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Now that Memorial Day and Independence Day are over, there’s only one summer holiday left to enjoy. With a variety of things to do in Florida for Labor Day Weekend, you should have no problem planning a fun-filled and memorable vacation. The kiddos may be back in school, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a long weekend romantic getaway or unforgettable time with friends and loved ones. 

Here are 8 things to do in Florida for Labor Day Weekend:

  1. Have a shell scavenger hunt 
  2. Rent a boat
  3. Visit Sun Splash Family Waterpark
  4. Go to the beach and just relax
  5. Take advantage of the Labor Day sales and go shopping
  6. Visit the Naples Botanical Garden
  7. Check out the Edison & Ford Winter Estates
  8. Stay for a while and enjoy the September Hopper Songwriter Fest. This isn’t a Labor Day event, but if you plan on taking an extended vacation, you won’t want to miss this free 10-day festival. A few special performances require a ticket. Musicians perform in different locations around Fort Myers. There will also be performances on Fort Myers Beach and Captiva Island. It’s a lot of fun!  

What to Do on Labor Day Weekend in Southwest Florida

What to Do on Labor Day Weekend in Southwest Florida

There are a variety of events throughout Southwest Florida, so whether you’re staying in Naples to the South or Fort Myers to the North, you should have no problem finding a variety of things to do for Labor Day Weekend.

Spend the day shopping at the Promenade at Bonita Bay, located at 26795 South Bay Drive in Bonita Springs. 

Get to know your history at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. The homes are open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and children 12 and younger get in free for the self-guided audio tour. This is how it works: One child gets free admission per each paid adult ticket. The Edison & Ford Winter Estates are located at 3583 McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers.

Visit the Bass Pro Shops Labor Day Festival at Gulf Coast Town Center. On Sept. 1 from noon to 5 p.m. and on Sept. 2, noon to 4 p.m., the retail store hosts a Labor Day celebration. The event features face painting, family activities, an archery challenge, bait toss, duck pond, free hot dogs from noon to 2 p.m. both days, free samples of funnel cake and cotton candy from 1-4 p.m. both days, crafts and workshops for the adults. 

What to Do on Labor Day Weekend in Florida

Luckily, Southwest Florida is so diverse; there are a variety of fun things to do on Labor Day no matter where you end up staying. For a truly Florida-style Labor Day Weekend, embrace the Sunshine State and all that it has to offer.

Look for Seashells Down by the Sea Shore

Is it really a Florida vacation if you don’t go shelling? The types of shells you’ll find depend on the beach’s location, the tide and whether or not there was a storm the night before. You may not be able to find the same shells on the same day at the same beach, but that’s part of the magic and allure of collecting seashells. Sanibel and Captiva Island are some of the best shelling destinations in the world. This is because Sanibel and Captiva’s southern currents help a variety of shells wash up on the shore. Sanibel’s east-west torque of its eastern end also works as a spoon to scoop up shells from deeper Gulf of Mexico waters. The gentle surf then deposits them on Sanibel’s coastline for shellers to find.

Rent a Boat and Enjoy a Gorgeous Sunset

Florida is known for its picturesque sunsets and they are even better when they’re experienced on the water in the company of your loved ones. Any of our Vacation Planning Advisors can tell you where to find Southwest Florida boat rentals. Go on the water for a day and end it with a sunset, explore the islands around you and take in the area’s natural surroundings and breathe a sigh of relief—because you’re on vacation! If you prefer to let someone else take the wheel, you may choose from a variety of cruises leaving the docks of area marinas. Relax while you take in the views and learn about dolphins, manatees, alligators and other denizens of the deep.

Visit a Water Park to Cool Off

If you have younger children and teenagers with you, they’d love a day at the local waterpark. Sun Splash Family Waterpark in Cape Coral, FL is a great family-friendly option if you’re looking for things to do in Florida for Labor Day Weekend. There is a gift shop, a few options for food, a lazy river, 14 acres of waterslides and a kids’ play area. 

Go to the Beach. Try Lovers Key State Park

Lovers Key State Park is more than just a beach. There is a picnic area, canoe and kayak rentals, and restroom facilities. There are also three barrier islands to explore, whether you embark on a tour with a park ranger or you decide to rent a watercraft yourself. Or you can enjoy five miles of trails on your own by bicycle or on foot.  

Have a Great Labor Day Weekend in a Royal Shell Rental Home

Have a Great Labor Day Weekend in a Royal Shell Rental Home

For many people, Labor Day Weekend is the last hurrah before fall begins. There are so many things to do in Florida for Labor Day weekend to keep you occupied. Book a last minute holiday getaway today with Royal Shell today. Call us today.

Visit Southwest Florida and stay in any of our breathtaking vacation rental homes. There are a variety of things to do in Florida for Labor Day Weekend, and now that you have this guide, we hope you’ll take advantage of as many Labor Day activities as you can. Our Vacation Planning Advisors can help you plan the ultimate vacation so you have the perfect time! Grab a craft beer or a glass of wine and relax. Don’t forget to enjoy the sunset, too.

Lovers Key, Florida is a scenic natural beauty and a hidden historical gem in Bonita Springs, Florida. There’s something to do for every member of the family, whether you want to relax on the beach or kayak around a barrier island with a colorful past.

Plan a trip to Lovers Key, Florida. There is a tram that can take you to the beach. The park has restroom facilities, picnic tables and canoe and kayak rentals. Technically called Lovers Key Carl E. Johnson State Park, the park is one of the best examples of what “real Florida” used to look like. Think gorgeous, almost otherworldly coastal and subtropical habitats. 

Whether you want to join a naturalist for a tour, or you want to explore on your own, there is no shortage of things to do at Lover’s Key Florida State Park. It’s not uncommon to see West Indian manatees, dolphins, bald eagles and a whole variety of birds.

What is There To Do at Lovers Key State Park

What is There To Do at Lovers Key State Park?

Lover’s Key is made up of three other barrier islands: Black Island, Inner and Long Key. Lovers Key is where you’ll find the Lovers Key Beach.

You can swim in the turquoise-green Gulf of Mexico waters, sunbathe, look for shells, go for a stroll on the powdery white sand, picnic, go boating, canoeing, kayaking, hiking or bicycling.  Lovers Key, Florida is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground.

Black Island features over five miles of trails and it’s open 8 a.m. to sundown. You can go it alone or join a Black Island Kayak Tour with a park ranger. The one-and-a-half tour will show you the beautiful Florida landscape and you’ll get to see the wildlife that calls Lovers Key home. You can bring your own kayak with you, or you can rent one from the concession stand in the park. Reservations for the tour are also required. You can make them by calling 239.463.4588.

The Black Island Bike Tour is a three-mile adventure on the Black Island Trail, and the tour is conducted by a knowledgeable park ranger. Like the kayak tour, you can also bring your own bike. They’re available to rent from the concession stand. Make reservations by calling 239.463.4588.

Is Lovers Key Florida State Park Dog Friendly?

