17 Epic Things to Do in Bonita Springs On Your Southwest Florida Holiday

On the hunt for a beach getaway that lets you escape the hustle and bustle of big tourist attractions? Mark a spot in your travel calendar to explore the best things to do in Bonita Springs, Florida. Set in Southwest Florida’s Lee Country, this welcoming beach community will give you plenty of space to stretch out and relax.

Known for its miles of pristine beaches, this charming coastal town offers something for every taste—whether it’s nature parks, cultural attractions, art exhibits, or historical sites. A trip to Bonita Springs can be everything from a romantic getaway to a fun family adventure to a serene sabbatical in the sun.

Ready for some tailor-made relaxation? Check out our guide to all the must-see places to visit in Bonita Springs and create your ideal vacation recipe!

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Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park

Want to experience nature in its untouched form? Head to Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park. Set along Barefoot Beach Boulevard just south of Fort Myers Beach, this is one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast.

Barefoot Beach

Barefoot Beach’s 342 acres of natural land is the area’s top destination for nature lovers. One of the top shelling beaches in Florida, it’s a favorite haunt for shellers as well as swimmers and sunbathers.

Wildlife enthusiasts: be sure to bring your binoculars: Barefoot Beach Preserve is home to a variety of animal species. Hike the nature trail for great views of the ocean and tropical vegetation. Take a guided walk with one of the preserve’s rangers for more insight into the local animal and plant life.

Barefoot Beach Preserve also offers ample parking, public restrooms, and a few food and drink concessions.

Bonita Springs Riverside Park

Looking for a “happening” place in Bonita Springs? Check out Bonita Springs Riverside Park, the heart of the community. The park is the premier place to stroll, sightsee, and celebrate at the town’s many festive events.

Located on Old US 41 Road, Bonita Springs Riverside Park is set on the picturesque Imperial River.  It boasts an outdoor amphitheater and hosts art shows, holiday celebrations, and Movies in the Park nights.

Visit the century-old Liles Hotel, which features historic exhibits. Stroll through the Imperial River cottages, a set of restored fishing bungalows that offer an intriguing array of paintings and sculptures, handmade jewelry, and crafts.

Ready for a break? Pick out a park bench or sheltered picnic table to stretch out and relax.

Everglades Wonder Gardens

Craving a “wonder-full” experience? That’s what you’ll get at Everglades Wonder Gardens. This southwest coast favorite dates back over eighty years to the “Golden Age” of Florida’s unique roadside attractions. Two brothers wanted to share their fascination with reptiles—and get a slice of the tourism pie. Today, their dream is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bonita Springs.

Everglades Wonder Gardens

Sitting along Old US 41, Everglades Wonder Gardens features a small zoo and botanical gardens. The recently updated 3.5-acre botanical jungle is home to colorful residents like flamingos and parrots and its original reptilian inhabitants, including a population of 40 gators.

Trek through the old-growth forest and along the orchid trail, marvel at the butterfly garden, grab a bite in the picnic grove, and browse the gift shop and John Brady Art Gallery.

In addition to its garden and zoo, Everglades Wonder Gardens offers educational and interactive activities to keep kids of all ages buzzing.

Mound Key State Park

Want to journey back in time?  Take a trip to Mound Key State Park for an intriguing glimpse into a centuries-old past. Bordered by mangrove forests, this island rises more than 30 feet over the waters of Estero Bay and is the tallest point in Lee County. Its mounds bear testimony to the existence of the Calusa, a Native American population that flourished in the area for over 2,000 years.

Like many Native American populations in Florida, this civilization was fractured by the arrival of the first Spanish explorers 500 years ago.  The mound—built by hand—is believed to have been the ceremonial center of the Calusa, the area’s dominant Indigenous culture.

Rich in history and natural beauty, the island is accessible only by boat, making it an ideal kayaking destination. Launch your own, or join a guided kayak trip to experience this fascinating site and learn more about its history.

Little Hickory Beach Park

Looking for some splendid seclusion? Direct your gaze to Little Hickory Beach Park, aka “Access #10”.  Set on the Gulf of Mexico just off Little Hickory Island, this little piece of paradise will give you the experience of being on a deserted island—without the downsides!

This is a shared private beach for guests of the Pelican Landing and Hyatt properties at Bonita Springs. For island access, just hop aboard the ferry. Then stroll the park’s pristine, white sand beach to enjoy views of the Gulf and catch glimpses of dolphins, eagles, and turtles. Cast a line for some exhilarating surf fishing. Brought your pail? This is an ideal spot for shelling!

Grab a bite at one of the picnic tables at Little Hickory Beach Park. Take a dip, then shower off in a beach pavilion. As a Hyatt guest, you’ll be provided with towels, ice, and coolers. Stretch out on a beach lounger under an umbrella, and enjoy the ocean view!

