TOP 5 PLACES TO SPOT MANATEE IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Top 5 Places to Spot Manatee in Southwest Florida

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can’t imagine that you don’t want to know the Top 5 Places to Spot Manatee in Southwest Florida, but if you’re not from the area than you may find yourself slightly intimidated by an encounter with a saltwater mass between 880 and 1200 pounds, spanning 9 to 10 feet in length.

There have certainly been documented cases of tourists in the throws of panic when confronted by manatee or what locals affectionately refer to as sea cows, but these gentle creatures present no threat to their fellow mammal. In fact, people have historically proven to be more harmful to sea cows than they to us, which is often evidenced by the scars on their backs absorbed when boaters unknowingly clip them going too fast in no-wake zones.

The manatee, with an intelligence and complex learning ability similar to dolphins, are truly a welcoming and friendly sight to behold within the backwaters off the Gulf of Mexico. In many cases, they will likely come up for air within arms length of your paddleboard or canoe. Meanwhile, the babies of the bunch are known for their playful curiosity despite mama manatee’s protective protests.

If you’re looking for the best areas to lay eyes on these charming creatures, check out the list below for the top 5 places to spot manatee in Southwest Florida.

The Lee County Manatee Park

Enjoy the beauty of nature in this non-captive waterway for the Florida manatee. The summer months are typically too hot for these fascinating creatures so make your plans to visit this park from late December through February and you’ll ensure the best odds of a manatee encounter. The park also offers visitor information and manatee education so you can better understand the habitat and patterns of the Gulf’s gentle giant.

Lovers Key State Park

Try your luck at an opportunity to see the West Indian manatee, which can often be seen swimming along the shores as well as the back channels. If you want a closer look, pony up to a kayak, canoe or paddleboard rental while you’re there.

Manatee and Eco River Tours

This tour takes you on a boat through the Orange and Caloosahatchee River during the months of December, January, February and March. Manatee sightings are never guaranteed, but the captain is committed and will always take visitors to the most popular manatee hangout spots while offering expert insights on mysterious manatee behaviors.

Double R’s Fishing and Tour Company​

This tour starts on a covered pontoon boat in the heart of the Everglades, taking visitors through the estuaries of the Ten Thousand Islands in the most beautiful and natural manatee environment where you are also likely to see Florida alligators, dolphins and turtles. Bring your camera for this one-hour tour, which is fully narrated by an all-knowing captain.

Manatee Guides 

Manatee are actually everywhere in Southwest Florida, so grab your kayak and launch your manatee sighting search from places like Estero Bay, Orange River or Lovers Key with a certified Florida Master Naturalist. These guided tours allow visitors to learn about Florida’s habitat and the ecological struggles of manatees in addition to absorbing the natural and abundant preserve beauty that surrounds them. Again, no guarantees, but these guys are nothing short of professional sea cow trackers with decades of experience making manatee sightings possible.

 

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TOP 5 BEACHES IN NAPLES FLORIDA

The Top 5 Beaches in Naples, Florida are globally recognized as some of the most beautiful in the world, which is not surprising considering how much there is to enjoy along the unspoiled coastlines of Southwest Florida. It’s not just the soft white sand that brings thousands of new people to our area each year, but also fantastic fishing and an abundance of wildlife in the surrounding preserves. This list of top 5 beaches in Naples, Florida also puts you just blocks from luxury accommodations and phenomenal restaurants in Collier County.

  1. Clam Pass – A gorgeous stretch of shoreline located in North Naples at Seagate Drive and Crayton Road offering 35-acres of coastal County Park and wildlife preserve. Beach access is provided via a three-quarter mile boardwalk with tram that runs through red, white and black mangroves and also features a tidal bay where you’ll find avid marine life along with wading shorebirds, eagles, hawks and osprey.
  1. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park – One of the most popular seashore destinations in Naples, this park’s mile-long stretch of white sugar sand has been rated as one of the best beaches in the nation. The beach is popular for sunbathing, swimming, beachcombing, snorkeling, and picnicking. For saltwater or freshwater fishing, boaters can launch from Water Turkey Bay and travel to the Gulf or up the Cocohatchee River. Kayakers can enjoy paddling through estuaries while scuba divers can explore the hard bottom reef in the Gulf. At the north end of the island, a tower gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of Wiggins Pass and the surrounding coastal habitat.
  1. Lowdermilk Park – Located in the historic community of Coquina Sands, this lovely public park has plenty of parking and is a great place for family picnics whether on the beach or underneath one of the standing pavilions. There is even a sand volleyball court, bathroom and concessions nearby.
  1. Naples Municipal Beach – In downtown Old Naples, almost every road leads to the beach. This three-mile stretch of tropical white sand beach draws visitors and residents alike. The Naples Fishing Pier is a popular attraction here where a fishing license is not required and the opportunities for casting your line extend 1,000 feet into the Gulf. The Naples Pier is also a hot spot for those in search of spectacular sunset vistas. You will also find a snack bar, bathrooms and outdoor showers at the Pier.
  1. Vanderbilt Beach – This five-acre stretch of white sand beach is a prime shoreline for bird watching and shelling while also owning the most convenient access to hotels, shopping, and restaurants.

