This is the eighth installment of “Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach: A Renter’s Guide To the Islands”, which can be downloaded for FREE from our eBook library.
Barefoot Beach is actually on the same land mass – Little Hickory Island – as Bonita Beach. However, the south end of the island is home to a preserve known as Barefoot Beach. This preserve consists of 342 acres of natural land, one of the last undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s southwest coast.
Although Barefoot Beach is a very narrow strip of land, with only slight changes in elevation and moisture compared to the surrounding beach, you will see the shift in habitat. There are 8,200 feet of beach and sand dunes which support the growth of sea oats. This provides nesting sites for sea turtles during the summer months, and is also home to the protected gopher tortoise. The park also has a beautiful, tropical coastal hammock of trees, including sabal palm, gumbo-limbo, sea grape trees & many others.
Barefoot Beach is considered one of the top beaches in the country, due to it’s pristine, preserved natural beauty. This area of the beach has been secluded from the condominiums and commercial strips that you find along other areas of the island. It is the perfect destination for those who are seeking a quiet, more natural beach.
This beach is also a popular destination for avid fishermen, who are able to enjoy many species of fish. The inland side of the island provides tidal creeks and mangrove swamps which serve as breeding areas and a nursery for sport and commercial fish and shellfish.
Barefoot Beach also offers a long list of activities and educational programs, ranging from guided canoe trips to presentations on protected species. In these presentations, Park Rangers educate the public about the importance of the environment and wildlife in Southwest Florida.
This includes a guided walk through the preserve, where visitors learn about the many habitats of wildlife, as well as the variety of native plants and trees. Rangers also provide a free recreation guide, where you will get to learn about the natural history of the Loggerhead Sea Turtles, which reside at the preserve.
- How to get there: Heading west on Bonita Beach Road, make a left on Barefoot Beach Boulevard, just before Bonita Beach. Continue through a series of private residences and vacation rentals to reach the park entrance.
- Cost: $8 entrance fee per vehicle or free for Collier County residents with a beach parking permit. There are three parking lots. Hours 8 a.m. to sunset.
- Amenities & activities include: fishing gear & fishing ramps, two nature trails, butterfly & cacti gardens, shelling, lectures & guided tours, and water equipment rentals.
If you would like to learn more about Barefoot Beach and its surrounding beaches, simply click the eBook on the right to download it for FREE!
Additionally, please feel free to browse our properties online or call us at 866-218-1709 if you have further questions.
Remember, It’s always beach time at Lahaina!