You can’t vacation to Southwest Florida without a fun-filled day at the beach! One of the best things about the area is that each Southwest Florida beach is unique. Some have hiking trails. Some are a little off the beaten path. And they all offer fishing, sunsets, rolling waves and all of the things that set beaches in Southwest Florida a part. Start your day at Bonita Beach Park on your way to Lovers Key State Park or Fort Myers Beach and end the day on Barefoot Beach Preserve’s Saylor Trail. Southwest Florida is known for its beach destinations, and these two area treasures are no exception.
It’s also a good idea to be aware of turtle nesting season each year from May 1 to October 31. This is when sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. If you’re visiting Bonita Springs during this time period, please look out for barriers around their nests. There will be signs on the beach. Dimmed lights also help the sea turtles better navigate the beach at night and dimmed lights make it easier for hatchlings to get to the water.
Bonita Beach Park
Located on Hickory Island, Bonita Beach Park is a short drive west on Bonita Beach Road. You can take a refreshing tip in the swimming area or check out the scenery from the boardwalk. There are eight picnic shelters. You can enjoy a romantic picnic with your loved one or enjoy a meal on the beach with the entire family. The dunes and coastal vegetation surround the eight picnic shelters and gazebo, which only add to the ambience. Spend the whole day here or just come for a few hours. Or come back every day. The choice is yours!
Barefoot Beach Preserve
Barefoot Beach Preserve is one of the most popular beaches in the area, but it’s a little off the beaten path, so it is more of a local beach. In fact, many people drive up from Naples to visit. The preserve is 342 acres of natural land and besides, Sanibel Island, it is one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on the Gulf Coast. In 2013, Forbes ranked Barefoot Beach Preserve as the sixth best beach in the U.S. When you visit, it’ll be easy to see why!