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Pet Friendly Beaches Near Naples, Florida

When visiting Naples, Florida, you’ll have to leave the pets at home during most of your trips to the beach. Within the city of Naples, the few places you can let your animals run free are dog parks, all located well inland from the community’s white-sand beaches. However, venturing a little farther afield will get Fido’s tail wagging again; you can bring canine pets to a couple dog-friendly beaches elsewhere in southwest Florida.

Bonita Beach Dog Beach

In Bonita Springs, just north of Naples, dog owners may bring their pets to the area’s only off-leash dog beach. Located between Bonita Beach and Fort Myers Beach, Dog Beach is recognized by Lee County Parks and Recreation, though the park system provides no facilities or amenities. They do set and enforce a number of rules, however. You must be 15 years or older to bring a dog, and may bring no more than two dogs. Children under 5 are not allowed on the off-leash area. Non-neutered, non-spayed, aggressive or sick dogs are prohibited from entering the beach area. The beach is open from dawn to dusk.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park

While Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park won’t give your furry friends full reign, it does give dogs a chance to splash in the water. Plus, it’s conveniently located in North Naples. You can’t walk your dogs along the beach, whether on leash or off. However, you can lead them, on leashes, to the boat and canoe launch area, where they’re welcome to swim in the shallow water of Water Turkey Bay. You’ll have to wade in, too, as park rules require that you keep your dog on a leash at all times. The park is located off Gulfshore Drive; head due west on Immokalee Road until you reach the coast. The beach is on your left.

On-Leash Beaches

Heading north to the beaches of Lee County, your two alternatives to Bonita Dog Beach are rather less dog-friendly and a longer drive from Naples. However, if you decide to spend a day exploring the Fort Myers area, take your pooch for a walk along the public beaches of Fort Myers Beach or the City of Sanibel. Lee County Parks and Recreation lets dog owners walk their dogs, on leashes, in both areas, provided they clean up after their pets.

Elsewhere in Southwest Florida

For the most dedicated dog owners who are willing to take a lengthy trip for their dogs’ enjoyment, several dog beaches exist a few hours’ drive from Naples. The Fort De Soto beach and park, located near St. Petersburg in Pinellas County, permits dogs to run free in designated areas. At Honeymoon State Park, in Dunedin, Florida, pups can run free in the designated dog beach area. Elsewhere in the park, the dogs must stay on leashes.

Source:  USA Today

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The Ultimate Beach Guide

naples beaches

With many miles of sandy shoreline along Naples Florida and its surrounding communities, our banquet of beaches satisfies every type of beachgoer. Here are dozens of ways to experience the finest attributes of the Paradise Coast, from Marco Island to Bonita Beach.


ACTIVECue the parasailing chute and paddleboard. For those who equate water sports with beaches, the choices abound. Fishing? The pier at Naples Municipal Beach, of course. Sailing? Sugden Regional Park. Vanderbilt Beach excels in all flavors of water sports with concessions for paddleboards, kayaks, wave runners, and parasailing. (colliergov.net)

Paddle the Mangroves

Explore endless stretches of mangroves and estuaries. (©Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB)


BEACH BUMThere are those who want nothing more than to soak up rays—and hold the exercise, please. For the utmost in beach chill, check into one of our famous beach resorts, such as The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, or Naples Grande Beach Resort, where flagged cocktail service is the ultimate lazy beach-day indulgence.

Clam Pass Beach

Naples Grande Beach Resort, Clam Pass Beach.

