Bonita Springs is a city on the southwest coast of Florida that also incorporates several barrier islands. Tourists head to this city to enjoy the beautiful beaches, explore the area's state parks and relax in the sunshine. There are many activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy in this city, so you will not need to worry too much about how you will fill your time. Here are the 20 best things to do in Bonita Springs, Florida, so that you can plan your vacation itinerary.
20. View the Exhibitions at the Center for the Arts
A fantastic activity for art lovers is a visit to the Center for the Arts, says City of Bonita Springs. It is an art organization that holds both local and traveling exhibitions. The Center for Arts also holds art classes, and the venue is used to host various community events. It is worth checking what is on at the center before your visit, especially if you hope to take part in an art class.
19. See the Big Cats at Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge
One of the top animal attractions in the area is the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. At over 25,000 acres, it is the largest tract of preserved land in Florida. The aim of the refuge is to protect the Florida Panther, which is a rare animal. There are trails through the various environments within the refuge that are well-marked, and visitors see many forest animals in addition to sightings of the Florida Panther.
18. Take a Tour of the Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery
For those who enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two while they are on their vacation, one of the top places to visit is the Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery. Both the Caribbean Islands and Florida are linked to rum production, and historically, smugglers transported the liquor between the two destinations. If you are a fan of rum, include a visit to this distillery, as tourists can enjoy a guided tour of the facilities and learn about the rum-making process. There is also the opportunity to sample some of the rum varieties produced by the distillery. Of course, visitors can then buy some rum to enjoy at a later date.
17. Explore Four Mile Cove Ecological Park
Those who love wildlife will adore a visit to the Four Mile Cove Ecological Park. It is home to multiple native species, including wading birds, eagles, turtles, and snakes. The park covers more than 350-acres of forests, rivers, and marshland. There is a network of trails through the park that are suitable for both hikers and bikers. An alternative way to explore the park and see the wildlife is to kayak.
16. Visit the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library
If you are interested in military history, then a fascinating attraction to visit is the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library. The museum is just outside Bonita Springs in Cape Coral, and the focus is on honoring those who have served in the military. The displays include military artifacts such as weapons, photographs, personal accounts, and uniforms. Various aspects of military history are covered, including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. The museum hosts various events throughout the year. It is worth noting that entry to the museum is free, so it is a great activity for those on a budget.
15. Walk Around the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden
Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly Garden is an attraction within Rotary Park. The gardens are organized into themed areas based on different environments. In the gardens, a vast array of butterfly species are hatched and matured before they are released back into the wild. There are various educational elements to this attraction, so it is a fun learning experience for children. It is possible to take a guided tour of the gardens, and the tour guides provide visitors with a wealth of information about the different plants and butterfly species.
14. Go to Mound Key State Park
The Crazy Tourist recommends a visit to Mound Key State Park, as it has played an important role in the area's history. Mound Key is an island that you can only reach by signing up for a guided tour. There are more than 100 acres in the park in Estero Bay. Boats to the island leave from Key State Park and Koreshan State Park. Mound Key was one of the first places that the Spanish explorers first set foot on Florida's shores more than 500 years ago. At that time, the island was inhabited by the Calusa Native Americas. One of the highlights of the park is the mounds created by the Calusas.
13. Enjoy a Round of Golf at Bonita Fairways Golf Club
The Sunshine State is known for being a magnet for golf enthusiasts, as there is an abundance of excellent golf courses across the state. The offering in Bonita Springs is Bonita Fairways Golf Club. It is an 18-hole course, although it is a short course at only 3,400 yards. There is also the option to play just nine holes if you do not want to spend the whole day on the golf course. One of the best things about Bonita Fairways Golf Club is that it is one of the cheaper courses in the area. If you want to have a golf lesson, then you will need to book several days in advance.
12. Visit Aubudon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
A visit to Aubudon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary allows visitors to experience the wilderness. There are pine forests, North America's largest forest of ancient bald cypress trees, and open prairies within the sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to the United States' largest colony of nesting wood storks, along with other animals such as white-tailed deer, alligators, Florida black bears, red-bellied turtles, and otters. Furthermore, there are more than 200 species of birds to see at the sanctuary. Visitors can explore the different habitats by walking along more than two miles of boardwalks.
11. Relax at the Hyatt Regency Stillwater Spa
The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel says that if you want a day of relaxation while in Bonita Springs, then book a day spa at the Hyatt Regency Stillwater Spa. Although the spa is part of the hotel, it is also open to people who are not guests. The day spa offers massages, facials, and a vast array of treatments that relax, soothe, and rejuvenate you. If you want to enjoy a day of relaxation at the spa, you will need to book in advance.