Congo River Golf

When is a golf course not just a golf course? When it’s also an award-winning theme park! Head to Congo River Golf for a truly unique vacation experience.

Think of this popular destination as more than just another mini-golf course: it’s also a family-friendly adventure. With its African exploration theme, Congo River Golf is definitely different!

Each hole reflects the area’s natural environmental highlights, and playing the course takes players through a set of diverse challenges. Navigate around striking waterfalls, explore mysterious caves, and make your way through tropical rainforests. It’s all part of the scenery!

And you’ll have expert company at Congo River Golf: Avatars of the 19th-century African explorers will guide you on your journey.

Flamingo Island Flea Market

In the mood for a treasure hunt? Map out some time at the Flamingo Island Flea Market if you’re hoping to discover some hidden gems. Located just off Bonita Springs Road, this spot features acres of waiting-to-be-discovered goodies. It’s been a favorite with visitors and locals for over 20 years.

Flamingo Island Flea Market has been a local favorite for over 20 years. Our vendors have such unique and eclectic items for sale. You can shop, eat, be entertained, and drink all in one place!

With nearly 600 vendors, you’re bound to score a great find. Take your pick from a vast array of offerings in everything from clothing to jewelry to tools to books and vintage records.

But don’t stop at browsing. Take in some local live entertainment, and grab a bit of fresh local fare at one of the many welcoming eateries. It’s one-stop-shopping, so take your time and take it all in.

Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge

Are you up for a unique wildlife encounter? Head over to the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, set in the heart of occupied panther land. Stretching over 25,000 acres, this site is Florida’s largest area of preserved land dedicated to protecting this iconic cat and its habitat.

The Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge is home to over a dozen of these elusive animals and a variety of other species, including bobcats, bears, deer, and alligators. Most of the acreage is closed to public access (no surprise!). But there are a couple of great trekking options that allow visitors to experience an array of wildlife habitats.

So hit the nature trails! (Don’t worry: they’re well marked.) One loops through a lush hammock habitat; the other offers an hour-long hike through pine flatwoods, wet prairies, and hardwood hammocks.

While you may not spot a panther at Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, you’re bound to get glimpses of a variety of forest dwellers that make their home here.

Bonita Beach Park

Looking for a full-on beach experience? (And let’s face it: If you’re headed to Southwest Florida, of course you are!) Then put Bonita Beach Park right at the top of your bucket list. Set on Hickory Island between Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Springs, this family-friendly 2.5-acre beachfront park has something to satisfy every beachgoer’s cravings.

Bonita Beach Park

Ease yourself into your visit with a stroll along the boardwalk as you take in stunning views of surf, sand dunes, and coastal vegetation. Do some aquatic exploring in a canoe or kayak.

Ready to rev it up? Hit the volleyball court for a game. Dive into the surf—or ride it aboard a rented jet ski. If you really want to rise above it all, experience the thrill of parasailing.

Time for a break? Head to one of the picnic shelters, have a bite, and catch your breath.

Farmer Mike’s U Pick

Craving something fresh off the farm? Make your way to Farmer Mike’s U-Pick on Morton Ave in Bonita Springs. This little locally owned fruit and vegetable farm is a favorite with residents and visitors alike.

If you’re in the market for fresh produce, you’ve hit the jackpot. Take your time. Wander at your leisure to view the multitude of goods on offer.

Depending on the season, you can choose from a colorful bounty that includes everything from fresh berries to bell peppers. At the right time of year, you can check out Mike’s Pumpkin Patch and Giant Corn Maze.

But you don’t have to stop at looking. Sit down to savor one of Farmer Mike’s renowned “From the Farm” lunches. Bon appétit!

Dog Beach Park

Want to share some open-air fun time with Fido? Trot yourselves over to Dog Beach Park, a very special place for pooches and their humans. Conveniently located on Bonita Beach Road, just a few miles away from Fort Myers Beach, Dog Beach Park is one of Florida’s only no-leash beaches.

A hit with both visitors and locals, this is an equal-opportunity doggie destination: canines of every size, breed, and play level are welcome. This secluded beach and its shallow waters make it a perfect pooch playground.

You and your four-legged friend can take a peaceful on-leash stroll—or go the off-leash route to up the energy level. Whatever your choice, your best furry friend will love you for it.

Cullum’s Bonita Trail

On the hunt for something off the beaten path? Make your way to Cullum’s Bonita Trail. Set along the Imperial River next to the Bonita Nature Place, this little-known gem offers a cool, quiet haven from sound, sun, and sand.

Put on your walking shoes, grab your camera, and prepare to steep yourself in sylvan splendor. Walk the trail’s scenic shell-lined path. Explore three different types of forests and an aquatic area. It’s a perfect, low-key respite for nature lovers who relish serenity and solitude.