CHILDREN. With small tots, avoid the passes, where currents are stronger. Lowdermilk Park near downtown Naples is ideal for families, with its playground and duck pond. Tigertail Beach on Marco Island offers a safe lagoon and playgrounds for toddlers, as well as water-sports rentals for the older kids.

Families love the Paradise Coast for its beaches, resorts and family attractions.

Family beach fun and adventure are yours when boating to nearby island beaches.


DOGSBonita Beach Dog Park caters to pets with an off-leash beach, doggy shower station, disposal bags and station, and restrooms. It lies between Lovers Key State Park and the bridge over New Pass. Wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet, because at high tide you often have to walk through water to get to the narrow beach.(leegov.com/parks).

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EVERYBODY IN! Cool down your summer beach day with a dip in the Gulf of Mexico. And score a little exercise while you’re at it. Our calm waters are conducive to swimming—especially in areas without a lot of motorized water-sports action or rushing pass waters, such as the beach that fronts Pelican Bay, a short walk south from Vanderbilt Beach.

These two are happy to be in the ocean on an idyllic day


FAUNANature lovers go to the beach for the wildlife. Shorebirds skitter and stab at the sand. Dolphins poke their smiles out of waves. Pelicans dive-bomb for breakfast. What a show! Tigertail Beach on Marco Island offers some of the best birding. Head to Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park, voted No. 2 on Dr. Beach’s 10 Best Beaches in the America list for 2015, to see gopher tortoises navigating the sands. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, ranked ninth by Dr. Beach, is known for its summer nesting population of loggerhead sea turtles.

Two dolphins frolic off the coast of Naples. The appealing sea mammals make their home along the Southwest Florida coast and are frequently spotted during sightseeing boat tours.

Dolphins ride a boat’s wake off the shores of Naples. (©Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB)

GREEN FLASH. When conditions are clear and the sun slips over the edge of the sea, it will on occasion send up a green flash of light as a grand finale. Some say a little rum helps your chances of seeing a green flash, so head to The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club’s Sunset Beach Bar & Grill just in case that’s true.

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The Sunset Beach Bar & Grill at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club.


HANDCRAFTED SANDCASTLESIt just so happens that the sand on local beaches makes the best sand-castle-building material. The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club occasionally offers its young resort guests aged 5 to 12 Sand-castle Building as one of its free kids’ program activities.

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Sand castles and kids go together on the beaches of Marco Island. (©Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB)


INTIMATELocal boat charters can make for a romantic excursion to an unbridged island in the Ten Thousand Islands south of Marco Island. Or rent your own vessel for a truly twosome experience. Try Everglades Area Tours for excursions customized to your vision of romance.

Deserted stretches of sandy beach may be found by boaters exploring the mangrove forests in the Ten Thousand Islands coastal estuary.

Deserted stretches of sandy beach may be found by boaters exploring the mangrove forests in the Ten Thousand Islands. Everglades National Park. (©Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB)


JET SKISAdjacent to Bonita Beach Park, the main access in Bonita Springs, Bonita Jet Ski & Parasail rents personal watercraft by the half-hour and hour. It also leads two-hour dolphin tours by Jet Ski.

Guided waverunner tours take visitors on slow speed excursions through the estuary habitats, for close up views of birds and other wildlife.


KEEWAYDIN ISLANDOfficially called Key Island, locals refer to it as Keewaydin, the name of an erstwhile resort on the unbridged barrier island southwest of downtown Naples. The 8-mile-long island attracts birds, sea turtles, and recreational boaters. The latter congregate en masse most weekends at the island’s north end, with concession boats on the scene to cater. Those looking for a bit more seclusion venture farther south.

Naples, FL, USA - March 16, 2016: Boats moared up on Keewaydin Island near Naples in Florida

Boaters docked for the day to explore Keewaydin Island.


LOGGERHEADSSince prehistoric times, loggerhead sea turtles have lumbered onto local beaches to deposit their nests of round, leathery eggs. Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in North Naples offers a turtle-walk program during the summer to educate park visitors about the endangered creatures. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida monitors populations on Keewaydin Island and other city beaches. Local resorts join the effort to protect the species by asking their guests to close their curtains at night so that the lights do not confuse mother sea turtles and their hatchlings. LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort in Naples goes as far as designing a summer package that includes the opportunity to adopt a sea turtle.

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MANGROVESClam Pass Park has the added bonus of a mangrove canopy and tidal bay you must cross to get to the beach. The wild mangrove habitat provides a marine nursery, attracts butterflies, and makes for a pretty, shaded stroll down the boardwalk. Or you can ride one of the complimentary shuttles.

