In south Florida, guests will find sister cities Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Both vacation destinations sit directly on a large river, providing opportunities to enjoy natural beauty while having fun. In fact, the top Fort Myers outdoor activities extend beyond the beach, well onto the golf courses and into the marches. So get started on an outdoor adventure, and read fun ways to stay active on vacation.
Relax on Bunche Beach
Located on San Carlos Bay, Bunche Beach Preserve offers visitors more than 700 acres to explore. Known to many beach lovers as a secret spot, Bunche Beach features natural tidal wetlands, paddle craft launches, two piers and a boardwalk. Guests are welcome to fish and view wildlife from the piers, or go on a kayaking trip to see the area. This local beach also attracts those who want to relax and watch sunsets.
Fish the Waters
Boat tours rank as a favorite Fort Myers outdoor activity, but fishing charters also provide guests with action-packed adventures. Several companies offer fishing charters for all ages. Top ranking Fort Myers fishing charters include Endless Summer, Gulf Coast Marine Excursions and Catch Me If You Can.
Those visiting Cape Coral should try a fishing charter with Chew On This, Captain George Howell and Tenacity Guide Service. Each company offers a fun adventure where guests may catch tarpon, redfish and trout, to name a few.
Kayak With Loved Ones
Find a more relaxed activity and connect with nature on a kayak tour. Kayak Excursions offers full-service kayak and stand-up paddleboarding opportunities throughout the area. Kids and adults can choose their own adventure, ranging from quick one-hour tours to all-day excursions. One of the most popular tours is the year-round manatee tour, and guests may also schedule eco and moonlight tours.
Due to the amount of water in and around Cape Coral, kayaking remains a favorite outdoor activity for visitors and locals. On weekends, head over to Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve, one of the largest preserved green spaces in Cape Coral. Here, guests rent kayaks and head out into the water. On the trail, there is an 800-foot portage, so children under 6 and beginners are not permitted.
Another top spot for kayak tours is the popular Kayak Charters. The company has more than 100 launch locations in southwest Florida, and explores fresh and saltwater canals in the Cape Coral area.
Play a Round of Golf
Take a break from the water and play a round at one of the area’s golf courses. Whether an expert or looking for a game of putt-putt, families have several options in Fort Myers and Cape Coral. For a more upscale experience, golfers test their skills at Fort Myers Country Club, Del Tura Golf and Country Club, Coral Oaks Golf Course, and Palmetto Pines Country Club.
For mini-golf fun, play Castle Golf, an award-winning course suited for all players. Castle Golf Course combines Medieval and coastal scenery to create a mysterious experience among 18 holes. Visitors will find castles, dragons, a foggy forest, waterfalls and lots of sunshine. Castle Golf is also open until 11 p.m., on Fridays and Saturdays, providing couples with a date-night activity.
Enjoy Mother Nature
Spend the day playing at Lakes Park, a popular place to enjoy the Fort Myers outdoor scene. The park houses a 158-acre lake perfect for boating and fishing, with popular catches including bass, bream and other saltwater species. In addition to water fun, families can walk, jog and bike on nearly 3 miles of paved trails. Those planning to spend the day should bring a picnic lunch, and enjoy the splash pad water features, playgrounds and volleyball courts.
Another top natural attraction is Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve. The preserve features a wetland ecosystem measuring 3,500 acres, complete with a boardwalk trail and interpretive center. While walking, visitors are likely to see alligators, otters, turtles, migrating birds and butterflies. Admission is free, and parking is $1 an hour or a $5 maximum.
Ecological Preserve Rotary Park Environmental Center consists of mostly salt marsh and is a part of the Great Florida Birding Trail. Located in Cape Coral, the preserve measures 97 acres with plants and wildlife, such as birds, frogs, lizards and turtles. The 4,200-square-foot education center houses exhibits, hosts the annual Burrowing Owl Festival, and hosts nature-related classes, exercise classes and lectures. Rotary Park is also home to Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly House, open for free tours on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.