Beach Vacation Blog - A blog about vacations in Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Springs along with things to do and places to stay in Southwest Florida.

Beach Vacation Blog

A blog about vacations in Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Springs along with things to do and places to stay in Southwest Florida.

In an effort to bring you more stories from our clients who’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the beaches of Southwest Florida, I’d like to introduce you to Jake. He and his family stayed with us not long ago and this is his (and his family’s) vacation story. Enjoy!

~Barb

My beginnings in Fort Myers Beach

Back in 1995 I moved from Upstate New York to Fort Myers Beach, Florida and practically every day of the year I got to see what so many people long to see, especially during the deep, dark days of winter…the beach!

I can remember how my eyes widened as I came over the Matanzas Pass Bridge for the very first time in Errol’s taxi, seeing all of the palm trees, colorful shops, the beach, and feeling the warm air blowing through my full head of hair. Here is what that drive looks like 19 years later.

For the year and a half that I lived there, I got to experience a beautiful island paradise with blue waters, dolphins, para-sails, wave-runners, and countless restaurants. Almost every day I had the chance to exit my front door, walk 500 yards, and set up my chair & umbrella on the warm sands of the Gulf of Mexico.

I was 20 years old, without a care in the world. Life was easy. I had no car, no boat, no responsibilities. Just a job that paid for my rent and of course, cocktails. icon wink Southwest Florida is a Great Destination for Family Stay Cations

Life today isn’t as care free…but it’s getting better

Fast forward 19 years and today I am a married man with a beautiful wife and four children, residing in a nearby city in Southwest Florida, not far from Fort Myers Beach.

As you can probably imagine, I don’t have as much time to lounge on a beach as I once had and all those days I once cherished as a care-free 20 year old, have almost faded.

So back in September of last year when my family and I had the chance to spend a 3 day stay-cation in the Seaside condos on Fort Myers Beach, we jumped at the opportunity.

At the time, we going through a very difficult situation which put a major strain on our family ties and it almost resulted in a divorce. While I’m not going to get in to details, I will tell you that addiction affects so many families and it almost ruined ours.

It’s important that I paint this picture for you because I want you to know just how healing this stay-cation was for us. Here we were, a struggling couple, doing our best to raise a 7 year old girl, twin 17 month old boys, and a baby on the way…and along comes an opportunity to put our family back together after one of us spent a 28-day stint in rehab. Talk about stressful times!

Paradise at Seaside Condos

When we first arrived at the Seaside condos, we were blessed and overcome with happiness with this view from our bedroom window.

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#10 Best Places on the Islands for Fishing

Posted by Barb On September 21st

Tilapia #10 Best Places on the Islands for Fishing

This is the tenth 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.

If you love to fish, and you’re staying on Fort Myers Beach or Bonita Beach, you’ve officially arrived in paradise. The fishing in Southwest Florida is an experience like no other, whether you’re an avid angler, a weekend fisherman, or just enjoy casting an occasional line as you bask in the sun.

Southwest Florida has some of the best backwater fishing in the state. This includes angling in the extensive network of bays, mangrove islands and tidal creeks that permeate the region. There are thousands of miles of shoreline, countless oyster bars and acres of seagrass beds that attract an abundance of saltwater fish.

Roaming these waters are four of the state’s most sought-after game-fish - snook, redfish, spotted sea-trout and tarpon. In fact, thousands of anglers come to southwest Florida each year for the chance at a grand slam, catching one individual of each species in one day!

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#8 Barefoot Beach – A Renters Guide!

Posted by Barb On August 17th

Barefoot Beach01 #8 Barefoot Beach   A Renters Guide!

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.

If you are staying in one of the beautiful vacation rentals on Bonita Beach, you may want to consider taking a short drive south to visit Barefoot Beach.

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.

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#7 Bonita Beach

Posted by Barb On July 27th

Shells on Bonita Beach #7 Bonita Beach

This is the seventh 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.

Bonita Beach may be one of the best places in Southwest Florida to catch the sunset. Although the beach does not have the same “sugar sand” as Fort Myers Beach, which is heaven to walk in, the shell bits that make up the sand at Bonita Beach have their own lure.

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#6 Little Hickory Island

Posted by Barb On July 6th

Little Hickory Island FL Sunset #6 Little Hickory Island

This is the sixth 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.

Little Hickory Island boasts the barrier island community of Bonita Beach.

The beach facing the Gulf on the west side of Little Hickory Boulevard is very picturesque with soft white sand, natural coastal dunes, sea oats and an abundance of surf. Visitors and residents enjoy walking, shelling, swimming, surf fishing, and taking in the breathtaking sunsets at the end of each day.

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#5 South End of Estero Island

Posted by Barb On June 20th

Dog Beach #5 South End of Estero Island

This is the fifth 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.

The South end of Estero Island is the perfect place to go for a quiet getaway. With white, sugar sand beaches spanning for miles, you will enjoy the private tranquility of the Gulf shores, yet still be only a short drive from the town center.

The south end of Estero island sits just north of Black Island, which is home to the beautiful Lover’s Key State Park.

Lover’s Key is the perfect getaway…whether you’re lovers or just a lover of peace, tranquility, and beauty. For years, this island was only accessible by boat. It was said that lovers traveled to the island to enjoy its remote and solitary beach.

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#4 Estero Mid-Island

Posted by Barb On May 26th

IMG 0878 #4 Estero Mid Island

This is the fourth 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.

The area of Estero Island known as Mid Island generally spans from 4,000 to 6,000 Estero Blvd. This area of the island is a little quieter and more private than the areas near Times Square.

This area is also a popular launching point for boating, leaving from Mid-Island Marina. Or, many also like to take advantage of the dolphin tours from Mid- Island Water Sports.

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#3 North End of the Island

Posted by Barb On May 4th

Sunset at the North End of Fort Myers Beach #3 North End of the Island

This is the third 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.

The North end of Estero Island is a very popular destination for those visiting Fort Myers Beach. It is home to what is commonly referred to as Times Square (though without the neon lights, skyscrapers, or huge, bustling crowds).

However, Times Square is considered the heart of Estero Island’s downtown. It is full of shops and restaurants. It features outdoor dining, street performers, restaurants and bars with live entertainment, and plenty of beautiful spots to just sit down and relax.

This area also boasts the Fort Myers Beach Sunset and Fishing Pier, the best place to watch the Gulf Coast’s astounding sunsets!

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#2 Explore Estero Island

Posted by Barb On April 24th

Fort Myers Beach Sunset Pier009 #2 Explore Estero Island

This is the second 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.

Estero Island is one of the treasures of Southwest Florida. It is an island located in Lee County, on the Gulf Coast that is bordered by San Carlos Island to the north and Big Carlos Pass to the south.

The Matanzas Pass Bridge, on the northern end of the island, connects Estero Island to San Carlos Island. The Big Carlos Bridge (part of the Bonita Beach Causeway) connects the southern end of Estero Island to Black Island, which is located at the northern limit of the city of Bonita Springs.

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Short Walk to Fort Myers Beach #1 The Island Life of Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach

This is the first 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.

Southwest Florida is a region located along Florida’s Gulf coast, extending from south of the Tampa Bay area, west of Lake Okeechobee and mostly north of the Everglades.

Southwest Florida generally refers to the coastal geographic areas including the counties of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Sarasota, and Manatee.

The area is world famous for its outlying barrier islands and the beautiful Gulf beaches, which lure millions of tourists to the shorelines each year. Some of these beautiful beaches include the world renowned Fort Myers Beach and Bonita Beach.

The beaches of Southwest Florida are some of the finest in all of Florida. This is because of their fine, white, sugar sand, gradual slopes, and gentle surf, making them some of the safest beaches in the world, and an ideal location for fun in the sun.

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