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed on the beach as not to disturb the wildlife that lives there. However, there is a designated dog beach located nearby at 8800 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach, Florida, 33931. Parking is free at Bonita Beach Dog Beach. There are also doggie shower stations to rinse off your pup. Alcohol and glass containers are not allowed.

Lovers Key, Florida History

The barrier islands of Lovers Key were destined for development from the start. Mangrove trees were uprooted, canals were dredged, but thankfully, the state acquired the land in 1983, and has since vowed to preserve it.

In the beginning, Lovers Key, Florida was so secluded, until 1965; it was only accessible by boat. After the city acquired the land in 1983, it merged with the adjacent Carl E. Johnson County Park and eventually became Lovers Key Carl E. Johnson State Park in 1996.

It’s rumored that Black Island was named after the Portuguese pirate who sailed under the flag of Gasparilla, Black Augustus, who reportedly lived on the island for nearly 50 years.

The original Lovers Key, before the bridge was constructed, earned its name because it was so far off the beaten path, it was said only lovers made the trip.

Annual Events at Lovers Key, Florida

Annual Events at Lovers Key, Florida

Lovers Key, Florida plays host to a variety of events throughout the year.

Songwriters at Sunset is an intimate experience set against breathtaking Florida sunsets. Join local ACMA artists as they share their original songs and the stories behind them. Concerts at the gazebo are free, but guests must pay to enter the park.

Santa on the Sand is a fun, Florida way to celebrate the holidays. On the beach near the gazebo, there will be games, lunch and prizes with Santa. Make sure you bring a camera so you can take photos.

Morning Yoga is offered on the gazebo via Friends of Lovers Key (FOLK). There’s nothing like yoga on the beach to clear your mind and put it at ease.

Learn how to cast a line at the Lovers Key Fishing Clinic. A park naturalist will teach you about fresh bait rigs and tackle. You’ll also learn about the rules and regulations of game fishing in Southwest Florida as well as where the best places to drop a line. Reservations are required by calling 239.463.4588.

Royal Shell Vacation Rentals Near Lovers Key, Florida

Royal Shell has a variety of rental homes near Lovers Key, Florida. The majority of them are located on Fort Myers Beach near Fort Myers Beach vacation rentals, which is about 15 to 30 minutes away from the state park. Lovers Key is a great place to enjoy on a staycation in Florida or during holidays like Labor Day.

You can search for Royal Shell vacation rentals online and you can give our Vacation Planning Advisors a call if you have any questions or want to book a rental property.

Riverside Park in Bonita Springs is one of the city’s most important gathering places. It’s steeped in history and it’s the place for family-friendly events and things to do. The free park is located on Old U.S. 41 in historic downtown Bonita Springs on the Imperial River. Throughout the year, there are art shows, festivals, holiday celebrations, the Celebrate Bonita Festival and Movies in the Park. There is also a band shell, and it stays pretty active. If you’re looking for live music, chances are you’ll find it here.

Are you looking for things to do at Riverside Park? A beautiful park is a great place for a romantic meal with your special someone or a great place to take the family or spend some time alone.  There are picnic tables, park benches, and plenty of space to put down a blanket or towel.

Park visitors can also see the historic Liles Hotel and Imperial River cottages. Constructed in 1945, the bungalow-style cottages were originally built on the edge of the Imperial River. The hotel was built in 1926 and 1927. It’s one of the oldest buildings in the city. There is also a small museum located inside.

Special Events at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs

Special Events at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs

Some of Riverside Park in Bonita Springs’ most notable events include Fourth of July parties, the annual Celebrate Bonita Festival, and various art shows.

Celebrate Bonita Festival

This free event celebrates all things Bonita Springs, and it’s a great way to bring the community together. There are normally live music, food, games and kids activities.  

Bonita Blues Festival

This annual two-day festival pays homage to the blues. People drive from all over Southwest Florida to come to this festival and some people even plan their vacations around it. Proceeds also go toward local charities. Pets are not allowed, but you can bring chairs, blankets, and sunscreen.

Bark in Riverside Park

This is also a free event. Bring Fido and see if he or she has what it takes to win the pet tricks contest or pet owner look-a-like contest. There’s a silent auction, too. You can also bring a pet food donation so your pet can take advantage of cardiac and dental examinations. All leashed, friendly pets are welcome.

Bonita Springs National Art Festivals

Over 200 national and international artists showcase their works and art lovers from around the community come out to admire them. It isn’t just limited to paintings, either. Mediums include glass, jewelry, clay, photography, sculpture, wood and more. The Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs hosts three annual fine arts/fine crafts festivals. The juried festival is rated one of the most popular Fine Art Festivals in the U.S. All proceeds go toward community art initiatives.

Bonita Brew Fest

Southwest Florida is an excellent place to be a craft beer lover. There are a variety of breweries located here and an annual festival dedicated to the frothy, amber-colored drink. Enjoy the live music, drink samples and discover your new favorite pour. In addition to craft beer, there will be hard ciders and meads. If you get hungry, there are food trucks on-site. Keep in mind that no one under 21 will be allowed to enter the festival. Pets also need to stay home.

Taste of Bonita

Come out to Riverside Park and try samples of delicious entrees from Bonita Springs restaurants and area food trucks. There’s also live music to help put you in a fun, festive mood. The community looks forward to the family-friendly event each year.

Other Festivals and Events to Look Forward To Include:

Enjoy the Imperial River at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs

Enjoy the Imperial River at Riverside Park in Bonita Springs

Riverside Park in Bonita Springs can also give you a preview of what Old Florida used to be like when Bonita Springs was first discovered. One of the six historical cottages houses CGT Kayaks Inc., so you can rent canoes or kayaks and explore the breathtaking river.

According to, the best paddling route is upstream to the east. If you go west, the views get more urban and the waterway is more crowded with motorboats. The eastern path takes you under Interstate-75 and the river gets more shallow and narrow. Mangroves line the shore and towering old trees provide a shady canopy from the sun’s rays. You’re not in the heart of Florida’s untouched wilderness, but it gives you a taste of it. You’ll pass cypress trees and probably spot a turtle or alligator sunning themselves. It’s a nice escape from urban life and it’ll leave you feeling rejuvenated.

Featured Royal Shell Vacation Rentals near Riverside Park in Bonita Springs

Residents of the city of Bonita Springs have a lot of pride in their city and Riverside Park in Bonita Springs is the place where everyone comes together. It’s located in the middle of historic downtown Bonita Springs on Old U.S. 41. When you’re done exploring the park, attending one of its festivals or exploring the Imperial River on a canoe or kayak, you can meander through downtown’s picturesque streets and try authentic street tacos at Maria’s Restaurant. There are so many things to do in Bonita Springs. You can also visit the Everglades Wonder Gardens and meet some Florida wildlife.

