"Bountiful Bonita Springs" Bonita Springs by deecat

Bonita Springs Travel Guide: 36 reviews and 57 photos

A Gracious Blend of Old and New

Bonita Springs, Florida, located in the Southwestern part of the state between Naples and Ft. Myers, is known as "the Gateway to the Gulf". It combines pristine white beaches, championship golf courses, swaying palms, bustling shopping centers, marvelous restaurants with charming neighborhoods, gnarled oaks, natural preserves, performing arts centers, recreational parks, and a thriving business community.

It is easily accessible to Southwest Florida International Airport; it is linked to Interstate 75; it is only minutes away from Florida Gulf Coast University; it is near two performing arts centers with professional orchestras, Broadway shows, and popular celebrities; and it offers a fine array of restaurants and cafes which offer a multitude of cuisines from ultra-casual to upscale candlelight romance.

Even though it is one of the fastest growing areas in Florida, it still maintains an uncomplicated lifestyle for both its permanent residents as well as its many "snowbird" visitors & tourists.

This once-small farming and fishing town has evolved into a forward-thinking community, a fast-growing business attraction, & the hottest location for new residents. Regardless, this Lee County community is being carefully orchestrated by a management plan to preserve its rich past.

The Wild Side of Bonita Springs

The Bonita Springs area has an amazing array of wildlife and a diverse eco-system.

Because of its varied terrain, which stretches from the Gulf of Mexico to shady inland woods and encompasses scrub upland, lakes and streams, as well as freshwater wetlands, cameras are a "must" for visitors wishing to explore and capture this vast assortment of natural beauty. Manatees, dolphins, and loggerhead turtles reign supreme at Bonita's western boundary on the Gulf of Mexico.

Bobcats, black bears, red foxes, deer, and feral pigs roam in Bonita's inland woodlands.

Armadillos, gopher tortoises, and burrowing owls inhabit Bonita's sandy, open areas.

Alligators bask in the freshwater wetlands and along streams and rivers.
Cypress trees flourish in area freshwater wetlands also.

In the immediate area one can visit:

1.Big Cypress National Preserve
(located halfway between Naples and Miami on the Tamiami Trail {U.S. 41} 8:30-4:30 daily).

2. Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium
(Located on Ortiz Avenue in Fort Myers. Take I-75 to Exit 136, west on Colonial Blvd. to traffic light. Take right on Ortiz and entrance is 100 yards on the left.)

3. Collier-Seminole State Park
(Located 17 miles south of Naples at 20200 East Tamiami Trail {U.S. 41} 8 a.m.-sunset daily).

4. Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary & Blair Audubon Center
(375 Sanctuary Road, 15 miles east of I-75, Exit 111)

5. Koreshan State Historic Site
(At the Intersection of U.S. 41 and Corkscrew Road [two miles west of I-75 Exit 123] 8 a.m. to sundown daily).

Activities Abound in Bonita Springs Area

Water activities are everywhere and are not just limited to the Gulf. Canoes and kayaks are seen along freshwater creeks, which allow an intimate glimpse of nature.

Lagoons are tucked between the mainland and mangrove islands in the Gulf which create hideaways for fishing.

The many charming neighborhoods have finger canals threading through them for those who prefer gazing at natural wonders.

A really wonderful aspect of Bonita is the beach access points with free parking at regular intervals along Little Hickory Island [Bonita Beach] to Big Hickory Pass at its south end.

Bonita Beach is a public park with facilities at the bend on Bonita Beach Road.

Nearby Barefoot Beach State Recreation Area is delightful with its undisturbed beaches, rustic surroundings, and plentiful wildlife.

Rustic Lover's Key has two extraordinary beaches with "tons" of parking. There is a boardwalk to the beach at Carl E. Johnson Park, which winds through lush vegetation and wildlife habitat.

Whether you like to swim, sunbath, canoe, bike, walk, collect shells, or just observe, activities abound in Bonita.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Diverse, beautiful, friendly, excellent climate, wonderful restaurants, and great golf courses
  • Cons:Congested traffic
  • In a nutshell:A paradise for "Snowbirds" each winter
  • Last visit to Bonita Springs: Jan 2004
  • Intro Updated Jun 4, 2005
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Reviews (25)

Comments (61)

  • Sep 22, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    What a lovely way to spend a month in the winter. Such informative pages. Nature, museums, art/music, beaches...it's all there, and the food tips were amazing. Really fun reading.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    Great to read about all the natural attractions and wildlife here, and unspoiled Barefoot Beach :-) And as a librarian myself, I'm pleased you found the local library so helpful!

  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    i would like to visit southern florida taking I75 some day. this is a beautiful destination. it seems my children and hubby will enjoy wildlife here.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    Bonita Springs is looks like a wonderful addition to your wonderful travels. Lots to see and do and so much enjoyment to be had. Great page Dee!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2010 at 5:25 AM

    Hello, Dee! Thanks for your interesting story and photographs here!

  • jillzi's Profile Photo
    Nov 13, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    What's not to like? Wonderful beaches, outstanding places to eat, movies, books, museums, golf, and a great place to stay.

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2009 at 2:30 PM

    Wouldn't it have been fun to eavesdrop on Mr. 's Edison and Ford's conversations? I think they must have been interesting neighbors!

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    I see you had the same idea in 2004 as this year: to escape from the Chicago winter by going to Florida. I never knew that Thomas Edison and Henry Ford ever had estates in Fort Myers -- somehow I thought they must have worked all year round!

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2008 at 9:30 AM

    Excellent page, Dee! I'd like to see "Jesus Christ Superstar" in Mann Hall too! Searching for seashells by the seashore is a very good activity which can't be repeated here in cold Moscow, haha!

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2008 at 5:11 AM

    I can see the appeal of escaping the winter here, Dee. I'd also be happy to browse the bookshop - and I kept the restaurant tips to savour last. :))


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