The Flamingos

Welcome to Florida Weekly’s Best special section

In this, our Best special section which we call The Flamingos, we highlight Flamingos the wackiest and the most wondrous, the sublime and the ridiculous — the things that add up to make South Florida among the most interesting places to survive and thrive. Many “best of” publications are filled solely with content that’s bought and paid for. That isn’t […]

COVER ARTIST

Doug MacGregor has been an illustrator and cartoonist for over 45 years working for newspapers and print publications across the United States. A native of Binghamton, N.Y., Doug graduated from Syracuse University and holds a BFA in Illustration. Doug has lived in Southwest Florida since 1988 and enjoys the humor and unique opportunities living in paradise provides. Doug currently works […]

BEST PLACE TO FIND THE REAL SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center

ONLY IN PARADISE Our area has its share of characters, achievers, do-gooders, movers and shakers — and scores of institutions, places and nonprofits — to keep our staff supplied with stories all year round. If you’re idea of real Florida is hibiscus and coconut palms, you’ve been misled (hibiscus is thought to have originated in Asia, and coconut palms come […]

BEST GO-TO PERSON FOR TIPS ABOUT THE OUTDOORS

Capt. Dennis Kirk

While Florida Weekly doesn’t like to toot its own horn, we’re also compelled to give credit where it’s due. When it comes to picking the brain of someone who has knowledge of, experience at and insight into enjoying the natural world of Southwest Florida, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more qualified than Florida Weekly’s own Capt. Dennis Kirk. He […]

BEST UGLY AND DANGEROUS INVASIVE SPECIES MAKING NEWS AGAIN

Hammerhead flatworm

You’ve probably heard of a hammerhead shark — but a hammerhead worm? According to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: “The hammerhead flatworm is a carnivore and uses its muscular, snakelike body to chase down and capture native earthworms. Once subdued, the hammerhead worm uses a sticky secretion full of neurotoxins to kill its prey.” Hammerhead […]

BEST-KEPT-SECRET PLACES TO DECOMPRESS

What, we should tell YOU?

You did notice the word “secret” in the headline for this one, right? So, this one you’re going to have to discover for yourself. The longer you live here, the more spots you’ll find that you don’t want to tell anyone else about (or only a select few) so that they don’t get crowded. It might be that place to […]

BEST GRANDMA TO ATTEND THE SUPER BOWL

Grace Orzech snags tickets

Grace Orzech has a grandson that every sports-loving grandparent wishes they had — an NFL pro football player competing in Super Bowl LVI. Grace’s grandson, Matthew Orzech — who wears No. 42 as a long-snapper for the Los Angeles Rams — hiked a perfect snap to placekicker Matt Gay for the winning field goal in the 2022 NFC Championship game […]

BEST BELOVED LOCAL FIGURE WE LOST (MALE)

Dan Mearns

Just about everybody who knew Dan Mearns liked him. He was a kind, happy, teddy bear of a guy with an “Awww, shucks” Kentucky drawl, quick wit and friendly demeanor. The 73-year-old spent 20 years doing editorial work in the racehorse field before moving to Southwest Florida, where he worked at the Charlotte Sun as copy desk chief and editor […]

BEST BELOVED LOCAL FIGURE WE LOST (FEMALE)

Juli Jones Riley

Michael Riley is a ubiquitous figure around these parts, being the community liaison for Charlotte County Public Schools and a founder of the band The BoogieMen, which is known for its charitable performances as well as for its regular gigs at places like Harpoon Harry’s in Fishermen’s Village. But his favorite role was undoubtedly being the loving, doting husband of […]

BEST “NEVER SAY DIE” ATTITUDE

Tim Ritchie vs. Mosaic

In January, Charlotte County commissioners decided to follow the lead of neighboring DeSoto County in banning phosphate mining. It was a unanimous brick wall meant to deter the mining giant Mosaic, which already operates several mines and fertilizer plants in Polk, Hardee, Manatee and Hillsborough counties. The unsung hero in this fight is Tim Ritchie, self-proclaimed Citizen Water Czar, and […]


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