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Mangroves at Clam Pass Park.


NIGHTLIFEStroll along the beach by moonlight for cocktails at some of the local resort clubs. Start at Gumbo Limbo at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples for sunset, then walk to the Turtle Club at Vanderbilt Beach Resort for dinner. End with a nightcap at the beach fire pit at LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort. On Marco Island, start at Quinn’s on the Beach at the Marriott Resort Marco Island for a sunset cocktail and show. Then hit the Toulouse Lounge at Marco Island Beach Resort and the Sandcastles Lounge at the Hilton Marco Island.

Baleen Outside

Baleen Restaurant, LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort.

OBSERVATION TOWERFor those thumbs-up Instagram beach photos, you need elevation—something we don’t have a lot of in Southwest Florida. Hike up the observation tower at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park in North Naples and the brand new one at Tigertail Beach on Marco Island to capture the best shots.

View of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park beaches.

PADDLE CRAFTTigertail Beach on Marco Island stocks a full fleet of kayaks and paddleboards for use in its calm lagoon created by Sand Dollar Spit. Once you have your sea legs, head out to bigger challenges in the Gulf of Mexico.

Stand-up paddleboarding tours are available from several Paradise Coast outfitters. (©Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB)

QUIETThe lovely spots that offer beach access with no facilities, such as some of those along Hickory Boulevard on Bonita Beach and along Gordon Drive in Naples, are where you will find a sliver of peace and quiet. Many don’t even have spaces for cars to park, so plan on riding your bike or walking in.

Naples Beach's white sands overlook the Gulf of Mexico.

REELINGYou can fish from shore at any local beach, as long as you have the proper fishing license. Anglers have the best luck near the pass at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park or at Gordon Pass in south Naples. At the Naples Pier at Naples Municipal Beach you are covered by the pier’s license, so you do not need to purchase one yourself.

Naples Pier is a popular spot for fishing, people watching, dolphin and bird watching and sunsets.

Naples Pier. (©Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB)

SEASHELLSThe more secluded the beach, the more seashells you will usually find. A prime example of this rule of thumb, Coconut Island north of Old Marco—more of a sandbar than an island, really—is a shell-seeker’s dream, because one can only get there by boat. Big Hickory Island in Bonita Beach is another well-kept sheller’s secret.

Searching for collectible shells is a favorite activity, especially on the many nearby barrier islands surrounding Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City.

Check out many of the nearby barrier islands surrounding Naples, Marco Island, and Everglades City for the best shell hunting. (©Jonell Modys, Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB)

TORTOISESHeed the signs when you drive into Barefoot Beach Preserve County Park, which is accessible from Bonita Beach. They warn of gopher tortoises, and they’re not kidding. Certain times of day you will see tortoises walking the roadways and hanging out in the parking lot. (Check under your car before you back out.) The state-listed reptile digs long burrows, which it shares with more than 350 different species.

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UNTETHEREDSome days you just want to channel a Jimmy Buffett song and leave mainland, mainstream life behind to get stranded on a sandbar. That’s when you need a boat to escape to such remote islands as Coconut, Keewaydin, Cape Sable, and others in the Ten Thousand Islands.

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Source: Naples Illustrated

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How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is officially from June 1 to November 30 and even in paradise we have to prepare for the possibility of more than just afternoon showers.  Now is the time to review the basics of hurricane preparedness to ensure your piece of Southwest Florida real estate, and your family, stays protected.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 8.41.33 AMIf you are a seasonal resident and have returned north for the summer, it’s still a good idea to review these tips.  At the very least, be sure to check on your homeowner’s insurance as well as whether your home meets cu
rrent hurricane building code standards.  You may also want to check out Closing Your Florida Home for the Summer, which offers additional tips on keeping your home safe and secure while you are away.