We have a variety of Bonita Springs vacation rentals to choose from. The Beach & Tennis Club Rentals in Bonita Springs is also a great place for a relaxing vacation. Let us know what you think of Riverside Park and historic Bonita Springs and connect with Royal Shell today to plan a vacation. We hope you enjoy your stay in our little slice of paradise!  

Golf is practically synonymous with Southwest Florida, and truth be told, some of the best golf courses in the U.S. are in Naples, Florida. There are over 80 championship courses in the City on the Gulf, and we’ve picked our top five best golf courses in Naples with a few bonuses thrown in for good measure.

Royal Shell has vacation rentals in areas where the best golf courses in Naples, Florida exist. About half of these courses are open to the public. Golf passes are available for private ones. However, each community is different. Some private courses allow guests to play if the homeowner is a club member, provided that privilege extends to the renter in accordance with community rules.

If you choose to purchase the South Florida PGA GolfPass

If you choose to purchase the South Florida PGA GolfPass, passes are valid from May 1 to October 31. During that time the courses are likely to be less crowded. Southwest Florida, in general, is more relaxed in the summer months, so you’ll also see less congestion on the roads and shorter wait times in restaurants. Take advantage of it and enjoy this golf destination without the hustle and bustle of tourist season!

There’s also a reason why Naples, Florida is the self-professed golf capital of the world. According to, Naples has the second most golf holes per capita than in any other place in the country. Naples golf courses tend to host some prestigious tournaments, too, including the PGA Chubb Classic. Whether you’re visiting with your golf-loving friends, or you just fancy a round of golf in paradise, you can enjoy luxury accommodations at our beautiful Naples vacation homes. Give us a call today. It will be our pleasure to help you plan a refreshing escape to some of the best golf courses in Naples, Florida.

Royal Shell’s Top-5 Best Golf Courses in Naples Include:

Top-3 Bonus Courses Include:

Quail West Golf and Country Club

Quail West Golf and Country Club

This popular golf course was originally designed by Arthur Hills and restored by J. Drew Rogers. Play a round among natural waterways and preserves and take in the natural beauty that only Southwest Florida can offer. And if that’s not enough, in addition to the large golf practice area for warm-ups and lessons, there are two uniquely challenging 18-hole courses to choose from. Both of them are private courses so you’ll need to see if you can take advantage of any homeowner benefits, or purchase a golf pass.

The Lakes Course

Golfers will love the shimmering lake views on this 7,041-yard course. When you see the sun sparkling off the water, it instantly soothes the soul. Until you have to avoid them on your next shot! Compared to the Preserve Course, this is more of a players’ course. It has a links feel to it and requires intense strategy to master. Watch out for the marsh areas and water hazards.

The Preserve Course

This course is a little shorter than the Lakes Course. From the back tees, it comes in at 6,841 yards. You’ll weave your way through woodland areas, which provide plenty of shade from the sun. Recently reconstructed, this course also offers new greens, tees, bunkering and Celebration Bermuda grass.

Lely Resort Golf & Country Club  

This luxury community boasts three golf courses. The Mustang and Flamingo Island courses are open to the public, and The Classics course is private.

The Mustang Course

This 7,230-yard, par-72 course was created by Lee Trevino in 1996. You’ll go on a refreshing journey through Southwest Florida’s marsh habitat, a dozen glistening lakes and breathtaking rolling fairways. Open to golfers of all levels, the Mustang course has several tees at each hole. The course is challenging enough for an experienced player, but still can be navigated by beginners.

The Flamingo Island

This par-72 Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed course opened in 1989 and it’s a work of art. The 7,095 yards are complete with white sand bunkers, gently sloping fairways and expansive sections of Bermuda grass. It’s surrounded by water, making for a peaceful backdrop. Look out for multiple teeing stations and the signature par-3, 200-yard Hole 5. Shining blue water surrounds the rolling and curved fairway. Bunkers on one side and two bridges connect it to the mainland. This course is the epitome of strategy and is immersed in Florida’s natural beauty.

The Classics

Surrounded by beautiful woodlands, this course opened in 1990 and in 1996, it hosted the Senior PGA tour event, The ACE Group Classic.  The 6,714-yard, par-72 course features palm trees swaying lazily in the sun and they’re perfectly complemented by tropical, lush Florida vegetation. This course is all about enjoying the natural landscape, but it’s still challenging enough for experienced players to appreciate.


TwinEagles boasts two private golf courses: The Talon Course and The Eagle Course. The two championship courses offer different experiences and each one of them is unique. With their sandy cliffs, rolling fairways, mossy glens, towering dunes, lakes and marshes, they’re both reminiscent of the St. Andrews Golf Course in Scotland. Courses are set among a nature preserve, too. The TwinEagles community has the honor of being an Audubon International Signature Sanctuary. While you’re enjoying a day playing golf, you’ll feel totally rejuvenated by the community’s gorgeous scenery.

The Talon Course

Designed by Jack Nicklaus and Jack Nicklaus Jr., the par-72, 18-hole course is perfect for golfers of all skill levels. One of the best golf courses in Naples, for years the Talon Course has been the host of the Chubb Classic. If you’re looking for undulating greens and tricky approaches, this is an ideal course for you. Its 7,193 yards boast lakes and a challenging layout where course management and shot strategy are requirements.

The Eagle Course

This par-71, 18-hole course was created by Gary Player in 2007. It was renovated by Steve Smyers and Patrick Andrews in 2011. This course is excellent if you’re looking for a challenge. In a gorgeous setting, it features interesting playing angles and optical challenges. This course pays homage to the St. Andrews Golf Course in Scotland. In fact, the community’s clubhouse was initially designed to pay tribute to the highland mansions in Scotland and the famous St. Andrews green.

Club Pelican Bay

This 27-hole championship course features three nine-hole courses, four sets of tees and it offers options for players of all skill levels. Designed by Arthur Hills, the private course features serene lakes and rolling fairways. It’s also one of the most popular courses in Naples and Pelican Bay is one of its largest communities. The 36-par course boasts Bermuda grass and a warm breeze from the Gulf of Mexico. You’re also likely to see a variety of birds soaring overhead, which only adds to this course’s relaxing atmosphere.

Heritage Bay Golf & Country Club

This public course is one of the best golf courses in Naples. The 27-hole, the 7,700-yard course boasts a large green, challenging holes and a lot of contours. Designed by Lewis-Azinger, the course gives players three nines and allows a variety of play options in multiple combinations. The TifEagle greens are a big hit and players love the wide and rolling Celebration fairways. The course is among acres of natural preserves and lakes, making it easy to enjoy the game. There is also a newly refurbished aqua driving range.

Other Notable Golf Courses in or near Naples, Florida

Other Notable Golf Courses in or near Naples, Florida

In addition to our picks for the golf courses in Naples, we wanted to mention a few more. A couple of these are in Naples. The other is a little farther north in Bonita Springs.