And keep the camera handy. Time it right, and you’ll be able to grab some great pics of one of the star residents: a gopher tortoise. About two dozen of them have burrowed in to make this spot their home. (And they’re not in a hurry to leave.)

Bonita Springs Farmers Market

Looking for a fun and tasty way to kick off your weekend? Wend your way over to the Bonita Springs Farmers Market. Set in the Bonita Bay community next to The Promenade Shopping Center, this is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

Every Saturday between October and April, from 8 am to noon, you can shop to your heart’s content. Browse the dozens of stalls, where vendors offer a huge range of edible and aesthetic goodies. You’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables, plants and cut flowers, baked treats, seafood, locally sourced honey—and more! You’ll also get to check out intriguing works by local artists and crafters.

And you’re welcome to do more than just look. Take a break sipping a prepared drink or chowing down on a freshly-made breakfast or lunch. It’s a great way to power up for the rest of your day.

Bonita Jet Ski and Parasail

Looking for a high-octane way to experience South West Florida’s stunning coastal setting? Then zoom over to Bonita Jet Ski and Parasail. Located near Naples on Bonita Beach, this is the perfect spot to indulge your craving for cruising.

Long walks on the beach are great, but Bonita Jet Ski and Parasail offers a perspective that really ups the “wow” factor. Ready for a truly unique experience on (or over) the water? Hop aboard a jet ski, or strap yourself into a giant kite for an unforgettable adventure.

Want to dial down the action? This family-friendly destination offers other water activities for adults and kids alike. Hop aboard a dolphin sighting trip, or rent a kayak, paddleboard, or sailboat for more low-key aquatic exploration. Cruise at your own speed.

Lovers Key State Park

Craving some seclusion? You’ll find it at Lovers Key State Park. The top Southwest Florida destination originally got its name as it was considered so remote that only lovers would seek it out. Although not as difficult to access these days, it’s still a magnet for lovers: Over the years, it’s become one of the state’s most spectacular wedding venues.

Lovers Key State Park

Spanning a series of barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico, Lovers Key State Park lies just south of Fort Myers. The beach stretches over 2.5 miles, making it a great choice for beachcombers. But Lovers Key is about more than beaches.

Hike or bike over five miles of nature trails to explore the park’s beauty and experience blissful solitude. Likely your only encounters will be with the local wildlife. Discover an amazing butterfly garden, catch glimpses of herons, and watch ospreys soar overhead.

Slip into a kayak to explore the park’s beautiful lagoons. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of manatees. And, if your timing is right, you may catch a glimpse of surfacing dolphins. It’s the perfect place to reboot and reconnect.

Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track

Feeling lucky? Head over to the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track for some sporting activity that won’t test your cardio limits. Located between Naples and Bonita Springs, the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track has been a Southwest Coast landmark for decades.

Open year-round, this multi-level, air-conditioned facility is a popular community gathering place and recreational facility. It hosts entertainment, civic, and charitable events. But the big draw—surprise!—is sports.

Take in the amazing live greyhound racing. Check out the 32,000-square-foot Bonita Springs Poker Room and wagering center. Whether your sporting preference runs to horse racing, Jai-Alai, or basketball, you can catch all the action non-stop on a giant LED. Or stake a claim to one of the individual TVs for custom viewing.

Worked up a thirst? Drop into the Brass Tap Craft Beer Bar to savor a cold brew and chow down on some tasty bar snacks. The perfect way to top off a winning day.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Ready to venture deep into the fascinating Everglades ecosystem? Nature lovers will want to head to Audobon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a rugged natural haven right on Corkscrew’s renowned boardwalk hiking trail.

Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

Just 30 minutes east of Naples, Florida, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a refuge for a rich variety of wildlife species—so bring the camera! Explore over two miles of terrain that features pine flatwoods, marshland, wet prairie, and the star attraction: the largest old growth Bald Cypress forest in North America. The Bald Cypress is a massive relative of the legendary redwood tree; you’d better believe this forest is impressive!

Have your camera handy for sightings of otters, turtles, white-tailed deer, black bears, and alligators. This refuge is also home to more than 200 species of birds, including the largest population of nesting wood storks in the country. Prep yourself for some great photo ops!


Ryan O'Rourke is a seasoned traveler and the founder & editor of Treksplorer, a fiercely independent guide to mid-range luxury travel for busy people. With over 20 years of extensive travel experience, Ryan has journeyed through over 50 countries, uncovering hidden gems and sharing firsthand, unsponsored insights on what to see & do and where to eat, drink & stay. Backed by his travel experience and in-depth research, Ryan’s travel advice and writing has been featured in publications like the Huffington Post and Matador Network. You can connect with Ryan on Twitter/X at @rtorourke.

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