The 5 Step Hurricane Prep

  1. The first order of business is knowing your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind, as well as what evacuation zone you live in. Once you know this information you can develop a realistic evacuation plan that includes meet up points with family and the best routes to follow out of town.
  2. Now is also the time to check on your insurance policy. Flooding is not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance, so make sure you have a separate policy for it and keep in mind that there is a 30 day waiting period before flood coverage kicks in.  Don’t delay on getting this coverage activated.
  3. Another step that it pays to get a jump on, is gathering your supplies. Don’t wait until the storm is on its way.  That’s often when many people flock to stores which only results in long lines and empty shelves.  Get a big container ready with supplies you may need to get through the storm like flashlights and a battery powered radio, as well as enough non-perishable food, water, and medicine to last each family member a week – just in case you are left without electricity and water.  Another good back up item to purchase is a portable or solar powered USB charger to keep cell phones up and running and the lines of communication open.
  4. It’s also a good practice to keep a list of emergency contacts including county law enforcement, fire and rescue, hospitals, utility companies, radio and TV stations, and emergency management offices.
  5. Securing the integrity of your home is another key step toward the safety of your family and belongings. Make sure your home is up to current hurricane building code specifications.  You may be surprised at how easy and inexpensive it is to have the proper hardware retrofitted to board up your home and bring it to a higher safety standard that can withstand the winds of a hurricane.We have been fortunate over the last several years but you never know what the hurricane season may bring.  Proper planning and preparation is essential, but our hope is that this hurricane season will pass by as nothing more than another warm Gulfshore breeze.

We have been fortunate over the last several years but you never know what the hurricane season may bring.  Proper planning and preparation is essential, but our hope is that this hurricane season will pass by as nothing more than another warm Gulfshore breeze.

 

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Go Deep

Imagine building a home and just two hours later having it be full of life. That’s what happens when an artificial reef is sunk off the Gulf Coast.

This established artificial reef is located about 29 miles west of Marco. Someday the new reefs will resemble this one.
This established artificial reef is located about 29 miles west of Marco. Someday the new reefs will resemble this one.

Collier County’s new artificial reef project is joining local municipalities, scientists, the Corps of Engineers, the Community Foundation of Collier County and private citizens to beef up the amount of sea life in local waters. The Economic Recovery Task Force of Collier County and its Artificial Reef project team are spearheading the project, but a wide cross-section of agencies and individuals are supporting the initiative too.

At press time, all 36 concrete artificial reefs were expected to be in place. Since placement of the first reef in January, div- ers and boat captains have reported not only more marine life but also different species, says Diane Flagg of the Economic Recovery Task Force.

One unique thing spotted on the new reefs is a whale shark. “In talking to a boat captain who’s been on the water for 30 years, he said he’s never seen one,” said Flagg, who helms the ERTF with co-chair Jeff Ahren. “And nobody we’ve ever talk- ed to has seen a whale shark off the coast of Naples.”

And the more sea life, the more vital the economy. According to the task force’s business plan, within two years the reefs could bring in $30 million annually through boating, diving, hotel accom- modations and even fishing tournaments.

This dollar figure is based on a formula from the University of Florida’s 2011 Sea Grant Study.

Local lawyer Peter Flood first raised the idea for a reef. Flood approached Flagg just as she was about to retire as director of code enforcement for Collier County. His timing was good: Flagg would be able to devote the hours needed to help get the project going.

Buy-in came from everywhere, as Flagg tells it. All three local municipalities – the cities of Naples and Marco Island plus Collier County approved the project and applied for and received settlement money from BP as reparations for the 2010 Deep- water Horizon Oil Spill.

The reefs have been placed in locations 12-30 miles offshore. Each spot was formerly described as a “desert.” This was a require- ment, said Flagg. The Army Corps of Engineers would only approve permits for places where no marine life already congregated.

A documentary in progress titled “Paradise Reef: The World is Watching,” will hopefully sell the project to citizens. Filmmaker John Scoular, who has been on board since the beginning, has a letter of intent from PBS to distribute the film. Scoular has been filming interviews and footage on location as the reefs have been deployed.

Longtime cameraman Scoular along with his wife, producer Madeline Scoular, joined Lance and Harry Julian of Naples in Pure Image Productions for the project. Through their company Marine Team International, the Julians have acted as consultants on water-related films included “Waterworld,” “Titanic,” “Fool’s Gold” and other projects.

jeremysterk.com Soon after deployment, fish start populating the reef.
jeremysterk.com
Soon after deployment, fish start populating the reef.

With “Paradise Reef,” Scoular admits they rather “put the cart before the horse” and started filming with their own money so as not to miss any part of the process. Scoular need about $527,000), viewers will see the reefs being constructed and placed from start to finish. Each reef is eight feet tall and has a sturdy base, which enables it to withstand the Gulf ’s current. Some have concrete benches that were lowered with airbags and placed on the sea floor. Divers can sit on these benches and watch the local sea life playing in their new home. The benches were donated by the city of Naples, Flagg said. “They were going to break them up and send them to the landfill. The beauty of this project is ultimate recycling. [Before this], they were going to go to the landfill.”

