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If you’re considering a trip to Bonita Springs, Florida, you might be wondering what there is to do down there.
There is no shortage of fun possibilities! There are amazing beaches and state parks, an awesome water park, and plenty of fishing. Out on the boat, you might encounter dolphins or manatees! Below is a comprehensive list of the best things to do in Bonita Springs.
- Lovers Key State Park
- Barefoot Beach Country Preserve
- Bonita Beach Park
- Little Hickory Island Beach Park
- Everglades Wonder Gardens
- Sun-N-Fun Lagoon
- Mound Key Archaeological State Park
- Wildlife Watching (Dolphins & Manatees)
- Fishing Charters in Estero Bay
Keep reading for more fun facts about Bonita Springs and the many awesome attractions there!
Why You Should Visit Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita springs is on the Southwest coast of Florida, below Ft. Myers and above Naples.
The aerial view, which you can get a really good look at through this video, gives you an idea of just how gorgeous this area of Florida is.
No matter where you are, you’re close to water! Almost every house you see is directly on the water and only a few minutes from the coast. The coastal water has that tropical teal color, so clear and inviting.
Many of the homes share a similar architecture, suited perfectly for the surrounding scenery. The weather is tropical and the coastal breeze is soothing. Bonita Springs has the perfect vacation vibe. It seems like the ideal getaway.
9 Fantastic Things to Do in Bonita Springs, FL
Whether you’re a couple going on vacation, a family or you’re headed to the area on a business trip, there is going to be something for you! It is a destination ripe with natural beauty virtually everywhere you look.
1. Lovers Key State Park
Lovers Key State Park has a beautiful beach right on the coast of Bonita Springs. The two-mile beach is calm and serene, white sand stretching out as far as your eyes can see. Keep an eye on the ground while you walk down the beach and you’ll be sure to find some of the most magnificent seashells you’ve ever come across.
But the beach isn’t all that this park offers. There are miles and miles of trails, easily traversed via beautifully crafted wooden paths. There is a lot of foliage coverage overhead so you’ll get some relief from the sun too!
The park is accessible 365 days a year, 8 am until sundown. A parking pass will cost $8, that’s all you’ll need to enjoy a beautiful day at the park.
2. Barefoot Beach County Preserve
Similar to Lovers Key State Park, Barefoot Beach County Preserve is a beautiful beach accompanied by 342 acres of beautiful scenery and wildlife. You’ll be able to lounge on the beach or explore the preserve where you can encounter butterflies, turtles, and much more! The beach is family-friendly, however, it is not dog-friendly so keep that in mind if it applies to you.
As soon as you step out onto the beach and see the view, you’ll know that you made the right decision to visit. It’s only $8 to park and you’ll find that the beach is usually wide open and not crowded. It opens at 8 am and closes at dusk. There are clean restrooms and a shower to rinse the sand off. If you take a look at this video, you’ll get the perfect idea of what to expect.
You can access their website here.
3. Bonita Beach Park
Perhaps at this point, you are noticing a pattern…Bonita Springs is all about the beaches!
Although all of these beaches and parks are close in proximity, each offers a different vibe. Bonita Beach Park is a beachfront equipped with a boardwalk and generally calm water to swim in. The kids will have fun too considering the volleyball courts and the playground. You’ll be able to use the grills to cook some lunch and there are tables to eat at. Parking is only $2 per hour so a full day, like the two beaches above, is very affordable.
Additionally, if you are at Bonita Beach Park on the right day, there might be a special event. Events are frequently held at the beach, things such as Powerboat races, festivals, etc. For additional information, you can take a look at their website.
4. Little Hickory Island Beach Park
What is better than three beaches? Four beaches!
Little Hickory Island Beach Park is a quiet and peaceful beach, good for families or fishing (or both). The bathrooms are clean and it’s easy and cheap to park there as well. It is one of the best places in Bonita Springs to enjoy the sunset. As with the beaches above, all of the beaches in Bonita Springs open around 7 or 8 am and close at dusk. Parking is going to be $2 per hour.
You could classify Little Hickory Island Beach as a sort of a hidden gem. You’ll never have to worry about finding a place to sit on the beach with your family; there’s plenty of room. You might be able to find some conch shells as well. The water is so clear you’ll be able to see fish swimming by!
Here is a link to their website for the full story.
5. Everglades Wonder Gardens
Southwest Florida is well known for its wildlife. If you want to get a full experience of the extent of that wildlife, look no further than the Everglades Wonder Gardens.
