A Trip to Barefoot Beach State Preserve – Try it. You’ll Like it.

I like that when we aren’t selling homes, our biggest decision of the day is which beach to choose – because there are so many in Southwest Florida!

Barefoot beach swimming

Yes. That is actually us swimming at the beach (albeit, terrible photo quality- sorry).

Barefoot Beach State Preserve

Earlier this month, my wife and I took our daughter, who was visiting from  Dallas, to Barefoot Beach State Preserve in Bonita.

Although I have lived  in Cape Coral for  15 years, I’m always amazed at all the new construction between the Cape and Bonita Beach.

I can remember the first time I took the same drive down US 41. It was a two lane highway and almost no development on either side of the road. Now, it’s 4 & 5 lanes and all kinds of storefront  malls, hotels, and beautiful gated communities with golf courses.

As we drove along,  I pointed out restaurants: Mel’s Diner, the Fish House on Bonita Beach Road,  and of course an old landmark – Doc’s On the Beach (great sandwiches and I never pass up the chance to eat Doc’s clam chowder!).  If you stop at Doc’s, you can have lunch and watch the beach activity or rent wave runner’s and sailfish boats. Or get sandwiches to go and take them to the beach with you.

Entrance to Barefoot Beach

The entrance to Barefoot Beach State Preserve on Bonita Beach Road is easy to miss because it is not well-marked. Pay close attention – it looks like your driving into a gated community.

And you are. 🙂

You must drive through the gated community of Lely to get to the beach.

View Larger Map


At the end of Barefoot Beach Blvd, you will find a beautiful pristine state park with modern facilities, museum, food concession, and loads of parking (day pass for the whole car is $8.00)

Rangers offer guided tours. Beach hours 8:00 a.m. to sundown. The Gulf of Mexico is turquoise green and the sun is great.

When the wind is right, the surf is up but usually you can count on Barefoot Beach being a very calm tide – peaceful and relaxing.

You Yankees should bring chairs and umbrellas and TONS of sun screen. A bad sunburn will ruin the rest of your visit to Florida – trust me, I know from experience.

Back to Cape Coral

After 3 hours of sun and swimming, we left taking a different route (Estero Blvd through Ft Myers Beach). In season, this route takes much longer because of traffic, but if you are not on the clock it’s a fun trip to Times Square and the Pier (more on that beach later).

It was a wonderful day and only a few miles from our home base in Cape Coral.  Some days it’s tough to leave our pool and boat at the dock, but you have to keep the kids happy!

So, if you’re a newcomer to Cape Coral or and old timer who frequents the same ‘ole places, think about giving Barefoot Beach a try.

I think you’ll like it.