Cayo Costa State Park The best shelling beach in the U.S. is not Captiva or Sanibel, the twin islands just over the mainland from Ft. Myers. There's one much better, located two islands to the north of Sanibel as the seagull flies. Nine-mile-long Cayo Costa may lack a bridge and chic hotels, but this state-park isle makes up for it with a staggering array of hard-to-find seashells.
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Best. Hotel pool. Ever. The Biltmore in Coral Gables. One of the most beautiful hotels I've ever visited. If you're in the area on business during the off season, the rates are surprisingly reasonable.