The pace on this southwest Florida island shifts to slow-mo in sultry summertime, especially on a Sunday morning, when the hours melt as sweetly as an ice cream bar from Paradise Sweets. Just one block wide, this little sliver of beach colony sits at the southern end of St. Pete Beach, which serves as the unofficial town square.
The day begins early on this sea-oat-fringed stretch of sand: Squadrons of white ibises and skittering sandpipers are the first shift, scouting the shore for treats the ocean delivered overnight. Their human counterparts arrive soon after, stooping to scoop up whelks, sand dollars, and other glistening treasures. The pickings are especially fine after a tropical storm.