Ft. Myers Beach, Bonita Beach, Sanibel Island and Captiva are excellent places to enjoy the sand, sea and sun. Boaters can enjoy the vast Intracoastal area among the many islands or venture offshore for open-water sailing and fishing.Nearby islands of Sanibel and Captiva offer spectacular natural beauty. The white sand beaches are known for the beautiful seashells that wash on their shores. Part of Sanibel is preserved in the J N 'Ding' Darling National Wildlife Refuge. A 5 mile drive, by auto, Tram tour, or bicycle, through this area can be enjoyed where one may see a huge variety of wildlife including herons, hawks, sandpipers, spoonbills, pelicans and an occasional alligator. Canoeing and Kayaking are also popular ways to enjoy this natural beauty.
We invite you to visit our family island. Over 1.8 million annual visitors enjoy the beaches, fishing, shopping, dinning, golf, tennis and entertainment on the sandy shores. The Beach gained a reputation as the World’s Safest Beach because of no undertow and shallow water. People can walk the entire 7-mile length of the island along its sandy shores.
Sanibel Island is known around the world for its premier shelling beaches. The island's geography and Gulf tidal currents result in great quantities of shells washing up on the fine white sand. Riding a bike or walking/running gives you access to Sanibel beaches that are difficult or impossible to reach by car. Parking around some access points is limited to cars with special permit tags -- indicated by "restricted car parking" in the list below -- but cyclists can find bike racks at all of these access points. Even at the general public beach parking lots, cars will pay a $2 hourly rate while cyclists park their bikes for free. The general public beach access points (those without restricted parking) all have restrooms and water. Sanibel beaches allow pets, if they are on a leash, and you must clean up after them. Pets are not allowed on Captiva beaches.
For years, Lovers Key was accessible only by boat and it was said that only lovers traveled to the island to enjoy its remote and solitary beach. Today, it is one of four barrier islands that make up this state park. A haven for wildlife, the islands and their waters are home to West Indian manatees, bottlenose dolphins, roseate spoonbills, marsh rabbits, and bald eagles. The two mile long beach is accessible by boardwalk or tram and is popular for shelling, swimming, picnicking, and sunbathing. Black Island has over five miles of multiuse trails for hiking and bicycling. Anglers and boaters can launch their vessels from the park's boat ramp. The park's concession offers kayak tours, as well as bicycle, canoe and kayak rentals.
Bowman's Beach offers some of the Sanibel's best shelling, and some of the island's most remote beach space. There is a quarter mile or so walk from the parking lot to the beach, in which you'll cross a wooden bridge over freshwater. Any pets on Bowman's Beach must be leashed, and you must clean up after them. Getting there: Watch for the signs along Sanibel-Captiva Road at mile 4.8 (based on the mile markers along the road). You'll cross San-Cap and follow Bowman's Beach Road for 1/10 mile to the parking lot. Parking: There is a large parking lot, including a few spaces that will accommodate RVs or trailers. Parking costs $2 per hour, from 7AM to 7PM
Gasparilla Island State Park is located at the southern end of Gasparilla Island, just south of Boca Grande and accessible via the Boca Grande Causeway. From the Historic Port Boca Grande Lighthouse & Museum to the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, there is an adventure waiting for you! Walk back in time to the birth of Boca Grande as you follow the self-guided tour of the Museum, to a time when the railroad provided the only link between the island and the mainland. Or spend the day on the beach enjoying the temperate climate for which Florida is best known. Beginning August 1, 2009 all anglers over the age of 16 will need a Florida Fishing License
With nine miles of beautiful beaches and acres of pine forests, oak-palm hammocks and mangrove swamps, this barrier island park is a Gulf Coast paradise. Cayo Costa is accessible only by private boat or ferry. Visitors may see manatees and pods of dolphins in the waters around the 2,426 acre park, as well as a spectacular assortment of birds. On the island, visitors can swim or snorkel in the surf, enjoy the sun and picnic in the shade. Keep your eyes peeled as you stroll along the beach, especially during the winter months. The nature trails that crisscross the island provide opportunities for hiking and off-road bicycling. Saltwater anglers can fish from their boats or throw a line out into the surf.
Estero is sandwiched along Florida’s Gulf Coast between Naples to the south and Fort Myers to the north. For many years, Estero was a citrus community. Today, it lays claim to Florida Gulf Coast University and serves as a relaxing destination. Visitors will be calmed by the nearby beaches and intrigued by Estero’s Mound Key Archaeological State Park. Rising more than 30 feet above the water, miles from shore, ancient shell mounds transform the landscape of Estero Bay. Made of bones, shells and pottery pieces, this is believed to have been the ceremonial center of the Colusa Indians. Access to the site is by boat only, but the journey is well worth it.