The Gardens have been home to a variety of different types of exotic birds and reptiles for 80 years now. Walking through the gardens you will find yourself surrounded by beautiful orchids and bamboo trees. You might even get to encounter flamingos or alligators. As you can see here, most of the events are alligator-related.
You can visit the gardens any day of the week between 9 am and 5 pm. Adults will need to pay $12 for admission, $7 for kids, and if your child is under the age of 3 they get in for free! You’ll be able to access their website via this link.
6. Sun-N-Fun Lagoon
Is a tropical vacation complete without a trip to a water park? You’ll only have to drive 15 minutes outside of Bonita Springs if you want to add a water park to the list of things you did there. The primary attraction at Sun-N-Fun Lagoon is the giant combination waterslide. From the top of the large wooden platform, you can access 5 different slides. Some are fast, some are windy, and some will lead you right into the lazy river. Family Falls is a big pool area which is intended to be a break from the excitement of all the rides throughout the park. If you have little ones, bring them over to Turtle Cove or the Tadpole Pool.
Generally speaking, the hours are from 10 am to 5 pm. However, it isn’t quite that simple and things are subject to change. If you are planning a trip to this water park, it would be best to check their hours first. A day of fun at this park is going to cost under $10, making it a terrific value.
If you’d like to see more, go check out their website!
7. Mound Key Archaeological State Park
This state park is on a small island that will only be accessible by boat. The terrain is unique and unlike any of the other state parks or beaches in Bonita Springs. A Native American tribe known as the Calusa utilized Mound Key as their ceremonial center. It is a spiritual place filled with beauty. Throughout the island, you’ll be able to find bits of information that can serve to educate you about the Calusa and the significance of the island.
There is a hiking trail that will take you from one end of the island to the other. Between the boat-only access and the unique terrain, it is a true adventure. The mounds on the island create elevation, a welcomed change for anyone familiar with the notorious flatness of Florida. This is the kind of activity that you’ll be telling everyone about when you get back home. How you went to a small island, a spiritual Native American landmark, that can only be accessed by boat and while you hiked across you looked out toward the water and saw a dolphin!
The park is free, you won’t need to pay any fees to enjoy the day there. Here is a link to the website if you’d like some more information.
8. Wildlife Watching (Manatees and Dolphins)
During your stay at Bonita Springs, you should make it a priority to try to enjoy some of the wildlife. Through most of the activities above, you’ll be able to make that a reality. Some are more direct, such as the Everglades Wonder Gardens, and some less direct. If you find yourself in Mound Key, discussed above, you’ll be able to go paddling. From the paddle boat, this region is a great place to potentially see some manatees or dolphins in the wild.
There are other ways to more actively pursue marine wildlife such as Manatee Guides. These kayak tours are available all over southwest Florida, including Bonita Springs. A Florida Master Naturalist will take you out on the water and you are sure to experience some remarkable sites. If you have a look at the reviews you will see that exploring with a Manatee Guide is worth it.
9. Fishing Charters in Estero Bay
If you are someone who likes to fish, Bonita Springs has a lot to offer you. There are tons of fishing charters available in the area. A full day out on the boat will not be very cheap, a lot of listings are about $400, but you’ll be able to experience the beauty of the entire area from the boat. You’ll explore the coast and most definitely catch some fish; potentially some big ones. Take a look at the size of some of these catches from one of the Estero Bay charters.
There is a list of the top fishing charters in Estero Bay available here. They are all captained by experienced fishermen who know their way around a boat. The boats come in various sizes, but even the smallest have enough room to take out your family. Southwest Florida is home to tons of exotic fish so you might catch something cool!
Where to Stay
In Bonita Springs you’ll have the option of staying at a hotel, cottage, Airbnb, etc. Below are some of the best-rated lodging spots or the best value.
Located in central Bonita Springs, this option is a vacation home that can comfortably accommodate 4 people. The cottage is equipped with WiFi, air conditioning, washing machine, outdoor furniture, and a lot more. It is listed because of its excellent value and solid reviews.
Trianon Bonita Bay Hotel
The first thing you’ll notice as you approach this hotel is the epic entrance. The exterior is palm trees, statues, pillars, and wonderful architecture. The interior is spectacular. The hotel is 2 miles from Bonita Bay Golf Course and just a bit further than that from Barefoot Beach.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Bonita Springs
The location of this hotel is perfectly convenient, just a few miles from Bonita Beach. There’s plenty to do, considering the outdoor pool and the gym. A breakfast buffet is offered every morning. The hotel rooms are all spacious suites equipped with kitchenettes.