You know what they say about tourist hotspots like Venice (the other one) and the Lake District? That they may look impossibly crowded but you only need to show a little independent spirit and deviate a few streets from where the hordes gather and you'll have the place to yourself.
Such, we found, was Caspersen Beach, happily just down the road. While everyone was converging seawards from the seething car park, lugging chairs and parasols and picnic coolers, we walked against the traffic, towards land. And a lovely tranquil nature reserve.
It looked, I'm guessing, pretty much how it would have looked in the days of the pioneers. Which of course was a tough time. Snakes, alligators, panthers, mosquitoes, heat and humidity. But if you could stand all that and had a sense of humour, it must have been one long adventure. Now we have to get our thrills in small, carefully managed parcels. Though there are, of course, still alligators on the golf course. Nothing in Florida is ever completely safe.