Treviso Bay

The TPC Treviso Bay private course gets a shoutout for its beautiful 18-hole course. It’s one of the most serene golf options around. It’s no wonder why it’s one of the best courses in Naples. The 7,367-yard TOUR-caliber course features several holes adjacent to the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Reserve. The Treviso Bay golf course also boasts huge spectator mounds, TOUR-designed practice facilities, and Sea-Isle Supreme Paspalum Bermuda grass. It’s great because it’s challenging enough for a skilled player, but tame enough for someone just starting out.

Forest Glen Golf & Country Club

The Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest-designed course is a local favorite. It boasts Sea Isle Supreme Paspalum grass, which gives it its dark-green color. This helps the public course limit its need for fertilizers, pesticides and water. This course features landforms and rolls that help capture golf balls instead of pushing them into hazards. Additionally, there are “bail-out” areas around the course. Players will also appreciate the partial screening of Collier Boulevard, which makes the experience more enjoyable.

Bonita Bay Club

This course isn’t in Naples, but it’s close. In fact, it’s just north of the Collier and Lee County line. Regardless, it deserves an honorable mention and offers five private golf courses. Bonita Bay West boasts three courses and Bonita Bay East features two.

These five courses are well-groomed and challenging making it easy for golfers of every skill to go a few rounds. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly. If you need quick tips to up your game, they can help. The courses are surrounded by Florida’s natural beauty and you’re likely to see wild turkeys, deer and other animals at Bonita Bay East.

Rental properties in Bonita Bay are also a quick walk or bike ride from the Promenade At Bonita Bay. When you’re done with a round of golf, you can visit DeRomo’s Restaurant for a delicious Italian lunch or dinner. If you fancy a drink after a challenging day on the green, The Center Bar is a refreshing option. There are also unique local shops to visit including Coastal Outfitters, Evelyn & Arthur and To The Moon.

Golf at Bonita Bay West

The Marsh Course

This course snakes through wetlands, towering oaks, and palmetto trees.

Creekside Course

Choose this course if you like defined carries and wide-ranging fairways. The changes in elevation simulate rolling hills and the moguls and bunkers give players an additional challenge.

Bay Island Course

This is the most formidable and longest course at Bonita Bay West. As you play you’ll be surrounded by oak and cypress trees. The sand traps and water hazards will give you a nice challenge.

Golf at Bonita Bay East

The Cypress Course

This is one of the more challenging courses. The back nine features holes that cut through trees. The wide fairways are dotted with strategically-placed bunkers. The course also boasts water features, wetlands, and slick-running greens.

The Sabal Course

This course borders a wildlife preserve, so you never know what you might see. There are long white sand bunkers that surround rolling fairways. Some holes curl around a lake while other water features provide challenging play. Also, be on the lookout for multi-tiered greens and false fronts. This course is perfect for players of all levels, but it requires a lot of focus.

Royal Shell Vacation Rentals near the Best Golf Courses in Naples

Royal Shell Vacation Rentals near the Best Golf Courses in Naples

We have vacation rental properties in each of these communities. You should review our Naples vacation rentals today.

Regardless of which one you choose to make your vacation special, each golf course offers breathtaking views and challenging play. If you have any questions or need help deciding which of the best golf courses in Naples to try first, let us know. We’re happy to help. Contact us today to plan your perfect golfing vacation

When you’re planning a trip to Southwest Florida, picking the perfect beach spot can be one of the most important parts of your vacation. While we have you covered there, it’s also important to have everything you need to look like you’re a beach bum pro.

Southwest Florida beaches are the best beaches in the country. We also offer the best beach accessories to make sure your Florida vacation and your beach time are enjoyable and as effortless as possible. Here are some of the best beach accessory ideas we can offer to make sure you get the most out of your Southwest Florida beach experience.

Beach Cup Holders

Beach Cup Holders

No one likes a cold drink that’s covered in sticky, white sand. Make sure you take a long beach cup holder that anchors into the sand and allows you to pick up your beach drink without receiving a hand full of wet sand. Make sure the beach you are visiting allows beverages before you break out the beach drinks!

It’s also a good idea to bring along plenty of beach koozies to keep your drinks cold. Juice boxes for the kids and plenty of waters and beverages for the adults are important, too.

Beach Folding Tables are the Real Deal

Do you have little ones that make messes? Add the beach and watch that mess multiply by mixing in wet and dry sand to the equation! The only thing worse than beach messes is kids trying to eat lunches on the beach with a towel. Avoid the mess and the loss of another beach towel by bringing a folding beach table that’s perfect for juice boxes, snacks and lunches!

If you have a table that’s sturdy enough, you can even play a game of beach poker under the tent to cool off and get a break from the sun’s rays.

Beach Carts

Beach carts are a necessity for families heading to the beach. No one wants to be that mom or dad lugging everything from umbrellas to towels and kids over their shoulders. Find yourself a nice, collapsible beach cart that you can pull through the sand with ease. Beach carts ensure you only have to make one hands-free trip from the car to your beach spot.

Beach Tents

A beach tent for adults and kids is a must-have beach item. Whether you are on the beach all day, or for a few hours, a beach tent provides much-needed relief from the sun during a snack, nap or even just for a breather while you reapply your suntan lotion. Make sure it’s an easy-to-pack-and-fold item that isn’t too bulky for your beach cart or vehicle.

Beach Blankets Have Come a Long Way

Gone are the days when a regular terry cloth beach blanket on the sand would suffice. Beachgoers today can do better. In today’s beach world, you can find beach blankets that repel sand and are water-resistant. Many of them also have pockets to hold belongings like phones and keys you’ll want to keep clean from the elements. Microfiber beach blankets also work to create a plush environment for sunbathers and act as a quick-drying towel. Many of these fancy, new beach towels can also work as a yoga mat or exercise towel.

Favorite Tunes for the Beach

We realize the days of bringing a boombox to the beach are over. But that doesn’t mean the beach jams have to stop! Make a fresh beach playlist for summer or any other time of the year and make sure it’s available to play for friends on a portable Bluetooth speaker that’s charged up for your beach trip. Bring along a pair of headphones, too, for when it’s time to meditate in the sand and get lost in your own world.

Favorite Tunes for the Beach

Pick the Perfect Beach Bag

Beach bags are all the rage right now. Big, bulky mesh bags that you can toss everything in, from beach towels to buckets and shovels for the kids, are not hip anymore. The perfect beach bag for a day at the beach is waterproof, has containers to hold and protect valuables, and looks good doing it with cute designs, tassels and monogrammed options.

Use a Beach Umbrella that Works for You

A good beach umbrella that can handle and buffer a good Gulf of Mexico rain shower is very important. Beach umbrellas with aluminum poles that are adjustable are the best choice. Tilt adjustments are also a must because they allow you to angle the umbrella to protect yourself as the sun changes position.

Umbrellas should also have:

Picking the Best Beach Chair

Beach chairs have come a long way in the last 10 years. These days, it’s easy to select an affordable beach chair that offers the following perks:

Beach Toys for the Kiddos

If you have kids, you cannot forget to take a good variety of sand toys to the beach to keep them busy throughout the day.

