December 19, 2014

From the Editor

David SendlerSavor the best of the gulfshore as touted by our readers (Best of the Gulfshore 2009). And allow us to add to your pleasures with more, more, more. Here are our editors’ picks of people, places and things we find irresistible.

Best Cake for Your Office Party Mikkelsen’s Pastry Shop. Favorites like Black Forest cake, fresh fruit tarts and Key lime cheesecake will lure you into creative reasons for taking a break from work.

Best Escape for a Lazy Afternoon Rent a kayak from Estero Outfitters and have a slow paddle down the winding Estero River, past groves of bamboos and giant banyan trees hung with Spanish moss.

Best Place for Dress-up With Your Daughter Children’s Couture. From musical tutus and light-up boas to party dresses, unique toys and high-end gifts, this place has everything you could want for your little princess.

Best Lunch on a Deadline No time for a leisurely midday meal? Run through the buffet at Whole Foods and grab a tasty slice of Margherita pizza and some spinach salad (and throw in a vegan chocolate chip cookie if you want one more quick indulgence).

Best Local DJ You can find Bigg John Scott at several venues throughout the region, but we especially love the vibe at Blu Sushi at Gulf Coast Town Center, where he inventively mixes some of the best old school jams with current tunes.

Best Bagel to Start Your Day Straight From New York in Naples serves them right from the oven, and you’re likely to finish your first one before you can fish out the money to pay.

Best Restaurant Reinvention M Waterfront Grille. Naples mainstay Maxwell’s got much more than a name change recently. New chef Brian Roland offers cutting-edge continental cuisine, and a brand new décor makes the waterfront location ever more delightful.

Best Park to Ride Your Bike John Yarbrough Linear Park in Lee County is great for those who want to go the distance without riding in circles. It extends from Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers to Mullock Creek in the Jamaica Bay area of south Lee County.

Best Coffee Bar With its coffee beans custom-roasted just before delivery, Tony’s Off Third brings you a savory cup of joe amidst the greenery and fountains in its downtown courtyard. A delicious scone, cinnamon bun or croissant will cinch the deal.

Best Cutting-Edge Theater Troupe For wild, wacky and, at times, controversial outings, Bill Taylor’s Theatre Conspiracy in Fort Myers is just the ticket.

Best Place for a World Tasting Tour Dolce Vita cooks up specialties from Italy, France, India, the Caribbean and Mexico … a global treat for your palate.

Best Place to Adopt a Pet Brooke’s Legacy Animal Rescue is a no-kill shelter that collects homeless pets from the east and west coasts of Florida and finds foster homes for them before they are adopted.

Best Sport for Adrenaline Rush Wakeboarding at Revolution Cable Park in North Fort Myers will challenge and energize all exercise buffs.

Best Deal on a Smoothie The price is right at Planet Smoothie in Naples, and the tasty fruit-based drinks deliver fewer calories than those from places where lots of sugar is added. 

Best Dance Spot on Friday Night Ultra in Naples packs in up to 1,000 enthusiasts for rousing evenings of hip hop, techno and more.

Best Scoop of Ice Cream The Chocolate Addiction cone at Emack & Bolio’s in Naples. We challenge you to find a better name after you’ve had your first taste of it.

Best Eye-Candy Bartenders Those cool-looking guys and gals serving them up at Pelican Larry’s. Can it be something in the water over there on Immokalee Road?

Best Close-up of Wildlife Everglades Private Airboat Tours speeds you on a thrilling trip through the Everglades that gets you right neighborly with our alligators and wading birds.

Best Restaurant For History Buffs Originally a grand manor built in the 1890s, the Thistle Lodge at Casa Ybel Resort became a popular haunt for Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and other local celebrities. Its gorgeous view of the Gulf and its delightful blend of Floridian, European and Asian cuisine make it a today happening as well.