Give your dog some exercise at this off-leash beachfront park. Known as Bonita Beach Dog Park, the site is at 8800 Estero Blvd. on the Gulf side just before New Pass Bridge on the way to Bonita Beach.
Dogs can enjoy the surf, then wash off at the provided Doggie Shower Station. Parking is free. Dog bags are available. Rules are posted on a bulletin board. This is an unsupervised site, so you are responsible for yourself, your dog and his or her behavior.
Little Hickory Island
Near Bonita Beach, this South Lee County spot is a shell-laden, white-sand beachfront park. A ramp runs from the parking lot to the sand, allowing handicapped access, and the shore is wide and clean. Surf fishing is a favorite pastime for visitors here. Check the fishing regulations and then cast away! Parking is $2 per hour and on-site restrooms, picnic tables and showers mean creature comforts aren’t far away.
Barefoot Beach is another little-known hidden gem off of the well-traveled path of Bonita Beach Road.
Once inside the first gate, you will drive or bike 1.5 miles through a very exclusive community, possessing bricked roads, to a preserve at the end of your travels. The beachfronts are known for their quiet atmosphere, shelling and bird watching.
Park entry fee is $8. Call 239-252-4000 for more information.
Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Recreation Area
Further south, there is a part of “Olde Florida” that needs to be explored by everyone. The state rec area can be found at 11135 Gulfshore Drive in Naples, Florida.
Discover a natural barrier island, thick with mangroves and native vegetation and wildlife. The popular destination has various activities in store, such as sunbathing, snorkeling the reef, hiking, bird-watching, fishing, picnicking, paddling and searching for seashells.
Boaters will also find a boat ramp to launch into Turkey Bay. The easy access leads to the delicate natural estuaries of the Conycatcher River, leading out to the Gulf of Mexico.
Admission fee is $6 per vehicle (limit two to eight people), $4 for single occupant, $2 for pedestrians and bicyclists. Boat ramp fee is an additional $5 plus tax.