Other kid-friendly toys to bring include:

Use Sunscreen

Whether you are sitting on the dock of the bay or on the beach, you need ultimate sun protection all day long! Make sure you select a sunscreen that you can use on both your face and your body. You should also look for a non-greasy formula and one that is water-resistant if you know you’ll be spending time in the water. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher for ultimate protection from harmful UVB rays and reapply often!

Hydrate Often with a Good Water Bottle

You have to drink plenty of water during a trip to the beach, especially on hot and humid days. Choose a reusable water bottle that can keep drinks cold for 24 hours and keep hot drinks warm, if you’re heading to see a Southwest Florida sunset on a cool and breezy winter night.

A Beach Cooler Can Be Your Friend

A Beach Cooler Can Be Your Friend

Whether you are packing a lunch, bringing drinks or need a place to keep things cool, a beach cooler is your friend. Soft coolers are all the rage right now, especially ones that have straps so you can walk onto the beach with the cooler on your back like a backpack. Coolers with wheels also get the job done for a family that needs a big cooler to hold everything for a long day at the beach.

Make Your Naples Beach Reservation Today!

You have everything you need now for the perfect beach experience in Southwest Florida. We also have the tips you need for shelling and vacation home rental tips for families.

The only thing left to do now is enjoy the beach and your Florida vacation. Are you looking to head to Naples, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach or Sanibel or Captiva islands? Why limit yourself? Book a longer Florida beach stay and explore all the beaches in the area because each one of them has something unique. The agents at Royal Shell can help you plan your perfect beach getaway vacation today.

Apple pie, family get-togethers and the American flag all make us think of the Fourth of July because they symbolize independence. Spending the holiday on the beach in Southwest Florida, or at least in warm, sunny temperatures, makes 4th of July Florida events even better for your holiday vacation getaway. 

Whether you’ve already been to Southwest Florida’s Sanibel Island or Captiva Island or the mainland, it doesn’t hurt to revisit special memories and make new ones. The best 4th of July Florida events are truly made on the beach. There’s nothing like fireworks on the beach to get you in a patriotic state of mind. 

Know your Fourth of July History

The Fourth of July has officially been a federal holiday since 1941, but the holiday has been celebrated since the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.

Patriotic fervor became even more prevalent after the War of 1812, in which the United States again squared off against Great Britain. In 1870, Congress made the Fourth of July a federal holiday; in 1941, the provision was extended to grant all federal employees a paid holiday.

Florida Fourth of Julys Belong on the Beach

Celebrate America’s Independence Day in sunny Southwest Florida and relax on the beach before heading to one of the area’s hotspots to view one of the stunning fireworks shows.

Whether you’re looking for a Fourth of July parade or the largest fireworks display, this post will tell you all you need to know about 4th of July Florida events in Naples, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island.

Best 4th of July Vacations in Florida to Experience

Southwest Florida is a big area, so there’s a lot of ground to cover for America’s birthday bash. Regardless of where you’re staying or what you’re looking for, there are plenty of options for you to find something to do.

Florida Fireworks

Most people celebrate Independence Day by watching a firework display, and Southwest Florida has plenty of options to choose from. If you’re watching the firework spectacle from the beach, don’t forget to bring a towel, folding chairs, sunscreen, water and bug spray.

Naples Pier

Fireworks at The Naples Pier begin 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 4 from a barge 1,000 feet away from the pier

The Naples Police Department will strictly enforce parking and pay special attention to “No Parking” areas with a focus on the entire length of Gulf Shore Boulevard, fire hydrants and blocked intersections.

A good rule of thumb for viewing fireworks at the Naples Pier is to get there early so you can snag a parking space. Traffic is also always backed up after this event. Make sure you plan accordingly.

Star-Spangled Bonita

Located in the heart of downtown historic Bonita Springs, Riverside Park will feature kid-friendly events and July 4-themed activities. There will also be a firework and laser-light display at night for a star-spangled spectacular.

Downtown Fort Myers Freedom Fest

If you haven’t had an opportunity to visit downtown Fort Myers, now’s your chance. The WINK Freedom Fest starts in the afternoon and the downtown Fort Myers firework display begins at 9:30 p.m. It’s free and it boasts live entertainment and food trucks. If you’re staying in or near Fort Myers for the 4th of July, this is an ideal option.

Red, White and Boom in Cape Coral

Think red, white and blue but it’s really about the boom in Cape Coral. This is one of the best Fourth of July celebrations in Southwest Florida, and also one of the area’s most talked about. Singer-songwriter Chase Bryant will headline the annual Cape Coral fireworks Independence Day celebration at 8 p.m.

From 5 to 10 p.m., expect vendors, kids park with rides, kids activities and of course, a firework display at 9:30 p.m. Guests must purchase a wristband to enjoy the rides. Each session lasts one hour and 15 minutes, and there are a limited number of wristbands available.

Red, White and Boom is free and located at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge in downtown Cape Coral, just east of Del Prado Boulevard.

Parking for Red, White and Boom is also free and parking lot locations include Club Square, Iguana Mia, the Veterans Museum or Big John’s Pizza. There will also be free parking and trolley service. For more information, you can call 239-573-3128.

If you are staying on Cape Coral or don’t mind a bit of a drive, there is also a Freedom 5k at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge at 7:30 a.m. Registration for the Cape Coral Fourth of July 5K, begins at 6 a.m. and runners can register for the Cape Coral 4th of July 5k at the Fort Myers Track Club website,

If you’re staying in the area for a while, there is also the Cape Coral Mango Fest on June 14 and 15. The 22nd annual Cape Coral Mango Mania features everything mango with food and recipe contests, music, food and drinks, and tropical plants and trees for sale.

Sanibel Island Fireworks

A firework display starts at 9 p.m. from a barge off the end of Bailey Road. The best spot to view July fireworks is from the Sanibel Island Causeway.

4th of July Parades in Florida

It wouldn’t be a major holiday without a parade, and these options will help put you in the patriotic spirit.

Downtown Naples

The Fourth of July parade will take place on July 4 from 10 a.m. to noon. Grab a spot near the start of the event on Broad Avenue South or wait for the parade to finish on Third Street South. Don’t forget to bring water and folding chairs.

Bonita Springs

Head over to Riverside Park at 9 a.m. for a Fourth of July parade and stay all day for fun-filled activities the whole family can enjoy. It’s a family-friendly event everyone can enjoy.

Fort Myers Beach

The parade begins at 10 a.m. at the Bay Oaks Recreation Center and travels along Estero Boulevard to Times Square. Stick around Times Square near the clock until 2 p.m. for patriotic crafts, a watermelon-eating contest and a dunk tank. The event is free and parking is limited. However, free trolley service is available all day. Fireworks start at 8:45 p.m. at Times Square. Bringing your own beach chairs is encouraged. Also, keep in mind that the Matanzas Pass Bridge will be closed from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. to oncoming traffic

Sanibel Island

Start the Fourth of July festivities at 9:30 a.m. with a parade that travels along the main thoroughfare, Periwinkle Way, from Tarpon Bay Road to Casa Ybel Road. There will be an after-parade celebration at Jerry’s Shopping Center at 10:30 a.m. and the 39th-annual San-Cap Optimist’s Club Road Rally also starts at noon at Timbers Restaurant.

