Since 2007, Perico Island in Manatee County has been the official JSH home base when I'm skulking in the Sunshine State, and will remain so for some time to come, even though I'm now looking at a Jacksonville/St. Augustine area outpost. I'm takin' over, see. I cover the waterfront, see.
Nestled right between the party atmosphere of Anna Maria Island and the urban bustle of Bradenton, Perico's a quiet and peaceful spot to get away from it all yet still be driving distance (walking distance, even) to Publix to get a box of Oolong.
I'd love to tell you all sorts of wacky interesting facts and firsthand anecdotes about Perico Island, but that's the glorious beauty of it - there aren't any. It's just this island, you know? There's some homes, apartments and condos, and there's kayak rentals and swampy boardwalks, and a nice lookout tower at the adjacent Robinson Preserve, and that's about the gist of it. No liquor stores, no bikini contests, no boiled peanut vendors, just tranquility, sipping Zwack, writing the great American pulp fiction novel, and counting lizards on the lanai. Dig.