Over the years, other artificial reefs, many made of old ships, have been lowered into the Gulf. The World War II ship USS Mohawk was given a new home on the Gulf bottom 28 miles off the Sanibel coast in July 2012. Although artificial reef building is not a new phenomenon, organizers of the Collier County project claim it’s one of the largest projects in the area to-date.

Among the Paradise Reef installations, three so far are named for benefactors – the Wasmer family, Harold Foote, and former U.S. Ambassador Francis Rooney and Kathleen Rooney. Each family has donated $100,000 for a “legacy reef.” Forever appearing on marine charts will be the Wasmer Reef, the Foote Family Reef and the Rooney Reef.

Three more legacy reefs may be sponsored at $100,000 each. Donations from $25 to $500,000 can be made to support the project as well. For the latter sum, the documentary film will be dedicated to the donor.

 

 

Written by:  Dayna Harpster
dayna@swspotlight.com
Independent Journalism and Public Relations
WGCU Public Media
Editor, Expressions magazine
(239) 425-5124

 Source Spotlight Magazines
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Lee County Beaches

The Lee County Beaches of Fort Myers, Bonita Springs and Estero span 50 miles from Gasparilla Island State Recreation Area to Bonita Beach Road, and with 18 miles of public parks on the beachfront, there are over 100 beach accesses!

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Barefoot Beach State Preserve

On the south end of Little Hickory Island, one will find the natural surrounding of a state preserve. Tours are available as well as guided canoe trips to learn about the various wildlife species in the area.  Barefoot Beach is located between Bonita Beach and Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, and the entrance is at Lely Beach Boulevard.

Bonita Beach Park

Located in the luxurious Bonita area, this five-acre white sand beach park is easily accessible and only 20 feet off Bonita Beach Road and Lely Barefoot Boulevard.  Public bathrooms, showers, and concessions are available.

Lover’s Key State Park

Lover’s Key State Park is more than 700 acres and can be accessed between Estero and Bonita Beach.  Along with its gorgeous beach, this beautiful state park showcases land, marine ecosystems, and wetlands.

Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island is very popular with the young and old.  Right on the beach you will find parasailing, jet-ski, and even paddle boat rentals.  The beach is perfect for sun bathing, and many island shops and restaurants are located along the boardwalk.  Fishermen and sunset watchers will truly enjoy the Fort Myers Beach Pier, and its famous Times Square with quaint little shops.

Dog Beach

Dog Beach in Bonita Springs is one of the only “pets permitted” public beaches.  Bonita Beach does not permit pets.  Dog Beach is also known as the “Lee County Off-Leash Dog Area.”  It is located north of Bonita Beach Road where it curves north and becomes Hickory Boulevard.  It is physically located just north of the New Pass bridge and just before Carl Johnson boat ramp and Lover’s Key state park.  It’s only a few miles south of Fort Myers Beach and provides parking, plastic bags and dog waste disposal stations.

 

The Island Beaches of Sanibel Island & Captiva Island Beaches offer more than just a place to soak up the sun.  Because of their ease-west orientation, the islands are a haven for undisturbed shells and the water’s current is perfect for adventuresome windsurfers. Of course there’s always time for a picnic.  Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.31.18 AM

Sanibel Beach

Sanibel Beach is located on one of the most unique barrier islands in the world.  For those who like to go shelling, Sanibel and Captiva beaches are the place to be.  Bathrooms are located at most public beach accesses and some have picnic tables.

Sanibel Lighthouse

The historical Sanibel Lighthouse is located on the eastern tip of the island at Causeway Road and Periwinkle Way.  Here, one can fish from the Sanibel Pier or take a nature walk on a winding boardwalk through the native wetlands.

Bowman’s Beach

Bowman’s Beach located off Sanibel-Captiva Road is a more secluded beach, and amenities include an outdoor shower, public bathrooms, picnic tables, and even barbecue grills.

Captiva Beach

Captiva Beach is five miles long and located on the north end of Captiva Island.  Besides being popular for shelling, many couples enjoy a romantic evening on the beach watching the fabulous sunsets.

