential habitat for many fish, crabs, and wading birds.

Paddling through the mangroves #ftmyerssanibel

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6. Sea and sand backdrops make food shots a lot more interesting.

7. And the sunsets here look like this.

Be sure to stop and take in the beauty of #ftmyerssanibel. #LoveFL

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8. Sometimes they can get pretty Zen.

Now this is what we call a #sunset! Thanks for sharing it with us, @yules62. #Sanibel #ftmyerssanibel #LoveFL

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9. A whole range of species come to breed and raise their young in Southwest Florida’s Estero Bay.

Oh hey there fella #ftmyerssanibel #swflwildlife

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10. And there are more shell varieties here than anywhere else in North America.

Looks like @londonolivestudio had a successful day of #shelling! Thanks for sharing with us. #ftmyerssanibel #LoveFL

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11. In fact, “shelling charter captain” is an actual career here.

We think @dreaming_of_sanibel had a great morning shelling! #ftmyerssanibel #LoveFL

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12. The Great Calusa Blueway canoe and kayak trail covers 190 miles.

13. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford used to winter here, and you can still visit their grand estates.

14. Hammers get used in novel ways at the local seafood restaurants.

What has been your best meal in #ftmyerssanibel? #LoveFL

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15. In Southwest Florida, starfish are the ideal way to frame a photo.

Go ahead, jump right in! #ftmyerssanibel

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16. Best thing about being on Florida’s west coast? There’s a beachfront sunset. Every. Single. Night.

17. And the sunrises look like this…

18. But there’s more to this part of Florida than sugar sand beaches.

Paddlers' paradise #ftmyerssanibel

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19. There’s culture too.

Up close and personal with @ruthiecollinsmusic and @thepaulmcdonald #🎤 #👌 #IslandHopper

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20. And long-legged beauties on the beaches.

Egrets like sunsets too. #ftmyerssanibel

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21. Don’t these islands look like two dolphins greeting each other?

Find your #island when you visit #ftmyerssanibel. #LoveFL

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22. Okay, we get it Southwest Florida. You’re incredible.

Good morning #ftmyerssanibel! @redcoconutrvpark shares their morning view with us. #LoveFL

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This post is proudly produced in partnership with The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel.