07 Apr Best Southwest Florida Beaches to Experience the Natural Beauty of Florida
Southwest Florida beaches are famous for their white sand, clear blue waters, and colorful sunsets. And even though the whole area is overflowing with scenic landscapes and beachy vibes, not all beach experiences are created equal. If you’re looking to get up close and personal with the natural beauty and wildlife of Southwest Florida, then you need a beach that’s high in sand, surf, and sky and low in population. Keep these Southwest Florida Beaches in mind for your next Florida vacation.
Barefoot Beach Preserve Park | Bonita Springs, FL
While the beach is completely accessible to the public and not far from the hustle of Bonita Springs or Naples, Barefoot Beach makes you feel as if you’re miles and miles away from it all. The Barefoot Beach Preserve is one of the last undeveloped barrier islands along the coast of Southwest Florida and offers 342 acres of natural land to explore. With shallow waters and gentle waves, it’s the perfect location for a family beach day to go swimming, shelling, or watch for bottlenose dolphins. The inland side of Barefoot Beach is home to tidal creeks and mangrove swamps – perfect for kayaking.
Clam Pass Park | Naples, FL
If you love the idea of the “lazy river” but hate waterparks (or just prefer a more natural approach), then this is the beach for you. Located in Naples, Clam Pass is the smallest, shallowest pass on the Gulf Coast and, unlike with larger and more dangerous passes, its relaxing current lets you float in and out of a small opening between the mangroves. Enjoy miles of fine, sugary sand and beaches lined with seagrape trees on one side and beautiful salt water on the other.
Bunche Beach | Fort Myers, FL
Take a walk on the wild side at Bunche Beach. The beach is a preserved, natural tidal wetlands area with salt flats and mangroves located in San Carlos Bay. Bird lovers come from all around to see the plovers, roseate spoonbills, reddish egrets, white ibises, and more. At low tide, the receding shore gives way to sandbars and tidal pools filled with sea stars, shells, and crabs. And if shelling or bird watching isn’t your thing, you can always go for a nice kayak ride!
Tigertail Beach | Marco Island, FL
Tigertail Beach offers two very different kinds of beach day – it all just depends on which side of the beach you land on and which route you take to get there. For a more typical beach experience, you can park in the public lot and stick to the side of the lagoon that’s well-kept with changing rooms, snack bars, picnic tables, and playgrounds. Or you can cross through the squishy, mucky lagoon to the other, less developed side with miles of soft white sand, tons of seashells, and so many shore birds that it’s a stop on the Great Florida Birding Trailer.
Dog Beach | Fort Myers Beach, FL
If you’re looking for a beach experience that’s less about people and more about loveable dogs splashing in the ocean, this appropriately named beach has you covered. Dog Beach doesn’t provide much (just a portable toilet and a doggie shower) but, what it lacks in facilities, it makes up for in excitement and general cuteness. Come by about an hour before low tide to see the beach at its best, with shallow water, sandbars, and an endless supply of pups.