Our Piece of Sunshine
Any good description of Southwest Florida will always start with the beaches, barrier islands, and nature preserves. We are home to the world-famous beaches of Marco Island, Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Venice Beach, Siesta Key, Anna Maria Island, St. Petersburg Beach, and Clearwater Beach, and you are never more than a 90-minute drive from the coastline anywhere in our Diocese. We also count 3 National Parks and 21 State Parks within our piece of sunshine.
These days, Southwest Florida is also home to several Championship sports teams: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL – 2021 Super Bowl Champions), Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL – 2020 & 2021 back to back Stanley Cup Champions), and Tampa Bay Rays (MLB – 2020 American League Champions). In February and March each year, 9 different Major League Baseball teams call our piece of sunshine home for Spring Training. Several minor league baseball, hockey, and soccer teams also call Southwest Florida home. We even host a downtown IndyCar Series Grand Prix in St. Petersburg annually.
If beaches and sports aren’t your thing, we can offer family friendly fun activities at the Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island Tampa theme parks, Zoo Tampa, the Naples Zoo, Florida Aquarium (Tampa), Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium (Sarasota), Glazer Children’s Museum (Tampa), or Tampa Museum of Science and Technology.
Or if your tastes lean towards the performing or fine arts, we can direct you to numerous points of interest across our piece of sunshine: the Artis (Naples), Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall (Fort Myers), Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Sarasota), Ringling Museum (Sarasota), Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall (Sarasota), Dalí Museum (St. Petersburg), Museum of Fine Arts (St. Petersburg), James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art (St. Petersburg), Chihuly Collection (St. Petersburg), or Straz Center for the Performing Arts (Tampa), among others.
No matter your interests, at the end of the day turn your gaze west to see our piece of sunshine turn into some of the most beautiful sunsets anywhere in our country!