Causeway Beaches

Here beach-goers can pull vehicles right up to the water’s edge and there is no parking fee.  The Causeway Beaches are a chain of islands that go from Summerlin Road to Sanibel Island.  These beaches are located on both sides of the road and bathrooms are available.  They’re great for picnicking, fishing, and windsurfing.  Warning for swimmers; there can be strong currents, so be sure to watch the little ones.

Tarpon Bay Beach

Located at the south end of Tarpon Bay Road and West Gulf Drive, parking for this beach is easily accessible for recreational vehicles, and it is only a short walk to the white sandy beach.

Turner Beach

Turner Beach is great for shelling and fishing, but its swift currents are not for swimmers.  This beach is located on the Sanibel/Captiva side of Blind Pass Bridge.

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Collier County Beaches

Miles and Miles of …………Beaches

The Collier County Beaches of Naples and Marco Island are globally recognized as some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Every year one or more beaches in Collier County are ranked by Travel Magazine and Trip Advisor on several annual top beach destination lists.

This is not surprising considering there’s much about the unspoiled coastline to enjoy including soft sand, a fishing pier, and wildlife sightings.  From Tigertail Beach to Lowdermilk Park to Delnor Wiggins Pass State, Collier County offers incomparable Gulf beaches.  Following are a few of our favorite beach getaways.

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Clam Pass

Clam Pass is a 35-acre county park of coastal habitat that provides beach access via a three-quarter of a mile boardwalk, with a tram.  If you’re looking tog et away from it all, Class Pass is located at Seagate Drive and Crayton Road.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park

One of the most popular seashore destinations in  Naples, this park’s mile-long stretch of white sugar sand has been rated as one of the best beaches in the nation.  The beach is popular for sunbathing, swimming, beach combing, snorkeling, and picnicking.  For saltwater or freshwater fishing, boaters can launch their vessels into Water Turkey Bay and travel to the Gulf or up the Cocohatchee River.  Kayakers can enjoy paddling through estuaries; scuba ;divers can explore the hard bottom reef in the Gulf.  At the north end of the island, a tower gives visitors a bird’s eye view of Wiggins Pass and the surrounding coastal habitat.  Note:  To avoid over-crowding during the busy winter season, the park closes its gates when it reaches maximum capacity.  Located in North Naples five miles west of I-75-exit 111.

Keewaydin Island

This gorgeous island has no vehicle traffic and is only accessible by boat.  It is a favorite for boaters and fishermen on the weekends.  Drop your anchor and enjoy the fun, and don’t be surprised if you see an iguana on the shore!

Lowdermilk Park

Located in Coquina Sands, this lovely public park has plenty of parking, meters or free with county beach sticker.  It’s a great place for a family picnic, whether on the beach or under a pavilion.  You’ll even find a sand volleyball court, bathrooms, and concessions nearby.

Marco Island Beach

The four-mile sun-soaked beach on Marco Island stretches from South Marco Brach to Tigertail Beach.  It is one of the most breathtaking beaches in all of Southwest Florida.  Warm temperatures make Marco Island an ideal place to spot dolphins, manatees, and an assortment of colorful oceanic wildlife.

Naples Municipal Beach

In historical downtown Old Naples, almost every road leads to the beach.  This three-mile stretch of tropical white sand beach draws visitors and residents alike.  Naples Fishing Pier offers perfect sunset vistas just about every evening.  The Pier just out 1,000 feet into the Gulf, and it is a very popular place for fishermen and onlookers.  The Pier is located not he west end of 12th Avenue South, and there you will find a snack bar, bathrooms, and outdoor showers.  No fishing license is required when fishing from the Naples Pier.  Parking is metered, free with any county beach sticker.

The Naples Pier
The Naples Pier

Tigertail Beach

Tiger tail Beach, located on Hernando Drive in Marco Island, is 31 acres of natural beauty and white sand beach.  Tiger tail Beach is a sandbar from yesteryear, but today it is called Sand Dollar Island because it is a barrier island that is in the process of forming.  Public parking and bathrooms are available.

Vanderbilt Beach

Bird watching and shelling are always popular at this five-acre Vanderbilt Beach Park.  Besides its wonderful white sand beach, hotels, shopping, and restaurants are close. by.

 

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Welcome to Season!

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To our many seasonal residents, welcome back to your
‘other home’.  

To our year-round residents, let’s get the party started. 

To our friends and future neighbors…come enjoy Endless Summers
with us!

Visit Naples.House for luxury homes for sale in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Sanibel and Captiva Islands, and Marco Island!