10. Dine at C Level Bistro & Wine Bar
There are many outstanding restaurants in Bonita Springs, so you will have no problems finding somewhere to eat that will suit your tastes and budget. One of the top options in the area is C Level Bistro & Wine Bar. The large menu features dishes inspired by cuisines from around the world, ranging from contemporary American food to classic French dishes. Each dish is made using seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients. The wine menu is even more extensive than the food menu, and the staff is happy to make wine pairing recommendations, so you make the best wine choices to accompany your meal.
9. Have a Go at Parasailing or Jet Skiing
Those who enjoy outdoor activities and get an adrenaline rush from height or speed should have a go at parasailing or jet skiing. Head to the beach, and you will find Bonita Jet Ski and Parasail close to the Doc's Beach House Restaurant. They specialize in jet ski rentals and offer parasailing sessions. Other types of equipment available to hire are sailboats, paddleboards, kayaks, and paddleboats. Furthermore, there are dolphin sightseeing trips and guided tours available.
8. Have Fun at Congo River Golf
If you want to enjoy a fun, family-oriented activity for a couple of hours, then head to Congo River Golf. It is an award-winning miniature golf course that is designed to reflect natural environment attractions while also presenting players with various challenges. Along the way, players will encounter caves, waterfalls, and a miniature, replica tropical rainforest.
7. Try Kayaking
The coastal location of Bonita Springs means it is the perfect place to try sea kayaking. There are several companies offering kayak equipment hire so that you can take to the water and explore the coastline. There are also guided kayak tours that vary in length, and the kayak tour guides offer not only guidance about kayaking techniques but also interesting information about the local flora and fauna.
6. Sample Tasty Goods at Bonita Springs Farmer's Market
One of the top destinations for foodies visiting Bonita Springs is the Bonita Springs Farmer's Market. The market is open every Saturday from October through to the end of April. The stalls sell the finest produce from the area, including fruit, vegetables, baked goods, flowers, dairy products, honey, jams, and chutneys. In addition to buying the local produce, there are vendors selling freshly prepared food made using locally-sourced ingredients. You will find the farmer's market in Bonita Bay close to The Promenade Shopping Center.
5. Peruse the Stalls at Flamingo Island Flea Market
A fantastic place to pick up some quirky items or souvenirs of your visit to Bonita Springs is Flamingo Island Flea Market. It is one of the area's premier shopping destinations, and it has more than 600 stalls inside. There is a vast choice of items on sale, including clothing, jewelry, and hand-crafted arts. Visitors can also enjoy eating food from one of the many food stalls.
4. Go Fruit Picking at Farmer Mike's U Pick
An unusual activity that allows people to spend outdoors in the amazing Floridian climate is to go fruit picking at Farmer Mike's U Pick. There is a huge selection of fruit and vegetables for visitors to pick on the farm, including corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries. Guests can fill their baskets with whatever fresh goodies they desire. Throughout the year, there are various events, such as a fall festival, a pumpkin patch, and a giant corn maze.
3. Enjoy the Activities at Bonita Springs Riverside Park
There is always something going on in Bonita Springs Riverside Park. The park sits alongside the Imperial River in Olde Bonita. It is used as a venue for the Celebrate Bonita Festival, other festivals, art shows, and holiday celebrations. The park also hosts many Movie in the Park nights, which are a fun way to spend an evening in Bonita Springs. There are also several trails to explore within the park, each of which offers something different, says Royal Shell.
2. See the Wildlife and Gardens at the Everglades Wonder Gardens
Brothers Bill and Lester Piper opened the Everglades Wonder Gardens in 1936. Their aim was to create a reptile garden for tourists. The project began to grow as it attracted tourists who were passing through while hiking along the Tamiami Trail. Over three generations, the same family expanded the attraction to include a more diverse selection of wildlife and botanical gardens. Although the original family no longer owns the attraction, the attraction has continued to thrive and is one of the best places for tourists to experience the diversity of Floridian animals and plants.
1. Explore Barefoot Beach Preserve
According to Vacation Idea, the best thing to do in Bonita Springs is to explore Barefoot Beach Preserve. It is one of the few undeveloped barrier islands on the southwest coastline of the state, and it consists of 342-acres of natural land. At the beach, visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, or walking, and there are facilities such as showers, restrooms, parking, and concession stands. The preserve is home to multiple wildlife species, so it is a fantastic place for nature lovers to visit.
Written by Liz Flynn
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