Bonita Springs is nestled in southwestern Florida on the Gulf of Mexico side of the state. It lies between Fort Myers and the Everglades National Park, boasting plenty of state and national parks, ocean access, and exciting activities. Play disc golf around a lake, or watch the gopher tortoise trundle along. Kayak near a manatee, or embark on a thrilling parasailing adventure. Book a stay at a Bonita Springs vacation rental today. Here are the top attractions and activities in Bonita Springs.

1. Explore the Everglades Wonder Gardens

The Everglades Wonder Gardens is a historical site melded with a natural history museum and botanical gardens, great for any age group. The natural history museum contains plant and animal specimens, while the 3.5-acre botanical jungle is a living collection of those specimens. The gardens have both native and exotic plants among which lives a collection of rescued birds and reptiles such as parrots, lizards, tortoises, and snacks. Stop for some lunch or dinner at the gardens’ Twisted Tangle Cafe. It offers soups, sandwiches, fries, and specials that change daily.

2. Visit the Poggi’s Animal House

As long as you’re into animals, stop at Poggi’s Animal House, a wildlife sanctuary and exotic pet dealer. If you’ve always dreamed of owning a monkey, Poggi’s offers a variety from marmosets and tamarins to capuchins. Otherwise, you can just visit the animals. Other than monkeys, the sanctuary includes a Siberian lynx, black spotted monkey, camel, Eurasian eagle owl, and Abdim’s stork among others.

3. Go Parasailing with Bonita Jet Ski and Parasail

With the waves and the wind beckoning you, add parasailing to your list of must-do attractions and activities. Bonita Jet Ski and Parasail offers plenty of action, notably parasailing with heights up to 1200 feet. Opt for single, tandem, or triple flights depending on who you want to share the moment with. To commemorate the event, get a video or pictures of your flight.

4. Go Kayaking with Manatee Guides

Kayaking not only offers an intimate way to explore the world around you at Bonita Springs, but it also gives you a vehicle from which to see the aquatic animals. For instance, Manatee Guides takes you on a guided kayaking tour where you can view the timid sea cow in its natural environment. Kayaking can also be a good way to get in touch with nature while fishing. Adventures Kayaking offers both eco tours and guided fishing trips, or you can explore on your own and rent kayaks or paddleboards.

5. Play Disc Golf at the Bonita Springs Disc Golf Course

Get into the golf craze–sort of–by playing on the Bonita Springs Disc Golf Course. The 18-hole course lies around a lake, offering picturesque views and fresh air while you try to hit the target with a frisbee. If you’re new to the game, tee off at the amateur pad, or you can challenge yourself at the pro pad.

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6. Stop at the B3 Skate Park

If you have kids to entertain, stop at the B3 Skate Park. While you can certainly bring your own blades, boards, and bikes, you can also pick some up at the Pro Shop. Two days a week are just for bikes while blades and boards rule the other four. Just make sure to bring a helmet. On-site vending machines keep your kids fueled for hours of fun.

7. Visit Bonita Nature Place

Stroll the natural beauty of the Bonita Nature Place. This outdoor facility contains a butterfly garden, bat house, bee house, and acres of coastal river land. The gopher tortoise, a threatened species, lives in the area. With over 24 wandering the land, it’s likely you’ll come across one of these fellows. Visit the Bee House, a European Honeybee Observation Hive, boasting several active hives. The butterfly garden contains native Florida butterfly species, while the bat house is a place where the animals can find refuge from habitat loss.

8. Go Swimming at the Community Pool

If you ever get tired of swimming the Gulf of Mexico, stop at the Bonita Springs Recreation Center with a community pool boasting temperature-controlled water and lap lanes. The rec center also has a gymnasium, tennis court, and playground for all your fun options. For more exciting water play, head down to the Sun-N-Fun Lagoon. While not directly inside the city limits, it’s just a few miles south and contains slides and a lazy river.

9. Pick Some Produce at Farmer Mike’s U Pick

As long as you’re staying in your Bonita Springs vacation rental, stock up on fresh fruit for snacking. Farmer Mike’s U Pick not only gives you access to fresh produce, but it’s also a fun family activity. There are berries, citrus fruit, and pumpkins (depending on the time of year). With events occurring there year round, you can take the kids to see the animals or go on a tractor ride. Pick up a fresh pie before leaving.

10. Watch the Races at the Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track

The Naples-Fort Myers Greyhound Track, located in Naples, is all about racing dogs. Watch these slender, long-legged animals run up to 43 miles per hour. While there, play a hand or two at poker, and then stay for dinner at the High Steaks Restaurant. The menu runs from sandwiches and salads to New York strip steak, chicken, and fresh fish.

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