 Best Fourth of July Celebrations in Southwest Florida

Best Fourth of July Celebrations in Southwest Florida

Whether you decide to spend the Fourth of July holiday week in Naples, Bonita, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Sanibel or Captiva Island, there are plenty of things to do for members of the entire family.

It just depends on what type of Fourth of July vacation you’re looking for. Try a laid back vacation rental in Bonita Springs or a Cape Coral vacation rental. Perhaps you’d like to try a Naples vacation rental and enjoy its high-end eateries and fancy boutiques. Whatever kind of trip you’re planning, our Royal Shell vacation planners can help make it happen.

Come for July 4th celebration week and enjoy some of the best Fourth of July celebrations in Southwest Florida. You might like it so much; you’ll want to stay for a lifetime.

Find a Rental Home Near the Best Fourth of July Events in Florida

There are so many different Fourth of July Florida events. You can’t go wrong whether you spend the holiday in Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral, Ocala, Sanibel Island, or Captiva Island. Each area has something unique to offer. Bonita Springs and Cape Coral are located in the middle of everything. Naples is known for its food and arts scenes. It’s also near the Everglades if you’re looking for an adventure. Sanibel and Captiva Islands have beautiful beaches and the destinations truly feel like you’re on vacation. Let us know what kind of trip you’re thinking about taking and our Royal Shell Vacation Planners will make it happen.

If you are thinking about becoming a Florida regular, any of our agents will be more than happy to take you around to see our beautiful Southwest Florida homes. We can also help you plan a last minute holiday getaway! If you’re considering selling your home and buying a place in the Sunshine State, our agents know Southwest Florida like the backs of our hands. We can answer all of your questions, point you to the best beaches and show you some of the area’s best hotspots. Helping people find their dream home or vacation rental is what we do best. Contact Royal Shell today!

When you get out the suitcase and start packing for a vacation, your pets naturally become excited because they see that everyone is getting ready to do something and they want to know what’s going on and if pet friendly travel is in their future.

Your furry friends are a member of your family; too, so it’s no wonder they always think they get to go everywhere you do. You don’t like going anywhere without your pets either, huh? So, why not bring them along so they can have some fun? After all, Fido deserves a vacation, too, right?

Royal Shell Makes Pet-Friendly Vacation Travel Easy

Royal Shell Makes Pet-Friendly Vacation Travel Easy

Top 7 Tips for Pet-Friendly Vacation Travel

These tips will help pet owners and their companions get the most out of their Southwest Florida vacation.

Have you tried any of these tips? Let us know in the comment section below this post!

1. Check the Pet Policy When Making Reservations

First things first, make sure Fido is going to be allowed to stay at your vacation rental with you before you book accommodations for your next trip.

Some pet-friendly vacation rental homes require an additional, non-refundable fee to cover the cost of cleaning up after your furry friends. According to Royal Shell Vacations Director of Operations, Nykkie Rizley, pet fees are also used as additional rent to the property owner.

If you are considering a vacation rental property, and pet-friendly is not specified, it’s a good idea to call and inquire anyway, just to be safe. If you assume a property is pet-friendly and don’t learn otherwise until you arrive, that type of thing has the potential to ruin your entire vacation.

Always check the vacation rental property’s pet policy before you make reservations. You can also contact our vacation planners as well. If they’re not sure, they’ll work to get you an answer as soon as possible, so you can plan your vacation accordingly.

2. Proper Pet Identification


Remember, your pet can’t speak for itself. It can’t tell anyone its name or yours. So, if something were to happen to your pet while you’re on vacation, it’s vital to have your fur baby outfitted with proper identification, whether it’s via a tag or a microchip. Your furry friend could wander off and get lost and you never know when an unexpected event like a car accident or natural disaster could occur.

Even if you are super careful, something could catch you and your pet off guard and cause you to become separated. Making sure your pet has some type of identification ensures a much higher chance of them finding their way back to you safe and sound.

You also never know when you may need to take your pet to the vet. Or worse, you and Fido could become separated. If the worst case scenario does happen, it’s much easier to be reunited with your furry loved one if it has proper identification to find its way back to you.

3. Update Pet Vaccinations and Medical Records

Before you travel, it’s always a good rule of thumb to make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Sometimes, owners are asked to provide medical records for their pet before they make the vacation rental reservation. If that’s the case, you don’t want to scramble to make a last minute appointment.

Also, keep in mind that medical records for your pet can play a vital role in the event of an emergency visit to a local veterinarian while you’re on vacation. Some pet vaccines are considered vital and they’re based on how severe a disease is, risk exposure to it and the chance of the disease being passed on to humans.

4. Pack Pet Carrier & Other Supplies

Sometimes, we’re so excited to get to our sunny vacation destination that packing our pets’ essentials can seem like an afterthought. When packing for a vacation that’s going to include pets, don’t forget their carriers, food, toys, leash, doggy bags, litterbox, litter and other necessary pet supplies.

Your dog or cat may also appreciate blankets and seat covers so they have a comfortable ride down to the Sunshine State and a comfortable place to lie on once they get here. If your pet is used to sleeping on a certain bed or a particular sheet, bring that with you, too; unless you want them sleeping on the guest bedroom.

While you may want to bring your furry loved one everywhere you go, there likely will be times when you need to leave them alone for a few hours. Putting them in their carriers is going to be the safest option, or you could opt for a local pet sitter.

Find a pet sitter in Southwest Florida

A pet sitter will feed and walk your dog as well as spend quality time with them so they don’t feel lonely while you’re gone.

Here are some pet sitter options:

5. Play with Fido at the Dog Park or on the Beach

Fido is just as excited as you are to explore a new spot. Visit a local dog park near your pet-friendly vacation rental, or any other public park or beach where dogs are allowed.

You’ll get to enjoy the Florida sunshine and fresh air and you can soak up the sun and not feel guilty for leaving Fido behind. Your dog may also want to dip a paw in the water, too!

Here is a list of dog-friendly beaches in Southwest Florida, according to

The Naples Daily News offers these pet-friendly options:

6. Pet-Friendly Restaurants

A night out on the town can be fun for the whole family, and maybe your four-legged members want to come, too. Depending on the area—from the islands of Sanibel and Captiva, to Fort Myers or Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral or Naples—many restaurants welcome pets in an open air setting.

Check out our list of options, and make sure to call the restaurant ahead of time to confirm. The Naples Daily News recommends the following:

When you do decide to dine with Fido, make sure to bring a treat and bowl of water for your pooch, so they behave themselves and don’t seek out food from the table.

