Location: 26811 South Tamiami Trail | Bonita Springs, FL 34134
When you think of visiting Florida, you picture rolling turquoise-green waves on the Gulf of Mexico, unique-looking shells that dot the shoreline, and cruising around on the water with your loved ones. If you’re looking for the best place in Southwest Florida for boat rentals, we’ve got you covered. Summer in Florida is made for hanging out on the boat, the wind in your hair, the warm sunshine covering your body, and the chance to discover new locales and embark on an adventure.
And if you love boating events and watching water vessels whoosh by at 180 mph, why not come back to Southwest Florida in October?
The Roar Offshore race on Fort Myers Beach is October 10-12. At the end of the national championship race, a winner will be crowned. Spectators can see the national race from anywhere on the beach, from the pier to mid-island. There will also be an area to watch the race out on the water. You can rent your own boat and enjoy one of the best views in the house. It’s well worth a fall trip to Southwest Florida!
The great thing about boating in Southwest Florida and spending quality time on the water is that there are tons of destinations to visit, and each of them offers something unique.
Head over to Sanibel and Captiva Islands and enjoy some of the best shelling in the world. The Sanibel Lighthouse is also a popular destination. Fort Myers Beach has a handful of smaller bay islands you can visit. Naples is lined with white sand beaches and it’s near the Everglades, an enticing area of Florida everyone should visit at least once. It’s a step back into Old Florida and it’s beautiful. Cape Coral is a city full of canals. Really, that’s one of its nicknames. There are freshwater boating opportunities and you can also follow the canals to the Gulf of Mexico. Catch a glimpse of dolphins, West Indian manatees, birds and maybe an alligator or two.
Port Sanibel Marina, located just before the Sanibel Causeway, has boat rentals available for half a day, a full day or for a week. You can also rent a canoe, kayak or paddle board.
When you rent a boat from Port Sanibel Marina, you’ll need to stay within their boundaries – the Intercostal Waterway to the northern tip of Cayo Costa Island to the Caloosahatchee River, stopping at the Fort Myers Yacht Basin, to the Back Bay on the Estero River, stopping at Lovers Key State Park. The person operating the boat must be 25 or older, possess general boating knowledge and have a driver’s license. There is also an online boating safety course you can complete. Port Sanibel Marina provides renters with a lesson on operating the boat. If you plan on fishing from the boat, beach or pier, you must have a valid Florida fishing license. You can purchase a temporary fishing license here or by calling 1.888.347.4356.
If you’re visiting the first two weekends in June, you’re in luck. On June 1 and 2, it’s license-free saltwater fishing weekend. The following weekend on June 8 and 9, it’s license-free freshwater fishing weekend. This means that during these two weekends only, a fishing license is not required for Florida residents or visitors, provided they are fishing in the right type of water. Also keep in mind that all bag limits, size restrictions, and closed areas apply on these two weekends. For more information, visit MyFWC.com/License. For some helpful fishing tips, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing.
All the essentials you’ll need are for sale at the Ship Store.
We recommend bringing:
If you opt to rent a boat for a full day, that means you’ll be on the water from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Half-day rentals come in four-hour increments and they begin at 8 a.m. The last departure is at noon. Additionally, all rentals must be back at the fuel dock by 4 p.m.
Visit Southwest Florida for a beautiful summer vacation in Florida and come back in the fall for one of the most exciting boat races all season.
On Thursday, October 10, Roar Offshore Racing event starts with a parade of race boats over the Matanzas Pass Bridge. The parade will spill over onto Old San Carlos Boulevard, and there will be a street party afterward. What better way to kick off an event? You’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the boats in the street. There will also be live music, food and a chance to meet the teams competing in the race.
The Race Village opens at Salty Sam’s Complex on Friday morning. Spectators can see and interact with race teams and boats. There will also be vendors. If you want to see teams practicing out on the water, you’ll get a chance to see that, too.
Saturday is the day. There will be three races on the beachfront and plenty of places to view the race on the island. To watch the race, visit one of the host restaurants, a VIP waterfront table, or catch the action from a boat in the spectator anchoring area on the water. We also recommend bringing a beach chair and spending a day on the beach, or you can even see the race from a raft floating in the water.
Whether you’ve been to the Sunshine State before or this is going to be your first time, spending your summer vacation in Florida will leave you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and refreshed.
Port Sanibel Marina also offers discounts for Royal Shell guests. When you stay in one of our vacation rentals, you’ll get to take advantage of 30% off boat rentals at the marina. If you want to purchase some new stylish outfits for a day on the water, Royal Shell guests also receive 15% off most items at Coastal Outfitters.
Rent a boat from Port Sanibel Marina and explore the surrounding areas or just spend a leisurely day on the water. There are so many things to do and so many places to go if you have a boat. We know you’ll have a great time! We have a variety of rental homes on Fort Myers Beach to choose from, and if you have any questions, our Vacation Planning Specialists are just a quick phone call away.
Don’t forget to come back again in October for the national Roar Offshore Racing event. It’s one thing you won’t want to miss!