Bonita Beach is a fabulous strip of coastline west of Bonita Springs, located around 40 minutes south of Fort Myers, Florida. Any Bonita Beach Vacation Rental is a short hop from the beach and offers fabulous views. Imagine stepping out from your front porch directly onto the soft white sands and running to the sea for an early morning dip. Some waterfront homes on the east side have their own boat docks, so you can tow your boat from home and tie it up outside of your rental. The area abounds with parks and nature preserves as well as cultural activities, restaurants, and shopping, so there are plenty of activities to keep your entire family entertained. Here are the top nine things to do in Bonita Beach with kids.

1. Have Fun at the Beach

Bonita Beach is the perfect place for families that love to play games on the sand, splash around in the waves, or go hunting for shells while Mom relaxes on a towel or comfortable lounge chair. Pack up the cooler and some snacks, and head out to claim your space on the shore. Take the car if necessary, as there are several beach access points from the main road with parking. Bonita Beach Park, located on the southern tip of Bonita Beach, has restrooms, picnic shelters, and a playground where your little ones can burn off some extra energy.

2. Go on a Dolphin Watching Cruise

You might be lucky enough to spot dolphins in the waters outside your vacation rental home, but if they prove elusive, there are plenty of ways to get out onto the water to search for these playful creatures. Sweetwater Paddle Sports on Bonita Beach Road runs a 2.5-hour dolphin and sightseeing tour through the mangroves and out into the backwaters of Estero Bay and Hickory Island. Remember to take your binoculars and camera. During the tour, get your kids to keep a look out for osprey, eagles, and blue heron as well as dolphins, manatee, and stingrays.

3. Enjoy a Kayaking Adventure

If you want to get up close to the area’s wildlife, rent a kayak from Seaside Kayaking. The company is based at Estero Boulevard, next to the Bonita Springs Water Tower. If you don’t want to travel there, don’t worry, as the company offers a mobile service that meets up with you at a convenient location or delivers the watercraft to your vacation rental. Rent single or double kayaks by the hour to make your own adventure, or join a guided nature tour of Estero Bay, where the calm waters are ideal for beginners.

4. Get a Bird’s-eye View of the Area

Experience the thrills of soaring above the sea with a parasailing experience. Bonita Jet Ski & Parasail runs regular trips from its base at Doc’s Beach House restaurant directly on Bonita Beach. Fly solo or in a double or triple harness with the kids. You can pay to ride as an observer, but flyers get priority, so you might as well join in the fun. There’s a choice of para sail rope lengths to choose from. Those who choose the longest rope length to get the best views and an additional five minutes in the air.

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5. Learn to Paddleboard

The calm waters around Bonita Beach provide the ideal opportunity to learn paddleboarding. This sport is growing in popularity and allows you to get a great full body workout while exploring the area. Bonita Jet Ski & Parasail offers rental boards for beginner and intermediate paddleboarders. Pick up your board from the beach, or have it delivered to your vacation home for free. Book by the hour, day, or week.

6. Explore the Everglades Wonder Gardens

When it’s time to take a break from the sunshine and the beach, head into Bonita Springs to visit the Everglades Wonder Gardens. Set within a lush botanical jungle, the gardens are home to rescued reptiles and exotic birds. Regular events include alligator feedings and gator fishing. The gardens are open seven days a week. There is an admission charge, but parking is free.

7. Play Disc Golf

When you’ve finished exploring the Everglades Wonder Gardens, head over to Bonita Springs Recreation Center for a fun game of Disc Golf. This scenic 18-hole golf course for both pros and amateurs wends its way around a seven-acre lake. There is no charge to play; you just need a disc and a good throwing arm. Take a spare disc in case you lose one in the lake.

8. Develop your Creative Side

Creative family members can find plenty of learning opportunities at The Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs on Bonita Beach Road. A program of seasonal holidays camps runs for kids of ages four to 18. Activities include theater, dance, music, and art and crafts. There are also classes for adults. During the fall, free family activity days take place on select Saturdays.

9. Take a Hike and Go Geocaching

Just to the north of Bonita Beach, the delightfully named Lovers Key State Park offers trails for hiking and bicycling. The 2.5-mile Black Island trail or the shorter 1.1-mile Eagle Trail are both suitable for young children. To add to the fun, the Friends of Lovers Key has a Geo-Challenge to find seven caches. Get the kids to take their answers to the Ranger Station so they can collect their FOLKS Geo-Challenge Reward in the form of a specially designed path tag, a fabulous memento of a great vacation.

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