7. Good Pet Etiquette is Key

Let’s face it, not everyone enjoys pets. However, practicing good pet etiquette is important while you’re on vacation. If you’re planning on staying in a resort condo, keeping your dog quiet will be much appreciated by the building’s other guests.

The atmosphere can be exciting for pets because everything is exhilarating and new. It’s helpful to keep them on a leash and close by, so they don’t disturb others. While a beach house will afford you a little more privacy, pet owners will still need to focus on pet etiquette to ensure, for example, that a barking dog cannot be heard by neighbors at the next property over.

Make sure you and Fido have the vacation of a lifetime

If you’re getting ready to go on the vacation of a lifetime and you can’t stand not being able to bring along your furry family member, the professional staff at Royal Shell can help you find a pet-friendly vacation rental property that suits all of your needs. Whether you choose Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers Beach, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs or Naples vacation rentals, we want to make sure the entire family has the vacation of a lifetime, including Fido with a variety of pet friendly rentals! Connect with Royal Shell today.

Do you have other tips for pet-friendly travel on vacation? Share your comments here on your experiences with pet-friendly vacation rentals, or connect with us on social media. We look forward to hearing about your pet-friendly traveling adventures!

Whether you’re looking for a small one-bedroom cottage for a romantic getaway or a three-bedroom home for the entire family, booking vacation rentals online is quickly becoming a popular trend.

Secure your spot in paradise by opening up a few tabs of vacation rentals websites. No need to pick up the phone or slip out of your comfortable sweatpants. You can book your trip to Florida from the comfort of your own living room.

But where should you stay? At an Airbnb, a hotel or with Royal Shell?

Royal Shell is the largest regional real estate company in Southwest Florida. We have been in business for more than 21 years and we have over 300,000 guests stay with us each year.

Book your trip online, over the phone or in-person at one of our offices

With Royal Shell, you can make your Florida vacation rental online. Unlike sites like Airbnb, HomeAway or VRBO, you can also chat with a vacation planner on the phone and lock down your vacation spot the old-fashioned way. If you love where you’re staying now, you can visit any of our 16 offices in Lee and Collier counties and reserve your vacation rental for next year.

Fully equipped kitchen, more space and more privacy

There are also more options available if you choose a vacation rental over a hotel room. For one, you’re staying in a home instead of a room, and that alone is a huge plus. There’s more space, privacy and you can come and go as you please. Besides, you can also take advantage of the fully-equipped kitchen that comes standard in most of our vacation rental properties. Host a family dinner or just save a few bucks and cook dinner at home.

Let a local vacation planner help plan your trip

Our vacation planning advisers live and work in Southwest Florida, so if you have any questions about where to go, what to do, or where to eat, they’ll be able to give you all the information you need to know. We don’t want to just get you down here. We want to make sure you have the vacation of a lifetime.
vacation rentals websites uses 3 things to determine if a vacation rental website is credible:

  1. An established business that has longevity. How long a brand has been in business is significant because roughly half of new start-up companies flop within their first 18 months, and, according to Forbes, only about 4 percent of businesses make it to the 10-year mark and beyond. Additionally, if a business has been around for a while, it also means the company knows the area well and can give accurate recommendations on where to go and what to do.
  2. A relevant rental footprint. When a vacation rental website has a substantial rental footprint in a significant area, like Southwest Florida, it means they have enough homes to serve their existing client base, and can likely accommodate even more guests.
  3. Amenities and services. These two things and vacation rentals go hand-in-hand. When people spend thousands of dollars on a vacation, they typically expect some type of personalized services, and each vacation rental company offers their own set of exclusive perks.

What Royal Shell Can Do that Other Rental Companies Cannot

  1. Royal Shell has demonstrated knowledge of the local area. We know the best places to stay and we’ll work to help find you the perfect vacation home.
  2. Whether you’re looking for hidden gems or typical tourist hot spots, we can tell you where to go and what to see. If you’re visiting Sanibel Island and you want to know where all the best beaches are, you’re in luck because we’ve got the scoop.
  3. Royal Shell has its own state-of-the-art laundry facility. We also have our own vacation planning center, maintenance, housekeeping, guest services, IT and photography departments.
  4. Our vacation planning call center is open seven days a week and guests can book a vacation rental online 24 hours a day. Royal Shell also has 24-hour, seven days a week emergency guest services.
  5. You don’t have to spend time comparing tons of other sites for the best deal. With Royal Shell, you’re already getting a great deal. If you want to call and confirm that everything is good to go with your vacation rental before you get here, our call center is always open.
  6. If you do need to talk with someone, we’re not only a phone call away. We have offices throughout Southwest Florida in Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs and Naples. If you want to talk to a person, we’re a short drive away, or we could even arrange for someone to come out and meet you at your vacation rental property. Delivering legendary customer service is very important to us, and we take it seriously.

vacation rentals websites

Vacation Rentals with Royal Shell vs. Airbnb

Looking for an Airbnb accommodation is a popular way to find a place to stay while you’re on vacation; however, some people still have reservations about it. If you choose to rent out a room, you may also end up staying with fellow travelers you don’t know who are also renting out the home’s other rooms. Or you may end up crashing with the home’s host while they’re staying in another room on the property. If you’re looking for privacy and amenities, this is probably not going to be your best option.
You may also end up paying additional fees to book your stay. According to, Airbnb charges an additional 6 to 12 percent of the cost of the rental. The site also says that same fee can be even higher on According to VRMintel, “The service fee is between 5 to 12 percent for most bookings, but can be above or below, based on the reservation.”

Vacation Rentals with Royal Shell vs. Staying at a Hotel

When most people think about traveling, they consider staying at a hotel. There’s normally free breakfast or some sort of special if you book early or during a certain time of the year. But is a hotel room really the best choice if you want to feel more integrated into the city you’re visiting?
Tausha from The Globe Getter points out that you don’t get the same feeling when you have to walk down a hallway, use an elevator and take a bunch of extra steps to get to the city’s center. If you stay in a vacation rental property, it’ll already feel homier and less sterile right off the bat. And besides, you won’t feel so much like an outsider in your new temporary city when you can walk out the front door and be steps away from beaches, shops, restaurants and things to do.
vacation rentals websites

The Takeaway on the Best Vacation Rentals Websites

The good news is that you’ve already decided when and where you want to go. The hardest part is over. Whether you’re coming to Southwest Florida for a week, a month, or longer, Royal Shell offers plenty of vacation rental options in a variety of different types of breathtaking locations.
We provide you with the type of luxury and customer service you’ll find at a hotel, but you get the space and privacy of a vacation home or resort rental. Vacation rentals with a company like Royal Shell also have other advantages over booking with a hotel or Airbnb.
These include:

  1. More space. According to, on average, a vacation home offers more than 1,300 square feet, while a hotel room has an average of just 325 square feet.
  2. Fully-equipped kitchen. This means you not only save money on going out to eat because you can cook at home; you can also have family dinners while you’re away from your home base. How nice does it sound to sit around the dinner table together and talk about how much fun you’re having on your trip?
  3. Home away from home. Vacation rentals have all of the comforts of a home. The top perk is privacy. You can use the pool and exercise equipment at your leisure. You can also have breakfast whenever you want, not during a hotel’s scheduled breakfast buffet times.

Check-In With Us

Let us know what you think of your stay with us in sunny Southwest Florida. Many people come here and never leave. We can help you find condos and cottages in Sanibel Island. If you’re thinking about buying or renting in the Sunshine State, any of our agents will be more than happy to show you around and give you the lay of the land.

Helping people find their dream home or vacation rental is what we do best. Come for a visit, maybe you’ll end up staying for a lifetime. Contact us at Royal Shell today to book a Sanibel vacation rental.

When most of the Northern states are still blanketed in winter snow, Southwest Florida offers a welcome change of scenery—and temperature. If you aren’t trying to escape the cold, the Sunshine State is also known for its emerald-green and blue water and white sand beaches.

Saying there is a lot to do if you’re considering Southwest Florida vacations for your family is an understatement. The Gulf Coast of Florida features a variety of different types of shops and restaurants. It’s also home to the Everglades, a somewhat prehistoric-looking tropical jungle. Explore the scenery or see if you can spot a wild alligator. There’s never a shortage of things to do in Southwest Florida.

Make Memorable Moments

Stay at a beach resort so you always have access to the shore. Take a stroll with the kiddos, go shelling with your grandparents or try a fun water activity like kayaking or paddleboarding with your loved ones. Southwest Florida also has some of the best sunsets in the country. In fact, people are known to gather at the end of the Naples Pier to watch the sunset. They even clap when it’s over.

Which Slice of Paradise is Right for your Family Vacation?

If you’re looking for Southwest Florida vacations for families, there are a variety of family-friendly rental properties available in Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Captiva and Sanibel Islands. Most homes or condo units come equipped with full kitchens and swimming pools. Some units even have access to private beaches and the Gulf of Mexico. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the top vacation destinations for families in Southwest Florida to help you make your decision on which area is best for your upcoming family escape.

Southwest Florida Vacations for Families: Choosing your Location is the Hardest Part

You may not really know where Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Captiva and Sanibel Islands are right now unless you’re looking at a map. But once you visit the Gulf Coast, we won’t blame you if you and the kids want to come back again every year. This part of the state is a gem and a Southwest Florida vacation for your family is an excellent choice if you want to unwind. It offers a laid back lifestyle and things to do for the entire family, from small children to senior grandparents.
Southwest Florida vacations for families


Out of all of these cities, Naples is the furthest South and right across the state from Fort Lauderdale. If you like high-end dining and delicious and fresh seafood, downtown Naples is where you want to be. Third Street South offers some boutique shops, but it’s better known for its upscale restaurants. Fifth Avenue South also features a plethora of restaurants, but there are more casual and low-key options as well. If you’re here for the shopping, Fifth Avenue is definitely where you want to be. Beautiful beaches are only about a 10-minute drive from downtown and the Florida Everglades is about an hour South if you and the kiddos want to go on an airboat ride to try and spot an alligator.
The Naples Pier is about 10 minutes away from downtown Naples on 12th Avenue South. The pier has a place to get snacks and drinks in the middle of it and volleyball courts on either side. However, its best feature is the sunset. The timing of the sunset varies from month-to-month and especially during daylight savings time. Make sure you visit the pier to see it at least once. You may even see the rumored “Green Flash.” This happens when the sun dips just below the horizon and is reflected by the blue water of the Gulf of Mexico. A green flash of light appears and surrounds the sun for a brief moment. They’re very rare, and if you get a chance to see one, you’ll never forget it!

Fort Myers

Fort Myers is about an hour North of Naples and is also home to one of the most popular beach destinations for families, Fort Myers Beach. It boasts more tropical-themed shops and it’s dotted with colorful bungalows that will make you feel like you’re in the Caribbean.
Downtown Fort Myers is also a popular destination. It features blocks of historic buildings and it’s right on the Caloosahatchee River. Check out one of the art walks, music walks, classic car shows or any of the themed festivals hosted in the city’s center every weekend. You can even visit the Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Winter Estates.
Southwest Florida vacations for families

Bonita Springs

Bonita Springs, or Bonita as locals call it, is in between Naples and Fort Myers. If you can’t decide which area you like best, this is the perfect choice. One of the most appealing draws to Bonita Springs is its no fuss lifestyle.
Historic downtown Bonita Springs is small, but charming. It features one of the best breakfast and brunch spots in the area, the Survey Cafe. You can also find authentic Mexican tacos about a block away. In between the two sits Everglades Wonder Gardens, an 82-year-old attraction that features breathtaking gardens, alligators, flamingos and other exotic animals. This is something you won’t want to miss. It’s such a beloved landmark in the community; a few years ago, a group of local residents formed a non-profit organization to purchase the property and save it from commercial development.

Sanibel and Captiva Islands

Sanibel and Captiva Islands are about an hour and a half North of Naples. Once you get into Sanibel, Captiva is about a 20 or 30-minute drive away. Sanibel and Captiva are some of our most exclusive options, and there’s a reason for that. Both islands are dotted with true Florida-style homes. Their homes are tucked away and surrounded by Florida’s natural beauty. They come in all colors of the rainbow and they all have unique personalities. This is where you go if you really want to relax.
Sanibel and Captiva are also both known for their local restaurants. If you have a chance, don’t miss out on Captiva’s Bubble Room. It’s one of the quirkiest places in Southwest Florida. There’s also the Captiva Course, a nine-hole golf course that features a relaxing ocean view. Known as the shelling capital of the world, many people visit these islands for their one-of-a-kind Florida seashells. Since Sanibel has an atypical east-west orientation, the north-flowing Gulf Stream waters deposit a treasure trove of seashells onto the beach every day. You never know what you’ll be able to find.
Southwest Florida vacations for families

Southwest Florida Vacations for Families: Each Area Has A Lot to Offer

You really can’t go wrong with any of these Southwest Florida family vacation locations. They all offer something for everyone; it just depends on what you want to do while you’re here. Will it be a bungalow on Fort Myers Beach or Sanibel or Captiva Island? Perhaps you want a laidback vacation in Bonita Springs, or you’re tempted by Naples’s high-end eateries and fancy boutiques. The possibilities are endless.

Come for a week, or a month and connect with Royal Shell today to book a Sanibel vacation rental. Who knows, maybe you’ll stay for a lifetime. If you love Southwest Florida so much, try our vacation home rental tips for families to learn more. If that’s something you’re considering, let us know! Whether you’re thinking about buying or renting, any of our agents will be more than happy to show you around and take you around to see our beautiful Southwest Florida homes. If you’re thinking about selling your home and perhaps looking to be closer to the beach or have more space, we know Southwest Florida like the backs of our hands. Helping people find their dream home or vacation rental is what we do best.